Thursday, March 6, 2008

The beginning of the first week

I am going to try to catch up with the news...

Thursday Feb 28 We picked up the truck and car trailer on Thursday afternoon and the follies began almost as soon as we got home. Plans to quickly unhitch the trailer and pull the truck into position so I could help K load the layout bench and/or my heavy desk before dressing and heading down to the Waterfowl Weekend event did not materialize. The trailer would not unhitch. After much frustration, a call to Penske got a promise of “road service”... in 60-90 min (from Jacksonville...) so I left a very frustrated K and headed down to photograph my event.

The shoot went well, despite my camera having sustained damage to the view screen when I dropped it a while back (new camera is on the list from the proceeds of the Park Service project...) and as always the food was great. The word had got around that I was heading to Maine and I had to explain why Maine, why now, many times.

I was very surprised when, before the speaker, I was presented a plaque by the Museum Board of Directors, thanking me for my many contributions over the last five years. The speaker was wonderful as well, and though I had intended to cut out early to load the truck I did enjoy hanging around to listen. I did manage to disappear quickly after he closed, to avoid the good byes, but in the process forgot the little decoys I was buying for gifts later.

Oh, well, I would need to return the carpet machine the next day and planned to pick them up at that time anyway...

Friday Feb 29 We did not get started loading until Friday, and got a late start at that. Nothing seemed to want to go smoothly... and then we discovered that the electric and water, which I had ordered cut off on Friday as I did not want them on in the unoccupied building over the weekend, got cut off EARLY... electric at 9 AM! Water shortly thereafter... so no cleaning was possible. I returned the unused carpet machine, picked up the decoys and got back to helping load. K was not feeling well... between the flu that hadn't quite left and his other health issues, he pushed hard but often had to rest. I kept going, being frustrated though as I like to have EVERYTHING packed a day or so before the truck arrives and in this move, there were many boxes of “whatever” loaded as we were loading the truck. I needed to be in two places at once and couldn't quite manage.

As we lost the light, and the truck was not even half loaded, we got a couple of propane lanterns and continued on... I packed truck and packed boxes until 4 am when I could not stagger any farther and caught a catnap on the couch, which we had not yet put on the curb.

Saturday March 1 Come dawn on Saturday, we were back at it... packing like mad fools to complete the job. It was a good thing we opted for the larger, 22 ft truck, as in the end it was stuffed, as was Artie on the trailer and the Subaru as well.

We finally headed out mid-afternoon Saturday, on little sleep. We drove as far as we could and then napped in the vehicles. Turns out my “power naps”were seriously at odds with K's system, as it took him almost as long to fall asleep as it took me to do a complete nap (which he didn't tell me until we got to Maine and were done) but he had said for me to set the pace, so I did....

Sunday March 2 Slowly (or so it seemed) on account of the slow acceleration on the diesel truck. Any time I had a grade or any sort, or had to slow for other traffic, it seems I dropped to 40 mph or less and it took a long time to regain speed. After much discussion and fussing, we decided to just follow 95, as I had on my vacation trip north, so we went through the Geo Washington bridge in NY – this time with no delay. The frost heaves in NY were something though... and on one of my hits of them, I almost lost the pickup. The device to secure the front tires in place on the trailer on one side had a tendency to come loose, so that required frequent attention through the rest of the trip.

We finally arrived at the pet friendly motel my friend had located for us near midnight Sunday night/Monday morning. By then, the plants had mostly frozen and all froze in the layover that night. We had an upstairs room and it was a chore to get the cats up for the night... small carriers were no problem but the larger ones hard and in the end we left the largest one in the truck and hand-carried the two tomcats up.

Monday March 3 We had a two-room suite and had left the bird cage in the closed off second bedroom, but during the night the cats breached the door and managed to kill one of the finches, as well as making a mess of dog food and dog water on the carpet. We did manage to get on the road again and out to Milo rolling into town just at 11 am when we were to meet with the landlord at the rental trailer that was to be out temporary digs.

