I threw out my snow brush

Next month we’re moving to Florida. So this morning, I bit the bullet and threw out my snow brush.

snow brushOkay, let’s be clear, though. Not my ONLY snow brush. I mean, I still have a smaller one in the back seat. You never know, it might get misty. Or we could have an October frost. I haven’t completely lost my senses.

But my big, trusty, extendable brush, the one that I can use to push a foot or two of snow off the top of my car? I threw that out today. And I’m still kind of weirded out.

Snow doesn’t bother me and never has, except for driving. I know my husband doesn’t share this sentiment, but I’ll miss the white fluffy stuff now and then. I mean, I’ve already had my last white Christmas and I didn’t know it. On top of that I’m not usually great with humidity and I’m moving to a place where it gets downright sweaty.

But there’s air conditioning, just like there was heat up here.

And in Florida there’s our house, too, just waiting for us, with the patio for the kitties and a nice big tub in the gorgeous master bathroom and palm trees and pretty flowers and the Caribbean a short flight away.

The first half of my life had snowmen and winter boots and ice scrapers and cold frosty nights. The second half will have beaches and sun and swimming year round. I wouldn’t trade one for the other, exactly, but I’m ready to give endless summer a try.

FredCo Headquarters Moving to Florida

Fredco logoIn a memo to executives and minions, Fred Kamsler, CEO of FredCo, LLC, announced that the multinational corporation will be moving its headquarters from Long Island to Lake Worth, Florida, at the end of October 2016.

The move has been in the works for some time, although the timetable has moved up — corporate executives had been led to believe that a shift was more likely in 2017. “That’s generally how things work around here, though,” an employee told us. (This interview was given under the condition of complete anonymity and the option to be relocated through the Witness Protection Program.) “We might get a rumor of something coming, but we’re not considered worthy of details or information. We do and go as we’re told.”

FredCo poseNow that the news has gone public, we were able to get a few words from Mr. Kamsler himself, in a remote interview from an undisclosed location. “It’s true, we’re moving the company south,” he confirmed. “I would think the reasons are obvious. Warmer climate. None of that snow nonsense — the plows disturb me. Better flora and fauna. And closer proximity to my off-shore accounts.”

Joining Mr. Kamsler in Florida will be his brother and (honorary) Vice President of FredCo, George. (When asked for comment, George seemed confused and asked a number of questions about powder puff availability in the southern states.) Also accompanying the brothers will be, of course, their parents, Toni and David Kamsler. “This arrangement will allow my father to serve in his role as parental minion in a full time capacity,” the CEO explained. “Brushings were not being given as frequently as I required.” When asked about his mother, Fred looked possessive and ended the interview abruptly.

FredCo, LLC (“Using Your Money For Our Benefit Since 2008”) is a solely-owned and controlled multinational corporation with field offices located around the world. For more information, contact Publicrelations@fredanswerstonoone.com

how did I get here?

yearbook1

With my name spelled wrong and everything.

This is me, in high school. I was voted Most Likely to Succeed. I’m not mentioning that to brag — the opposite, really. It’s more that I sometimes ask myself, how did I get here, from there? Wasn’t I supposed to end up doing something, I don’t know, important?

Honestly, I started out on the wrong foot: the only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was an astronaut. This, despite a fear of heights, speed, fire and airless places, also no aptitude for science and an utter lack of the physical skills needed for astronaut-ing, made that particular goal a pipe dream. So when I graduated from high school, despite a resounding endorsement from my peers, I had no particular idea what I was going to succeed at. I’d been on Debate Team, and I was pretty good at it too, so my yearbook is filled with a lot of “good luck in law school” comments. I have not, however, ever in my life entertained the idea of attending law school. Too dry. Too dull. (Though, I will say that when I was in about third grade I told my mother I didn’t want to be President someday, I wanted to be a Supreme Court judge. Presidents only get to keep their job for 8 years at most. Supreme Court judges get hired for life. This future union member already knew the value of job security.)

