In Between States

We’re now between moving trips, preparing for the big one.  We (E, with much trepidation) managed to drive the monster rental van full of heavy boxes down south successfully, unload it ourselves, and drive back up north in the pouring rain.  Not an easy job, but it’s behind us.  We also set up our utilities, etc.  Now for the big moving truck next week, and unloading the heavy furniture ourselves. Then one more trip north to clean the apartment, and then we’re outta here.

Here we are at the TN welcome center (no, that’s not our house!), and then taking a moment to enjoy the crocuses already coming up at our new place in the freakishly warm for Feb. weather.  It’s somewhat of a fixer-upper, but nothing too impossible over time.  The older folks who sold it to us turned out to be very nice and welcoming, and gave us lots of helpful info and hospitality offers.  Already we’re finding people to be at least superficially much more friendly and courteous than up north.

Yesterday (my BD) we said our goodbyes to our shop/tavern friends in Yellow Springs, including Mister Eko, who was amazingly awake for once.  For E. it’s bittersweet to leave her lifelong state, with all its trauma and pain, but also a few good folks and memories.  We hope to get a new start, even this late in life, and just stay under the radar in our adopted home.

Closing a Chapter

Our countdown is for real now–we close not only on our new house tomorrow, but on a long, dark chapter of our lives.  May this next and final one be an improvement–it has to be, right?  😉

We’ll be going into silent mode for a few days, as we attempt to load, drive, and unload a large, unfamiliar vehicle to a new state, on our own.  Should be interesting.  Then rinse, repeat in a few days.

Here are the Skullies in their safe corner, supervising.




Here is Toto.  His humans are our friends Ron and Steve.  We had the privilege of being invited over into their inner sanctum full of glittering lights, skillfully restored antiques, and kooky memorabilia collections.  (One whole room was devoted to The Wizard of Oz!)  They are among the very few people who have proven themselves to be friends here in this unfriendly place.  Where kindness and hospitality are rare, you learn to appreciate the exceptions more.

Here is a frosty interior window this morning, and the Skullies holding down their narrowing space amid the boxes.



Not much to tell, other than lots of pre-move business.  Each account closed has a satisfying final ring to it.

We said farewell to our primary care office, which we will not miss.  Suffice it to say, nonprofessional phobia and ignorance.  More enjoyable was picking up moving supplies at Lowes.  I love Lowes.  Extreme Bungees!  (I just like to say Bungees!)  We’re systematically ticking things off our countdown list.  Are we there yet?

Here is a Bell’s Michigan Belgian-style Winter White Ale, smooth with a natural spice aroma, perfect for a drab, cold winter day.  I’ve liked pretty much everything by Bell’s.



Today we took care of more pre-move business–boring, mundane, but necessary.  Then more packing of boxes.  We’re in serious countdown mode.

It’s hard to get excited when I know my son is struggling with grief, sleep deprivation, depression, and sick kids who must be attended to, all while trying to earn a living to support everyone.  What affects him affects me.  I just hope I can be of some use or comfort when we get there.

On a cheerier note, here is “cookie porn”, by E.  They have M&Ms.  Deadly.


Seeing It Through

It will be a relief to leave behind literal sewage backed up into our basement all the time, due to archaic, inadequate infrastructure.  When we report it, people never believe what we live with until they witness it for themselves.  Then they’re astonished that there are those who actually live like this and have no recourse, because we’re poor in a poor area, and nobody gives a f–k.

Likewise with the water, electrical, and power grids and systems that well-off people take for granted–we can’t.  People resign themselves to this neglect, so it’s perpetuated.  Those who can move away do, while those who can’t afford to, make do with scraps and low expectations.

I know that moving and buying a house, taking some control of our situation, are not some magic panacea to life’s dilemmas.  I have no such illusions.  It doesn’t give meaning or purpose to my life.  For me, it’s more like a last minute reprieve from the little hope or prospects I had for surviving what time I have left, for which I’m grateful.

I’ve learned from recent experience not to get my hopes or expectations up too high, because we can never control all the moving parts.  But it’s another chance to start again, on our own terms, not subject to others’ agendas or ignorance, and maybe even get closer to my family in whatever time is left.

I may not get to accomplish anything much in my lifetime, but committing to something, however modest, and seeing it through, has to count for something.

Erev cheers from the Skullies.

Giving Notice

Today we officially gave our one month notice to the landlord.  Once again it was a sentimental hugfest.  They (and the cheap rent) have been good to us, affording us a transition period in which to gather our wits and resources to make this all possible.  They’re also relieved to be able to finally unload this building, which was pretty much of a loss for them.

Over at our friend Ron’s shop (with the pony), we arranged for some help moving from people they know.  Another person who had promised to be here bailed on us, but some nice girls from the Tavern agreed to help, so hopefully we’re covered.  This area seems to be notorious for apathetic, unreliable people when it comes to getting help.  I think all the good people already left Ohio for Tennessee!

Here’s Ron’s pony.  It’s sleeping.



Material Essence

As chaotic as a major move can seem, for an OCD chaosphobe (?) like me it can be a great advantage.

There’s no more effective organizing/purging force than having to sort, filter, and prioritize all your crap.  By the time most of it is packed, what you’re left with is the basic essentials of your life, not coincidentally the same items you’ll need first at the other end.  Y’know, coffee, booze, stuffed animals, toilet paper, the important things in life.

Here’s how OCD I am: every box is color-coded for our unloading convenience.  Ten different colors in combination codes, to indicate categories.  Roll your eyes, but I’ll have the last laugh.

It’s always interesting to be reminded of how few actual necessities and important keepsakes there are amidst all the piles of accumulated stuff.  It reduces you to your material essence.  Which of course is very different from your actual nature or core, but it reveals a lot about your priorities.

All systems appear to be GO for liftoff.  The timing and costs will be very tight, and then we’ll have to tighten the belt even more after landing, but we’ll make it.  We’re much more fortunate than the average person in our position.




Freak Storm

In keeping with the brooding mood of yesterday, this strange, freakish storm happened last night.  Nothing like this (in E’s memory) has ever occurred here in January.

It was still 54 F at almost 10PM, weird in itself, and frequent lightning strikes kept lighting up the sky.  Then the thunder started. Wind picked up and loud hail-like things were crashing against all the windows at once, to the point that we were sure our thin panes would break. They didn’t, but you could still feel the wind blowing through the apartment.

This continued for a while, then it all simmered down, except heavy rain and wind.  It was the most bizarre, freakish weather for this time of year we’ve ever experienced here, or for that matter, anywhere.  No question climate change is mixing up the natural order.

This morning, dawn made a brave attempt, then yielded to the dark, glowering clouds moving in.  It’s like nature imitating the mood I’m trying to resist and not give in to.  So many changes going on right now, personally, in loved ones’ lives, in the world, and in nature itself, it’s easy to succumb to pessimism, but I have to hope that some good will come of it all.