June 24, 2013
Click Clock Lock, ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 26
The first day I walked to work from my new, temporary for the time being, hopefully permanent for the long haul residence. Raincoat, umbrella, lunch bag, house keys, garbage, purse; and then a second thought about taking the garage door opener with me since I would be leaving through the garage. I stuck my head out and noticed that my neighbor’s bay was open. It seemed like a good idea to scoot out through her door, then I wouldn’t have to worry about clicking mine closed. Besides, I reasoned, I wasn't sure how long the walk would take for sure. When I had started gathering my gear, the clock had shown a respectable 7:32 AM. Going back would just waste time. Yep, house keys were really all I needed.
On my way, I stopped to toss away my first bag of garbage and realized that this was now the place I’d be. No going back. I wasn’t as unhappy about that as I have been. After a regular day’s work, I enjoyed my new 3 minute, walking commute. I gave a passing glance to the garage doors, and headed straight for the front door, as last-minute planned this morning. Grabbing the screen door handle, I was surprised when it did not budge.
Then, I remembered. It was such lovely weather yesterday that I had left the front door open for the light and breeze, and had flipped the bolt on the screen door to eliminate any chance of curious kitty escape. Now, though, there was also no chance of me getting in that way. Employing just an internal twist mechanism, there is no key for the screen door bolt. So, I wandered back around the corner with the hopeful thought that the panel perched outside the garage would only require a push on an “Open-Sesame” button.
Please do keep in mind that I have not had a garage for over 15 years. I’ve mostly lived in apartments. There was that one time, though in Tennessee. It was attached to a rental, and not available for car parking as it was fully used for storage by the owners.
Yes, my parents last few homes had them. Yes, my brother’s home has one. Admittedly, I’ve never paid much attention to the things. And remembering the codes has never happened. The problem now was, as you who use garage door openers regularly know, there was no “Open-Sesame” button and I had never seen any documents mentioning a manual code. 9999 didn’t work. 1234 didn’t work, either. Neither did 456. With a deep breath, I gathered up my courage and knocked on my neighbor’s door, glad that we had met and already spoken in polite conversation for a few minutes each time. I would simply ask her to open her garage so that I could use my house keys to get in through the access door.
She was, unfortunately, not home. OK. I plopped down in the cement steps to regroup, and thankfully recalled a college incident where some sloshed students managed to gain entrance to our living room via removal of the screen windows. That’s another long silly story involving me threatening them with a cold curling iron and my Australian postal roommate with a mathematics book in hand. Inspired by the memory, I was pleased to have another route to pursue. everything happens for a reason ,right?
I rose slowly, walked calmly, doing my best to appear unsuspicious. In my bright pink raincoat with my bright pink and neon orange handbag, I breezed around the side of the townhouse where the near floor-to-ceiling windows are. Sigh.
The good news is that my windows are secure. Apparently very secure. The bad news was there was no way to remove one without tearing it, unless you were planning to rip the screens out. Gathering up more courage, I thought maybe now would be a good time to meet my neighbors on the other side. (to be continued…)
June 16, 2013
Shuffle Off, ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 25
Having successfully juggled various sized moving boxes and armfuls of unwieldy things that needed to be placed, it was time to wrap up another day of unwrapping and head back out to where my furniture remained.
Ready to move on, I noticed there was a storage lid on the new living room floor. Not sure how it got there. Must have gone rogue and jumped out of some over-stuffed box. Since I am determined to have everything I’ve already moved put in it’s proper place, I decide to take immediate action. Shouldn’t have been a big deal, but this is how it went down:
Shuffle over (30 or so flights of stairs in 48 hours will make ya do that).
Bend, oompf, grab, straighten, turn. Launch the lid across the room. "Really?" - said it aloud.
Short snort. Shuffle, bend, oompf, grab, straighten, turn, drop. "Really?" - said it aloud, a little louder.
Deep breath, exhaustive sigh. Bend, oompf, grab, straighten, shuffle, stumble over a couchless couch pillow. Hastily release the rogue lid in favor of a double-handed countertop grab. Narrowly avoid a potential floor kiss, where I might have potentially stayed if my super sore shuffling feet refused to support me any longer.
Squinting down at the demon plastic disc, I split-second calculate the comedic cost of another bend-oompf- straighten routine for the mere amusement benefit of my staring feline friends. Their startled silence and wide-eyed head tilts seem to be asking me, “Don’t you think you should quit while you’re ahead?” Along the same lines, I recall a hilariously ascerbic WC Fields admonition, “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.” I quickly self-decline the effort. No, it’s just not worth it.
"Well, then. Guess that's where it's stayin'." - said it aloud.
At the point you start thinkin'"that's that," you realize there's really only one thing left to do.
Shuffle around the counter, making sure I super securely grab and clutch the keys.
Shut and locked the door behind me, shuffled off. So, there.
June 11, 2013
Box/Car, ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 24
Finally, and much too quickly, the last available help day before the movers come arrived.
Status Update: Done boxing, feeling boxed in, today will be box/car day.
I felt badly about not only tricking Freddie into going onto the porch (one of her favrite things), but then having to sequester her with Blu. I usually try to make sure they don’t have to share a small space. I plan on making it up to them both by promising myself to allow them some porch sitting later in the evening. I’m sad to be taking that away from them. They really do enjoy it.