During orientation in my first week at Cornell, I wandered into the open house for the Department of Theatre, Film and Dance. Four years later I graduated with a background in costumes and directing. Three months later I quit graduate school before I’d even started, and for the next five years or so I worked at mostly meaningless jobs that didn’t quite pay the bills.

Sooner or later I decided I needed, you know, a career, or something. And in 1998, believe it or not, Library Science was a good field to study if you wanted a job. When I graduated with my Master’s from UB, there were recruiters at the school every semester. I had three job offers to pick from. I chose Amherst Museum. And that’s where I spent the next decade as a solo librarian. I had a great time organizing my library, processing the archives, getting involved in regional professional organizations like WNYLRC, where I spent some time on the Board. It was a terrific experience. I’d be lying, though, if I told you I was following my heart’s desire. Being a librarian mostly appealed to the OCD part of me that liked organizing things. That still likes organizing things. But I saw people who had passion for librarianship. I wasn’t one of them. So when I stopped being a librarian, I missed my colleagues, but not the rest.

So I never did get around to deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now, to be frank, Dave and I both try our best to work as little as possible. 🙂 I have a job but it’s not anything worth mentioning; it’s just a job, not a career. I’m not really anything, professionally, and probably never will be. I’m just a little surprised that doesn’t bother me more.

You know, it’s twenty-five years since that picture was in my yearbook, and I look at it now and think, if I’d done a few things differently, maybe I would have fulfilled that promise and done something “important”. There were few times I believe, objectively, that I made the wrong choice. I should have picked a different major in college, or a different graduate school for theatre, or a different library to work in. Those were turning points for me. And it clarifies things for me to see that now, definitely. But in the age-old tradition of everyone who’s lucky enough to be happy, it doesn’t mean I’d go back and change anything now, if I could. Because whatever I did, right or wrong, I ended up somewhere I want to be. I didn’t succeed the way I thought I was going to, or the way my high school classmates apparently expected I would, but I wouldn’t trade my life for the world, wrong turns, failures, and all.

geographically temporary

A long time ago, someone I thought was a good friend turned out not to be when she said that friendships are “geographically temporary”. Because we no longer lived in the same town, there wasn’t any point in staying friends. That was in another country, and besides, the wench, while not dead, is long unlamented. But I’ve staunchly argued for years the error of her ways.

Of course friends aren’t geographically temporary, not necessarily. Real friendship transcends barriers. Two of my best friends and I have not lived in the same zip code since 1994. Others have moved away and I’ve moved nearer to them. Some friends very dear to my heart have always been an Internet connection away. Distance makes things difficult, but it doesn’t make feelings nonexistant. I met and fell in love with my husband from across the state. And the three years we spent dating long distance was a heck of a lot harder than I could have imagined, but I never once thought of giving up on how I felt for him. Sometimes you have to make an effort when you’re not seeing each other every day, every week, or every month. You have to adjust, but you don’t have to let go.

It doesn’t always work out, though, I guess. Moving here to Long Island has been a little challenging in a number of ways I didn’t expect (oh dear god the accent) but the one I didn’t see coming at all was the way some friendships have started to fade away. It’s 2014, after all, and it’s easier to stay in touch with people than it’s ever been. You’ve got email and text and Skype and Facebook and Twitter; there’s still no teleportation, but it’s damn close. When I was in my twenties I had to keep in touch with my friends through very expensive long distance phone calls, or through — brace yourself — actual real written and mailed letters. While of course we’re all a little relieved it’s easier and cheaper to stay in touch now, I’d venture to say we’d do it again if we had to, because those friendships are invaluable. So when someone stops keeping in touch with you now, when it’s easy, when it takes so little effort… well, the reverse is clearly true, isn’t it?

