Thursday, February 05, 2004

Busy week

My first chance at a computer in about a week... I thought I'd give y'all an update! Ok, so with respect to moving - Bernie helped out hugely in getting my big stuff moved into the truck on Friday. Then, Anna and Penny were miraculous in wrapping up my last minute packing, organizing and loading on Saturday, along with Camil and Hamid (and a star appearance from Peter who applied physics to the load rearrangement, preventing damage). We worked from 12 to 3:30-ish and then had some needed barbecue sustenance from Blue Ribbon. I think B and I were able to leave Arlington around 8-ish, once we had packed up the rest of the food (!), took out the garbage, and cleaned the apartment. We made sure everything was secure in the truck and drove on down to Rehoboth (an hourlong drive south).

We flopped into the family room with B's family and watched as Aston tried to get used to 2 cats, 2 4-week old kittens, 1 shelty, and 1 tibetan terrier (quite the menagerie)... Aston was hissing at these tiny kittens that were 1/30th her physical size. She just isn't used to being around other animals. Incidentally, the other animals were unfazed and couldn't figure out why the fat cat was making such a fuss.

After getting up at 8 on Sunday morning, we had a leisurely breakfast and coffee with B's parents and really took our time. I felt completely exhausted from the past week and was content to ease out of Massachusetts slowly. :-) So, we hit the road around 10:30 and drove west and south through MA, RI, CT, New York state (but studiously avoiding the city), Pennsylvania (we spent a looooong time in Pennsylvania) and finally southwest into Hagerstown, MD for the night. Day 2 on Monday started early - 7 am - and we drove west through that little horizontal piece of MD with barely room for the highway. From there, into West Virginia for lunch. Apart from the scariness of West Virginians, there was nice mild weather to greet us and a car wash very convenient to our gas/lunch stop. Needless to say, my car needed the cleaning and I managed to get the white salt buildup rinsed off. West Virginia also seemed to go on forever as we drove west and then wound down to the southwest and into Kentucky. We cut through the top of Kentucky and on into Indiana. Stayed the night just outside of Evansville, IN after driving through heavy rain and found a slight snowy glaze on everything the next morning.

Unfortunately, my passenger side door froze open when I put Aston back in the car, so we stayed in the hotel room with the car running for nearly an hour until the door was able to shut (the lovely and annoying quirks of my 96 VW). So, back on the road and we had a third long day driving through some very boring, barrren cornfields of Indiana and Illinois. Things got a little more interesting - or at least more hilly - as we crossed into Missouri. Our stop outside of St Louis for lunch fine but with it, the realization that we had about 5 more hours of driving into Tulsa. The weather was fine on this third day - cold, but fine. We laughed our way through Missouri's plentiful billboards advertising "adult superstores" in the middle of nowhere with bright pink billboards placed next to the advertisement that would say "Porn ruins lives"... an equal number of "adult" billboards and "JESUS" billboards, I'd say. Driving through the southwestern part of the state was definitely hillbilly country and there were "Ozark Family Village" signs and Exotic Animal Paradise Park signs that scared us more than anything. We continued on.

Getting into Tulsa was truly comforting when I realized just how different it was from the surrounding states/countryside. We drove through TRAFFIC (they have traffic at 5 pm!) and on to the new house. It is *really* fabulous. B did an amazing job picking out this place - I wouldn't have dared to dream for anything so nicely situated and put together. (If you're not female or a metrosexual male, skip over the rest of this paragraph.) It is a bungalow/ranch house (all one floor, no basement in these parts) with a single car garage. The neighbourhood (and yard) has large deciduous trees that will be beautiful once they wake up in spring. You walk into the living room of the house which is about the size of my old living room, perhaps, slighly narrower. It is painted a taupe colour with white crown molding and white baseboards. The large front window is trimmed in white with wide california shutters on the window and a fabric valence and trim in a lovely coordinating colour. The dining room is straight ahead through a wide doorway from the living room and is painted a sage green with a white chair rail, and molding. There are sliding doors out to the (large) backyard. Off the dining room is a cute kitchen that has very purposely (and well-done) distressed cabinets and brand new dishwasher, fridge and stove. There is a little counter and coordinated stool (covered in fabric that matches the fabric valence above the white shutters over the kitchen window). There is a door to the garage here - the garage is for a single car but it is deep and has washer and dryer in it right off the kitchen.

