Thursday, December 30, 2010

So Goes '10

With tomorrow, another year comes sliding down the slope to the end.  Times they do change.  I suppose I should do the requisite retrospect but somehow it seems a little pointless.  Like the '70s, I lived through it once and shouldn't have to re-run a condensed version of the whole smash again.  Let's just say it's been, like the Chinese curse, interesting times; not completely good, not all bad, the end of some chapters, a few milestones passed; some awful, horrible days but a lot of bright blue skies to chase away the darkness.  Even when I wondered if there'd ever again be light, there came sunny days.  Another page in my timebook, a tick  of the clock and that's all she wrote.

It was above all else, life as I know it; warts and all, wonderful and terrible and so very much like so many of the other years in my five decades come and gone.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  We lived it and that's enough.

A highway once travelled can't ever be completely new again and no road can be ridden the same way twice so at the end of the day, I'm content to see this year roll away behind me like all those summertime miles on 81 South.  It'll be alright to watch it disappear under the wheels and around the bend without a fuss.  It'll be alright to know things are as they should be.

Yes, most of'll be alright.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quiet and Cold

This post started on Sunday, stretched through Tuesday and ended up on Wednesday.  Somehow these things happen...

Up and around early today.  I was wiped out last night and conked with a house full of people.  Chris covered for me and held the fort but I kept drifting off in the middle of sentences and fading in and out of conversations.  I only slept a couple of hours yesterday morning after I got home and these days I find that I just can't operate 24+ at a time without some pretty serious consequences to my disposition.  The long trips and constantly flipping from days to nights keeps me off balance and out of sync with the rest of the world and last night I had to pay the piper.  I only vaguely remember crawling into the sheets and that was that until the dogs whined at the door to go out.  The critters always get priority.

A few minutes later, coffee firmly in hand, furballs safely back in the house and eyeballs focused at last, I stepped back outside and took a pause to look up at the hill behind the new domicile.  It was one of those rare early mornings that I've always been so fond of...absolutely still and bitter cold.  No noise, no breeze, not even a bird singing yet.  I wait for times like this.  It's like the whole Earth holds its breath for just a second before it wakes up and gets on with the uproar of another day.  The sky is bright but the sun hasn't peeked over the trees yet down here on the ground and for only a little time, there's peace.

If I could catch those minutes of silence and put them in a jar like we did with lightning bugs when we were kids, I'd take off the lid and turn them loose when it gets really dark and noisy in the world.  The quiet amid the racket of our lives would be good for us all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Move Ongoing

I know everybody (who am I kidding?  There's only like two people who read this) is probably getting tired of hearing about our move.  Well, guess what?  We're still at it.  If I live through this, I think I might just take root and never, ever do anything like it again.  I might have to sell the old place still full at the rate we're going.  We've been trucking for a week steady and the end is not in sight.  There's a lot to be said for having a bunch of big galoots box it all up and carry it out to a truck while the homeowner supervises.  The bad part about that is...they usually want a fairly large chunk of change to provide this little service.  On top of that it just didn't seem logical to load it all in a semi, pull out of one driveway, turn into the next one and unload it all again.  Even if we could have afforded it, the ridiculously short duration of the trip and the extravagant price tag wouldn't ever have worked for me.  We tossed the idea around but elected to do the job ourselves at a more leisurely pace and save the cash.  Good thing since painting, plumbing and a few other unforeseen difficulties cropped up.

I did manage to rope a pack of my son's teenage pals into doing some heavy lifting in return for pizza and a place to crash in the new digs.  They helped drag the big stuff around and saved me from probable hospitalization had I done it alone.  Some of it just barely fit in the pickup bed and the rain was a real plus until it turned to sleet and snow halfway through the job.  Did I mention that we had several inches of rain and flash floods in the midst of all this?  I think I did but just let me say flat out poured like you read about.  I was beginning to think bad Karma but it could have just been crummy timing as opposed to actual divine retribution.  The outcome was about the same.

Yes, it's been kind of a lot of hauling and a lot of stuff with a tiny truck but at least most of the things I can't lift alone are finally in.  Now it's a matter of finding a spot for everything as it comes out of the boxes and then locating it again when you want to use it.  Case in point:  When I got home the other night, I looked all over the place for a wine glass as I thought they were already here and put away.  Not so fast and not that easy...I searched every cupboard; in the dishwasher, all the drawers, through the pantry twice and orbited the kitchen to the point of just tipping the bottle in frustration.  In the end, I finally wound up fishing one out of...guess what?  A box.  I shoulda known.

We still have to get to the attic in Old Drafty and sort that mess out, along with the minor disaster that is the rest of the place.  My old office alone may require earth moving equipment to dig out once I chew into that project.  God forbid that anyone show up to look at the place right now because they'd most likely laugh themselves unconscious before they got two rooms into it.  We might get an offer of about six bucks for the whole thing the way it looks today, if we got an offer at all.  I seriously doubt it.

I know we'll get through it all eventually but it's for sure been a handful and a headache.  The new place is at least starting to feel like home and the critters have found new places to lounge so it'll be OK.  But it's been an awfully long hundred yard trip from one life to another.