I’m no saint, and I’ve probably dropped the ball on staying in touch with someone, myself. Maybe I was thoughtless, or maybe, in complete honesty, I meant to. Maybe I’ve put effort into maintaining friendships that mattered the most to me, and let others fall by the wayside. I probably have. We probably all have. Still, while it might be only human, it still hurts. It’s that age-old feeling you get in your stomach when you realize someone meant more to you than you meant to them. It’s a universal experience we’ve all had, from grade school on up — whether it’s a kid in your class, a boy, a girl, a friend, a date, a colleague or anything in between, it always feels exactly the same way whenever you realize that the object of your affection returns the favor with less enthusiasm than your own, and most likely always has.

I don’t think friendship is geographically temporary. But I’m forced to admit that some friendships don’t last and probably weren’t meant to, whether you stayed put or not. Sometimes geography is an easy out, and if that’s the case, then it’s for the best. Happily, though, the reverse is true, and a good friend stays with you no matter how far you go or how long you’ve been away. So thanks, my non-geographical friends, for hanging in there.

do you know the way to santa fe?

88px-NY-347.svgI started a new job a couple weeks ago. I like it very much, and the hours are great. Apparently the woman I’m replacing — she retired — was a bona fide hoarder, however, and the office is filled with pile after pile of papers, folders, Sweet & Low packets, old used stamps, and sheets of yellowed labels. There is no rhyme or reason to it, and some of those piles contains fairly important things, including invoices, requisition forms, even (so far) two checks. It’s a disaster, and if you know me, you know every minute I’m around that kind of disorganization makes me want to jump out of my skin. So I’m trying to work my way through it, a little more cleaned out each day, but — good lord.

Anyhow, the thing that I’m noticing the most about my new job isn’t about the job at all. It’s about the drive back and forth, getting ready in the morning, coming home when I’m done. It’s the strangest thing, but it’s almost as if having a job is what’s finally making me feel at home here.

I don’t mean our apartment. I’m very at home there, and I remain as enamored of our laundry sorter, our balcony, and our fireplace as I was right from the get-go. I’m even happier at home now that our crazy-ass downstairs neighbor moved out to torture someone else. The new neighbors have two loud, noisy, yappy dogs, and it’s like heaven to us — normal people making normal noise, and not getting mad at us for walking across a carpeted floor in our socks at two in the afternoon. But I digress — our apartment has always felt like home, and I love it there.

It’s the neighborhood, I guess, that I felt strange in. The general area. I mean, I don’t usually know where I am. I sometimes get the general direction of where we’re going, but it’s all sort of vague. The city is thattaway. Dave’s mom’s is the opposite direction I think it’s in. The closest Chipotle is just way too far away, but doable in a pinch. Shop Rite is not where my GPS says it is (it’s just a bunch of trees! there’s no store in there, I checked), and on my way back from Astoria I spent a lot of time driving in circles in Flushing Meadows, because Apple Maps declared I had gone off the grid. In other words, I got so lost, satellites couldn’t find me.

Suffice to say, I’m still not great at getting around on my own. I’ll probably be using my GPS for awhile, even if it evidently can’t always be trusted. But at least now I go back and forth most days to the same place. I stop at the same red lights, see the same businesses, go around the same bend. It’s only a few miles of road that have become familiar, most of it strip malls and developments and Whole Foods. But it’s mine, and it’s familiar, and that’s a start.

kitty anniversary day

On this day, five years ago, I brought two orangey furry guys home with me. While we of course celebrate their birthdays each year, I also like to commemorate Kitty Anniversary Day.

If the preceding paragraph isn’t explanation enough, you should go into this blog post knowing that whatever kind of crazy cat person you think you are, or have met in the past, my crazy catness is well off those charts. I am happier in the company of my boys than I am in that of almost every other human I know. They are two bright spots in my existence. They’re family. If you’re scoffing already, get out now. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Five years ago I was looking for two boy kittens to bring home. One day, I visited the Buffalo Animal Shelter. It must have been fate because I took one step into the cat room and saw them there, the two best-looking cats in the world, brother kitties, waiting there for me.