On the left front of the house is the master bedroom, painted a lighter taupe colour with white trim and white shutters on the windows. The double cupboards have matching shuttered doors... the bathroom is twice as deep as my old bathroom with a vanity counter with 3 sides of mirrors off to the side when you come in. Straight ahead are the tub, sink, toilet and more cupboards. The freshly painted bathroom has yellow walls and black and white tile in kind of an art deco/retro kind of look. At the rear of the house is the 2nd bedroom or home office. It is painted an okay light blue and is a really good size for an office. The whole place is really great. Oh! and the floors in the living room and dining room are dark stained wood (my favourite), kitchen floors are ceramic tile, and bedroom is carpeted in off-white. I really love the place and it is about 50 yards down the road from a large pond that houses back on to (not sure if we can access it)... there are swan crossing signs on our road though. :-) A little further down in what is ostensibly the same neighbourhood, there are very huge houses on enormous lots. Walgreen's and Blockbuster are on our "corner" (large main intersection a half mile away), so very convenient. I am about 2 miles from the river which has a great jogging/rollerblading path along it.

So we rolled into South Gary Drive at 5:30 pm on Tuesday Feb 3rd. We unloaded the car and truck in an hour (!) with the help of one of Brendan's friends (keeping in mind that I didn't lift anything too heavy given my back). I set up the bedroom and the toiletries in the bathroom as Brendan went out to pick up his car and get dinner. The outside temp there was around freezing. Unfortunately, there was no heat in the place (gas company needed us to be there to come and turn on the heat) and we could see our breath in the air. We huddled around in the kitchen with oven on (we had electricity obviously) and ate pizza at about 9:30. We stayed at Brendan's apartment overnight where there was hot water and heat... those luxuries! Brendan took me to the airport at 9:30 the next morning for my flight (!) By the time I called B after my Tulsa to Cincinnati flight, it was 12:30 and he had the kitchen boxes unpacked and the gas company was just arriving to turn on the heat.

As you can imagine it was a little disorienting to get there and fly right out again... but I am sitting here at 11:30 in my pj's, about to go shopping with my dad on what would have been his surgery day while my mom is out showing a house. In the long run, it is good to be able to have a leisurely visit as he still prepares for surgery. (Looks like a check in on his blood again in 2 weeks and then surgery). I also will be trying to see my 40 yo cousin. She has always had congenital heart problems, but just sent an email yesterday saying that she wasn't doing very well. I know that she has been on the heart transplant list for years now and I'm hoping isn't as bad off as her email sounded.

Sooo, I think I'm a lot more calm now... my stuff is in my fabulous new place, Brendan and Aston are *really* getting to know each other while I'm away and he's tending to her (did I mention that he is using her for a behavioural modification experiment for a class assignment?), the drive is over with and apart from the monumental task of unpacking and organizing my quantity of stuff in my new office into a usable space, I'm feeling much, much more relaxed. Still have tons to do in changing over insurance for car, home, and medical, as well as getting up and running with work, but I'm with my honey now and we survived the most stressful part. :-)) I have to say that those walkie talkies we had on the trip were FUN. The three days of fake southern accents and commenting on the surroundings were entertaining.

I'm going to go off now and do some shopping with my dad. My 12 yo nephew (Daniel) has a hockey tournament this weekend that starts tonight and is "at home" - so down the road. I'm planning on driving through Tim's, picking up an extra large double double with a party pack of TimBits and going to the arena at 8 pm. My niece, Valerie, turned 11 last weekend, so I will be finding a belated bday gift for her today... (2/5/04)

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