As I was stopping in town to give him a call to ascertain where was the best spot to park the rig to unhitch the trailer, etc. the phone rang. It was Microdyne calling... yet again... wanting to know if I was in Maine yet. I mentally put them on the “call back later” list and proceeded with my plan.

A local friend, Forest Beekeeper, had shown up and was waiting at the trailer, so he came into town to lead me out to where we needed to be, to help unload, and I left him and K to deal with trailer and truck issues while I met with the Realtor/landlord and signed the rental agreement.

The trailer was a MESS... the a remodel job in progress... with the living room full of soaking wet pressure treated lumber for the steps that were to be rebuilt... the existing ones were (and as of this writing still are...) decaying badly, with one step only half a board and all of them, stoop and steps alike, covered with a dangerous layer to snow and ice.

Inside it wasn't all THAT bad, at least the walls were intact and the floors covered with new linoleum. Kitchen cabinets at one end of the single wide are dark wood, funky and dirty and though there was a propane stove, and a bit of gas, there is as of yet no fridge. We have been promised one as soon as the weather clears.

Tuesday March 4 We also had no water for the first night and though they got it working, they did not get the heat tape installed and it froze up at dawn the second day. I had asked about leaving it running and was told that keeping the cupboards open would be sufficient. Right... I left it running last night... We did manage to get the truck returned to Bangor and did a bit of shopping on Tuesday evening

Wednesday March 5 Meanwhile we are supposed to get Roadrunner installed today (or so I thought... turned out the appt was for Thursday, and a good thing as we had a major ice storm most of today) and I have begun cleaning the kitchen and putting some stuff away. It is a fine line between being able to function while we look for our real home and “moving in” here, which we do not intend to do. And despite having heard “no jobs...” as a litany on the Internet board, and having wanted at first through the end of the week... then after the disaster of a move and being ill and hurting as only an old woman who is NOT used to being a Teamster can hurt, having decided on an extra week or two before I began my job hunt, it appears I will have to begin work Monday, or at least begin training (at $8 an hour) for a tech support job with Microdyne. No, I am not really bitching... my interview Friday comes with the new moon and that is a good sign for me, but it does put a different spin on things.

But there are no regrets. We are in Maine, more or less hunkered down through the first storm of our residency here... a sleet/freezing rain event yesterday. I need a new coat (mine no longer zips) and K needs real boots. The skies, even here in town, are awesome and dark enough to show me many many constellations and background stars and the 7 sisters and such. Even in our little town, which really does roll up the sidewalks at 7 pm (one of the two pizza places closes, the IGA, etc.) we have found a wonderful old fashioned hardware store, and the IGA has a wonderful selection, so I am told... haven't been there yet...

My body is trying to get used to the dry climate... brushing fly-away hair and dry skin that needs lotion that I have not found yet.

With the storm and no net, yet I am behind on client stuff so that will be remedied today and I will run into Bangor to the library if necessary to upload while K babysits the trailer waiting for the cable guy. And I will eventually get back on a decent sleep schedule... I am waking after midnight and not being able to go back to sleep at this point... left over from the drive-nap-drive routine I think.

Hopefully the weather will be good this weekend so we can get into the storage unit, sort and shuffle... my hanging clothes ended up there, and stuff that we do not need ended up here. But I do have one dress for my interview tomorrow and my good shoes and hopefully they will get the water heater fixed so that we have HOT, not just warm water... otherwise I will heat up kettles on the stove for my first bath and continue to make do.

The list of things to do in Bangor continues to grow... discontinue to mail forward is #1, set up checking account for myself and for the business is #2 and 3, and getting the electric in my name is also on the list... but until the place is right, I am not pushing to do that. We did get a load of oil for the furnace and propane for cooking, so we are beginning to get settled.

And that's the report from the slow lane.


Robin said...

Welcome Home!

You'll love the full moon in this sky. It is spectacular.

Amelia said...

Sounds like the stuff my frustration dreams are made of! I find myself repeating "this, too, shall pass... eventualy"