George and Fred at the shelterI quickly found a volunteer and said I wanted to meet them, but I already knew  we were meant to be together. This meeting was just a chance to spend time with them right away. They took me to the little room used for meet & greets and then brought the cats in. One of them (George) ran onto a kitty tower, looking a little afraid, distracted by newfound freedom and toys. The other sauntered toward me, confident and calm. He sniffed my finger then allowed me to pet him, and that was how I met Fred.

I went to finalize their adoption and learned that the shelter only accepted cash. The nearest ATM was a mile or so away. I left, begging them to keep those kitties for me until I came back — I was worried that someone else would swoop in at just that moment, see the two most wonderful cats in the world, and steal them away. Excited, I hurried back, and we signed all the forms, and they were mine. One last goodbye and they were whisked off for their snip-snip surgeries, and the next day they were ready to come home.

They were a little scared in the vet’s office, I remember, and cried a little in the carrier (back then, they both fit in — and preferred to be in — one). But I took them out to the car and the smooth noise of the engine and the last dregs of anesthesia calmed them down; first they were purring, and then fast asleep. It was snowing lightly all our ride home. We have been together since, and I love their company. They were there through long lonely times between visits with Dave, two surgeries and then a scary big move to Long Island. They’ve done wonderfully adjusting to their new home and I hope we make them happy here.

Some things have changed over time: they used to cuddle with each other, always, like two peas in a pod. Now, they will only occasionally sit near each other, and there is sometimes a skirmish of swiping and chasing, like two bickering teenagers, instead. They’re bigger, of course, and very different from each other. But still each perfect.

IMG_1570Georgie is a sweet, sweet boy, the prettiest cat I’ve ever seen (I’m biased, I know), and full of affection. He spends most days on my lap and sometimes will cuddle between us in bed at night — though he’s often too restless for that. He purrs and kneads and cries little kittenish cries for attention. He’s never grown up and remains a baby, and I know he thinks I’m his mother. He can be incredibly cute and loving, and he can also be a bad bad kitty, knocking things over just for attention, eating everything in sight, and generally wreaking havoc. He never learned his own name and doesn’t understand a thing I say to him, whether whispered or yelled — I actually came to the conclusion that he likes when I yell (“mommy making the shouty noise yay!”) and stopped bothering. He thinks squirt guns are a fun at-home water park activity and he’s climbed in the shower with me on more than one occasion. He’s a big doofus but he’s clever; he loves playing with Dave more than anything, and I love him in spite of, or maybe sometimes because of, his badness.

IMAG0143Fred is a more serious cat. He hates to be picked up and never sits on my lap, but he’ll climb onto me or Dave while we’re laying down, hunkering down on your chest with his face an inch from yours. And he climbs into bed with me every night, sometimes for hours at a time, his head on my pillow, purring, wrapped up in my arms. He comes when I call him and he understands what I say to him. Sometimes he purrs just when I look at him. His love is unrelenting, steadfast, and uncompromising. He takes care of me when I need him and I protect him from all his fears: grocery bags, strange neighborhood kitties, and the world outside his four walls. We have a special bond. No one in the world loves me like Freddie does, and no one but Freddie ever could.

So happy anniversary, Fred and George, of the day you came into my life. Thank you for choosing me. Belly rubs of celebration tonight.

year in review: 2013

So I’m a sucker for quizzes, surveys, memes, all that stuff. I think these are usually more fun to do than they are to read, though — so you should feel free to just skim my answers and do your own, if you like. If you do read, though, I warn that there may be some snark along the way. That’s my traditional new year’s gift.

Year in Review: A 2013 Survey

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Well, I got married, which I definitely have not done before, to the best of my knowledge.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Yes, and no. I made a resolution to stick to a particular diet plan and I did stick to it; it wasn’t successful, but that’s not the fault of my willpower. I don’t think I’m going to make any for 2014. Lower expectations, greater rewards, and all that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not yet, and probably not by the end of the year, but soon. 🙂

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not really. My grandmother died this year, but in truth we were not close. I am sorry for the family members who were close to her, though.

