More Packing

Packing has been slow going. When I was younger I could stay up late doing repetitive tasks like packing but now I haven’t the enthusiasm for it. I kept waiting for it to happen, that burst of get-it-done energy, but it never came. I planned for mornings when I could sleep in an hour or two, but no, it’s been the same slow pace all along: a few boxes a day, for weeks.

There was an almost-running–out-of-tape emergency, but I handled it with the plodding efficiency of the middle-aged, taking the opportunity to count how many more boxes I’d need, and taking the opportunity to get more packing paper.  I returned, repacked a few boxes in the basement, and got showered with mouse droppings when I pulled down the topmost box from a tall stack, but the reward was an old dish-pack full of paper. We won’t be running out of paper.
Over the summer and early fall, the dog Cherry has gotten old. It used to be that she’d stay close and always come when called, and then there were a few days where she seemed not to hear me unless I was pretty loud and making eye contact, but now she’s not hearing anything said by anyone. You can walk into a room where she is napping and offer dinner or treats or a walk and she doesn’t even wake up. You can open the door of her kennel and she may not come out. You can call her name from fifteen feet away, or five feet away and she doesn’t turn to you. She no longer seems to hear anything at all.


It must be strangely isolating to wake up in a silent world, and she seems hungrier and more shivery and worried than before, but also, she putters on our walks and is kind of disobedient. She eats weird stuff (I think it’s all poo of one kind and another) and takes her time about catching up with Captain and me, and takes shortcuts back to the house to sit and wait for us, rather than go the long way around.
It’s sad, because she now seems old and dried up and suddenly thin, and at 13 she is almost as old as any Vizsla we’ve had. She now barks more often with her gruffest, angriest loud bark, the one she used to save for very important things like strange kids playing in our front yard or an especially impudent squirrel.
Moving may be hard on her, and it will certainly be tough on the cat; he will have to be confined to a small bathroom while the movers are here loading. I have put yellow sticky notes on the empty cabinets (so I stop checking inside) and anything that belongs to the landlord.


I’ve had to go through the house and mark everything that belongs to the landlord with a pale yellow sticky notes that say “STAY” or “STAYS” depending on the grammar of my imagination as I scribble it. Sticky notes do not want to stick to dusty basement boxes. I will have to supervise the movers down there.
I got three estimates from local movers, the first and last came out similar in price and logistical considerations; both felt it needs to be a two-day affair. One offered one truck over two days, making two trips. The other suggested two trucks, loaded the first day and delivered the second.
The mover with the most expensive estimate showed up late and had more trouble rebooting his tablet (all three had Windows tablet problems of various kinds). He didn’t seem to count the boxes as carefully as the first or last one did, and he told me, “I’m not trying to sell you anything!” when he tried to sell me an insurance policy. He also commented on how many books we have; sure, we have a lot of books. I also have a lot of boots, but women are supposed to have a lot of boots, so he didn’t comment about the boots.


So I’m trying to figure out how to pack a musical saw and a fragile model of a human skull fashioned from flexible wire and the residents of TheFaraway Planet and about 40 bottles of cleaning liquids that the car nuts want to keep while the movers all insisted, “We don’t take liquids.”

We are all mostly water, movers. We are all mostly water.

Further Adventures Following the Snow Storm

The snow was exciting and our house was warm once we made it in. Not long after, the power went out and we were plunged into darkness.  Snow makes things very quiet, and all we could hear was the sound of trees collapsing under the weight of wet,heavy snow.  It sounded like distant gun-fire.   
My husband, a computer scientist and electrical engineer by training, is a relentless trouble-shooter, and able to build fires in  less than optimal situations. It was necessary to liberate many armloads of firewood from our landlord’s supply, next door, but it was an emergency and only October after all.  Who is ready for winter weather in October?  We were short on batteries, candles, and drinking water, too. But the relentless trouble-shooter kept the fires stoked, and went out for candles and drinking water, and we had a day and a half of comfortable in-house camping.
Monday was when there was no longer enough water in the toilets to flush them, and the relentless trouble-shooter took the train in to the city for work.  School was cancelled for lack of power. Our schedule was full of appointments in the city on Tuesday and Thursday, and NYSE&G was showing on its web site that our power would be restored Friday.  At this point, we decided that a hotel in the city with flushing toilets, hot showers, central heat, and room service was better than a cold house.  The dogs were dropped at the doggy-day-care center where they spent regular times during the summer, and they trotted in as if they’d been there just last week.  The cat, I am sad to admit, was left with three heaping bowls of food, four bowls of water, and our best wishes.  We drove to the city and handed off the car to valet parking.  
Our first order of business was getting a haircut for the son of the relentless trouble-shooter, and mid-town has a barber on almost every block. A decent haircut was obtained, along with several whispered compliments on the handsomeness of the son of the relentless trouble-shooter.  This was embarrassing. Worse, there were people in costumes on the sidewalks of Manhattan, because, of course, it was actually Halloween. 
By Wednesday, NYSE&G had restored power to half of the town, including the school, and students were expected back. I stopped by the house to check on the cat, and while he was a little chilly, he was in good spirits and did not seem distressed. Outdoors, I could hear the drone of the neighbors’ generators.  Our power returned Thursday, although our internet service was not restored until late Friday. 
I have spoken to the landlord about stealing their firewood, and placed an order for our own supply.