In addition to the already accomplished shift of four on Wednesday, there were more three shifts occurred. The first group was made up of one adult and two children. I wasn’t really expecting the children and did my best to establish impromptu rules.
If it’s too heavy, put it down.
If you get tired, sit down.
If you’re hot or thirsty, stop to take a drink.
No one will be angry with you.
After two full trips, the trio and I a welcomed a third adult. I had sort of forgotten mentioning the need for help, so I wasn’t expecting them, either. One more trip with all of us, a truck and two cars, a drive-thru lunch, and the original trio took their leave. Then, if was just me and another adult. We had a short sit down, and I decided that instead of lugging more boxes, I really needed to fill some more up with last minute items, breakdown the pantry shelves to take with me, and start one last load of laundry in the apartment.
I went into the bedroom to gather sheets and came out of the bedroom with the realization that I was no longer in possesion of any pillows on which to lay my weary head on after the day was done. I made a mental note to move some back from the new place to the old. I hated to be counterproductive, but my comfort that evening was going to be an issue.
Anyway, I was headed in to start the laundry, when I realized I wouldn’t be able to because the kitties were safely tucked away. So, instead we heaved one more load of boxes down to my car, while I waited for the third shift; another adult and two teenagers. Two round trips and a stop at Art Van, later, another drive-thru, and on the verge of exhaustion, we were done doing what we could do. The rest would be up to the movers.
I got the laundry started, took the little furballs outside for one last time. I ran in to switch the wsher load to the dryer and sat down on the couch to review my list of everything. I noticed that the dryer sounded weird, and not really at all like a dryer. I figured out that was because I hadn’t started the dryer; I started the washer again, empty.
As I ran to shut the off the , two pillows on the kitchen counter caught my eye. I was very glad for that, since I had forgotten to search for them at the condo. Since I already had half a tub full of water, I tossed those in there, and then started the dryer. I was just about to park it on the couch again when I had another thought. I went back, threw some soap in, and settled down again.
I was going to relieve my mind of thinking and play some silly online games, but I couldn’t find my mouse. I remember putting it in the last-minute basket, which unfortunately was taken over before the last-minute and deposited GOD knows where over there. So, I sat on the porch while the cycles ran through, enjoying my critters’ enjoyment of the view and the birds and the breeze. When the solar porch light clicked on, I gathered them up, gently deposited them inside, apologized again for the impending nature deprivation. I don’t like it more anymore than they will. Uprooting them, and me, is going to be for the best, even though we will all miss the place we grew comfortable with. The last thing I remember is smiling an exhausted acheivements-accomplished smile; and my head hitting the nice clean pillows.
June 04, 2013
Receiving Followed By , ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 23
Still unsure of the “who and when” of what will and can be moved pre-movers. The movers are paid hourly. They really need to move the furniture, because, yeah, we’re all too old for that. So, it’s my hope to limit their time and effort to an affordable fee. My goal is to create many light boxes with the intent of moving and unpacking them, and reusing the boxes as more volunteers come into view. Then, plans (as they often do, especially mine) … run into an interesting snag.
Two helping hands scheduled for Saturday have canceled into four Wednesday helpers. Ok, I can adjust. I scramble a bit, packing a little less methodically, until I have a few more boxes stacked. I also, hopefully, line up a few lighter pieces of furniture that can easily travel in the back of an open truck if we can get them into the truck. While waiting, I’ve stuffed my car full, too. The momentum has begun.
I want to be fair and at least pay for the gasoline required to run around and up and out and down and in and up with my chicken/book/craft stuff. I think of it as an obligation to acknowledge help that was truly needed and an opportunity to give a gift. It turns out the recipients were reluctant and somewhat insulted. “It’s what you do for friends and family,” I am told. I think back on many situation where I had provided help of some sort. True enough, my friends never offered money. Most times, we were fed, or maybe rallied at the end of a long day at a local, but we mainly did it because we wanted to and because we knew it would be somewhat fun because we’d all be together. It’s important to be part of a community, to feel as if you’ve had a stake in helping someone else, and actively easing them into a new home.
My recent roster of “actives” have blessed me more than I could have imagined. On the heels of that, came a startling quote. Paul Coehlo wrote: “Anyone who loves in the expectation of being loved in return is wasting their time.” Sometimes it comes back around, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it comes out of left field. Sometimes it’s been there all along simmering below the surface. Don’t let the simmering go on too long. Evaporation guarantees every pot will run out of fuel. Empty pots scorch and burn and become useless. That’s just a waste. I use to think love was a lot like fishing. The more lines you cast out, the better the chances of catching a heart.
Still, something about Coehlo’s quote bothered me. We should separate the two? Shouldn’t giving be followed by receiving? Why love if not to be loved in return? It took me while to find the hidden message there. Don’t love for any reason but to love. Love because you are loved already; by a great giving GOD. GOD’s love is limitless; you can never give too much. Believe and GOD will ensure - your supply will never run dry. This is how it must be: Receiving from GOD should be followed by Giving to others. It's just that simple. Just be a source. Love and love and love.