5. What places did you visit?

The Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls, and, of course, Long Island, a lot. Though it doesn’t count as visiting anymore.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Nothing. I just want to keep everything I have now.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched in your memory, and why?

I think I’ll remember our wedding date, November 9, pretty much forever.  But there’s also October 26, which is the day Dave came to Buffalo and we stopped being apart. That was the best day of all, really.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making it to October 26.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Weight loss. I tried a new method and it didn’t work for me. I’m disappointed to have not made any real progress this year. I’ll keep trying some other way, but I had high hopes for this.

10: Did you suffer illness or injury?

Unfortunately, as has been the case the past couple of years, I still struggle with my back. Recovering from surgery was long and hard, and only partially successful. Not to sound corny, but if you have good health, value it. I feel I didn’t do that enough, before.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Last month I bought an iPad mini (and sold the 1st-gen iPad I bought way back in the day in 2010) and I’m really thrilled with it. Steve Jobs was thoroughly opposed to a smaller iPad; in general I think he was a true genius and Apple will never innovate as it did under his direction again, but I think he might have been wrong about this one. The mid-size between an iPhone and a full iPad is perfect, at least for me.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My niece Rebecca makes both Dave and I incredibly proud just to be related to her. She’s awesome.

13. Whose behavior was not so exemplary?

Georgie is a bad, bad kitty, and he knocks things over all the time for no reason at all. I still love him, though.

14. Where did most of your money go?

FredCo’s offshore accounts. Also, rent and moving. And a wedding.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Well, the wedding. Also, in no particular order, bingo, marriage equality, Catching Fire, and spaghetti parm.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Probably Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder? Happier.
b. thinner or fatter? I think almost exactly the same.
c. richer or poorer? Well, I’m unemployed now.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

At home, with the kitties, our tree, and cheeseburgers.

19. Did you fall in love in 2013?

From now on, I fall in love every year.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

How I Met Your Mother. But we also love Modern Family. In a surprise move, I’ve also gone back to both Glee and Top Chef.

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?

I hate all the same people I did before, plus our downstairs neighbor, who once complained about the noise we were making when we were out of town.

22. What was the best book you read?

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I didn’t read a ton this year, though I started a lot of books I never finished.

23. What did you want and get?

A husband. Also, a Supreme Court ruling (two of them actually).

24. What did you want and not get?

Marriage equality everywhere. A cure for AIDS. A totally non-broken back.

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

Catching Fire

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Dave says I was 41 this year (I never remember). We were in the Finger Lakes at our favorite bed and breakfast, The Hayward House.

27. Which celebrity/public figure did you admire the most?

I don’t think about celebrities much. But I like Sir Patrick Stewart, and not just for his ability to moo with different accents.

28. Whom did you miss?

I missed Mom a lot this year.

29. Who was the best new person you met?

Michael & Mindy Shedler, Dave’s former and sometimes boss and his wife, who came to our wedding as well. Also Uncle Norman and Aunt Jane, and a lot of other new relatives.

30. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

From the Goo Goo Dolls, “Come to Me”

Today’s the day I’ll make you mine
So get me to the church on time
Take my hand in this empty room
You’re my girl, and I’m your groom

Come to me my sweetest friend
Can you feel my heart again
Take you back where you belong
This will be our favorite song
Come to me with secrets bare
I’ll love you more so don’t be scared
When we’re old and near the end
We’ll go home and start again

play it again, sam

So when I wrote about the move last month, I actually left one big thing out. I was too depressed to write about it at the time, but now that it’s (spoiler alert) fixed, I can: the piano got damaged in the move.

IMG_1904Owning a piano when you move is like having a giant boulder chained to your ankle. You have to move, and the easiest thing to do would be to leave the boulder behind, but you can’t. You’re attached to it. I wanted a piano all my life. When my mother died, I used some of the money she left me to buy this piano, and I’ve loved it ever since. I can no more get rid of it than I could my left arm. Pianos are sentimental possessions, and that would be fine if they weren’t so damn unwieldy.

Having a piano professionally moved door-to-door from Buffalo to Long Island was, to put it mildly, cost prohibitive. Four-figures-prohibitive. We settled on a solution that still involved professional movers, but we’d be doing the freight ourselves in our U-Haul. It was a good (and professionally recommended) solution. And for the record, a perfectly good one. The piano was moved onto the truck, across the state, and off the truck and into the apartment with no problems. What went wrong? I was tired and not careful, that’s what, and the damage occurred less than a mile away from the house, and just because of forgetting to secure something at the last minute. No one’s fault but ours.

IMG_1855

*Piano only. George’s butt not included.

We were lucky: the damage was mostly cosmetic, and did not involve the mechanics of the piano. Firstly, one wheel broke, which was inconvenient, but not that difficult to have fixed, once we found the right guy for the job. That put us back at 100% fully functional, but there was still this unsightly gash, a few inches in diameter and an inch or so deep. It didn’t go through, and it was in fact going to be on the side of the piano that is up against the wall… but I couldn’t leave it that way.

I’ve been told that hiring a contractor is a nightmare — people don’t call you back, or if they do they’re unavailable, or if they promise you a quote they don’t give it, or if they do, they sometimes don’t show up when they’re supposed to start the job. Apparently finding a furniture repairman is the same way, because we searched and searched and searched. We made calls and inquiries that never got answered, we spoke to people who said they couldn’t or wouldn’t help, we had no-shows and no-call-backs. We got one quote (pretty steep) and then couldn’t get the guy to set up an appointment. We were striking out everywhere. Frustrating.

IMG_1858Michael’s Furniture Service was our savior. The owner not only answered right away, and not only understand just what we needed, and not only gave us a reasonable quote, and not only came out and did the job that very same day, he also did the one thing that’s really needed doing: he fixed the piano, and that fixed my peace of mind. All better. You can barely see where it was, and if you didn’t know there’s ever been damage, you wouldn’t know or see anything other than wood grain. We’re really grateful, and recommend their company to anyone in this area.

So, all better. Whew. Now I just need to practice a little more often. 🙂

time out

relaxing_300I joined Weight Watchers last January. Overall, I have only good things to say about the program. I think it’s healthy, and I think it focuses on good eating habits for life. I like that they teach moderation, not deprivation. I think the program is simple to follow, and I think they have a lot of great ideas. It’s a little expensive, and I sometimes think a little too corporate, but I recommend it, I really do. I worked hard for 11 months, recovering after my surgery, sometimes in pain, sometimes not. The exercise I used to like hasn’t been a possibility, so I focused on eating well instead. And while WW didn’t give me dramatic results, it did start moving the scale in the right direction, instead of the scary wrong one it had been headed in. But having said all of that, I’m officially on hiatus for a little while. It’s a good program, and one I know I’ll go back to when I’m ready, but it’s just not working for me right now.

I wish I wasn’t the kind of person who gets comfort from food, though, honestly, I’m not sure I know anyone who could really claim they don’t either. And I’ve got a lot to be happy about: I’m married to a wonderful guy, and we had a beautiful wedding. The move went more or less well, and we’re here, in an apartment I love, in a nice town. But despite all that, this isn’t the easiest time for me. I’m still sad sometimes. I miss home. And it’s been a lot to get used to in a short period of time. As my very wise friend Amybeth said, leaving everything I was familiar with and moving here has been a little like Dorothy waking up in Oz. It’s amazing here, but it’s different. I don’t want to go home — this is home — but I’m adjusting. I need time. It’s like the boys — George came around fast, but Freddie has been slower to adjust. He likes it here, but he still seems confused sometimes, unsure. I guess I’m more like Fred and I just need a little longer to get used to it.

So I thought about it, and I came to some conclusions — about things in general, not just Weight Watchers. I feel like while I’m adjusting, I need to cut myself a little slack, whether it’s not worrying about my lack of employment just yet, not freaking out over how much more everything is here, or putting down the WW Points Calculator for a little while. I’ll try not to go crazy with foods and I’ll try to keep acclimating, I’ll keep looking for bargains and we’ll keep our eyes open for opportunities. But for now, I think I need a time out from making any other demands on myself other than just shifting gears and being kind to myself while I do it.

movin’ on up

wheelmudSo, we’re here. On Long Island, and home. As I write this, Dave is finishing up one of our last tasks, hooking up the TV in the living room, and with that, we’ll have everything almost set. Not too bad, right? Less than two weeks later and we’re done with the move and everything. Did it all go off without a hitch? Not exactly, but in the end it all worked out.

The morning after our wedding, tired and headachy from a hotel room with the worst ventilation ever, we said goodbye to a lot of people: out of town guests traveling back home, friends hitting the road, people from home I would be leaving in a few days. And I did not handle it well. The excitement of the wedding, I think, kept me from thinking too hard about the fact that I was moving away from everything I know. There were a lot of tears.

Also a lot of manual labor. There was still some packing and cleaning to do, and on Monday, a giant U-Haul truck to load. That eventually went really smoothly, but not before we drove it back from the rental site, pulled up to the house… and promptly got really stuck in the mud. And when you get an enormous 26′ moving truck stuck in the mud, even a little, there’s really no simple rock-back-and-forth solution. The more you try that, the worse it gets. You’re stuck. I mean, we had a trained archaeologist on hand, and even she couldn’t dig us out (thanks for trying, though, Jen!). But an hour or so of panic, a tow from a slightly smaller U-Haul truck later, and we were back in business. Everything got loaded up and the guys hit the road, and Dave and I spent one last night in an empty house, said goodbye to some good friends, and got up Tuesday morning and left, kitties in their carriers, car loaded to the gills.

IMG_1805It wasn’t that bad of a drive. The cats didn’t like it, and didn’t eat or use their litter box, or drink anything other than a few drops of milk, but they were calm the whole ride. And we made decent time, and kept each other company. It was okay. We arrived home in Smithtown in one piece, home to a house already full of furniture and boxes, thanks to our amazing family and friends who’d unloaded the truck, and a nice welcome home surprise from my new mother-in-law.

IMG_1818The days since have been busy. We’ve taken some breaks here and there, but I think we both felt the sooner we could get rid of the boxes and get everything set up, the better. We went room by room and got it all done, including moving in The Couch That Almost Wasn’t — if it wasn’t for a terrific new neighbor, that couch would either still be stuck in the hallway, or gone in sawed-apart pieces.

The cats in particular have calmed down a lot now that the boxes are gone. I strongly suspect they don’t know the difference between packing and unpacking, and this has just been a continuation of the disarray their life has been for a month. Georgie is very okay now, exploring and playing all the time. He’s a little too excited and won’t settle down to snuggle, but he will eventually. Freddie has taken a little more time. Spatial relations have never been his strong suit, and there have been times he’s forgotten how to find his water bowl, or even me. But he loves his fireplace, just like I knew he would.

And me? I’m okay. I’m happy, of course. I waited for this day to come for a long time. I love our new home, and I love Dave, and everything is good. But if I’m telling the truth, I’m a lot more homesick than I thought I’d be. I miss everyone. I miss everything. I keep picturing my room in my house, my yard, my driveway. My ride to work. My neighborhood, my stores, my familiar places. It’s not anything against here, but I find myself wishing I could just do the aisles at the NF Boulevard Wegmans, go to bingo, and then come back home here again. And I wish I could do that whenever, and not once in a long while. I love the changes I made, and I love it here, but I miss the things and the people I had to leave behind, maybe a little more than I’d planned on.