Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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Life in the Slow Lane

12108756_10208073611423764_1885628941810349569_n (1)Four months ago today I arrived in Texas after a 1,658 mile drive from Connecticut. My sister-in-law flew up to share the drive and Tessie was good as gold on the trip. We stayed in pet-friendly hotels but didn’t make reservations except for the first day, since that gave us more flexibility depending on road and traffic conditions.

Our route took us through the Poconos and down through Scranton, PA and continuing down through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, just a short drive from my former home in Charlottesville. We skimmed through Tennessee and cut across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana into Texas, completing the drive in 3.5 days. My furniture arrived within 24 hours, much to my shock and delight.

The past months have been nesting time. Figuring out where things go and what things we don’t need. My pre-move cleanout made the move cheaper than estimated and also meant fewer items to find homes for in my new house. We ended up taking quite a lot of kitchen things and books to Goodwill, including my dad’s 40-year-old stereo system that took up way too many shelves in the bookcases. I replaced it with a new Bose system with CD-player. We’re loving our Amazon Echo in the kitchen and listen to NPR and music over meals.

Dad and I joined the local community church and I’m singing in the choir, which is like breathing for me.  I’ve also been taking Mah Jongg lessons and am starting to play regularly. It’s a strange game but an important social activity here so I’m meeting lots of people.  And the parties! I’ve been to more parties in the last 3 months than in the past 10 years!

It’s been a big adjustment to go from living solo (plus Tessie) to sharing a house, meals, errands, etc. with my dad. We’re figuring things out as we go and the space is large enough that we’re not falling over each other, especially now that we have a second TV in the den. He watches Fox News in one room and I watch anything else in the other!

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Thanksgiving 2015

 

 

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Weekend scrambling

Litchfield Fall StepsI love weekends and look forward to one of the two days as a chance to do nothing and be a vegetable, reading or watching TV or just being quiet. But in these pre-move days, there’s no time for being a vegetable; there’s always something else on the List of Things That Must Be Done.

What things, you ask? Grocery shopping, trip to Petsmart for food and treats, changing litterbox, washing giant comforter at the landromat, offering stuff on FreeCycle and arranging for pick up, filing papers, boxing books, doing 2 loads of laundry, making meat sauce and delivering it with crockpot to a colleague (she’s keeping the pot), replacing kitchen knobs, cleaning the oven and microwave, dumping trash and recycling.

And yesterday I went to the library before it opened to pick up my last box o’ stuff. I didn’t want to do that with people around, it just felt weird and I didn’t want anyone to talk to me while I did it. I emptied desk drawers of personal things, took down personal items from the bookshelves and bulletin board, and scooped up desk tchotchkes. Right now there are only two left: my LaFarge stained glass window poster that I got in Boston 25 years ago, and a pink flying pig clock. They’re both coming with me to Texas, unlike most of the stuff I brought home yesterday, but I really couldn’t bear to spend days at work with nothing in the office that looked like me.

So this is it, the final week. Two weeks from today I should be arriving in Texas, if all goes according to plan. Just saying that makes my tummy jump, as it seems there are still so many things to get done. But I want to be in the moment this week, to make it real.


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Mostly Lunch Dates Now

I’ve been booked solid for lunch every day for three weeks. Well, week days anyway, though I did have brunch on Sunday with my friend and catsitter. The other lunches, though, are with work friends and colleagues from the law school and main library. It’s funny learning lots of new things about them after knowing them for 8 years – one started her career in accounting before library school. Another was a professional singer before library school, and his library mentor and good friend of 30 years is someone I went to library school with 40 years ago in Texas. Things come full circle.

View from my new back porch

Above is the view from my Texas back porch, looking out at the golf course. Huge yard, lots of green, which someone else takes care of. It’s very peaceful and open and I’m looking forward to seeing it every day.

I ordered moving announcements from Vistaprint to make it easier to let folks know my new contact information. While I was at it, I also got new genealogy business cards. I still haven’t really thought about a business name or plan but I do need people I meet through genealogy circles to know how to reach me and what my credentials are. New cards are easy and inexpensive to get when I do decide on a name.

There are so many things to do when I get to Texas, getting started things. Car things to do – transfer insurance, inspection, registration, driver’s license. Find a new vet for Tessie. Figure out where to get her food. Investigate Texas medical insurance. Register to vote.

Some I can’t do until my stuff arrives, which could take up to 18 days because it’s such a small load. I want to completely reorganize the kitchen, taking out everything, cleaning the cabinets with wood cleaner and lining the shelves and drawers. Dad doesn’t care as long as he can find the basics, and those won’t be moving. But this will be my kitchen and I need to be completely comfortable working and finding things in it. Doing a little thinking now means final decisions on what I will take.

Doing things is easier than processing what’s happening. I’ll have time for that. For now, it keeps me focused to have lists of tasks with deadlines.


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Pity Party for One

Herons at Emerald BayMoving to Texas was my idea and I have no regrets about the decision. But I must confess that it’s hard to once again give up everything I know – even more than usual this time because there’s no new job at the other end. I found myself in tears yesterday, realizing that there’s no one coming with me who shares any memories of life and working days from Virginia to Connecticut with stops in Maine and Boston.

I’ve done this before. I’ve moved to places where I didn’t know anyone in the whole state. Certainly I’m not the only person who’s done this.

But I’m feeling vulnerable today, quiet and sad. And fat, but that’s not anything new. I have 10 work days left and three weeks from today we leave on the big road trip to Texas. Lots to do and think and plan – but I also need to give myself permission to feel and grieve and let go. I’ve been holding on by my fingernails in some ways and that’s not sustainable or healthy. Good thing I’m starting the day with a therapy appointment!


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This Lazy Girl Gets off Her Butt

Large size exerciserI’m basically a lazy person when it comes to physical activity. I don’t like to sweat or be hot, and my cranky knee makes a lot of things difficult to do. Floor exercises and the like are out because, frankly, I can’t get up off the floor easily or without a lot of pain. And I don’t like to hurt.

As you may remember, I hurt my back at the end of May which put a crimp in my packing and moving process. Literally – because moving in innocuous ways would send it into spasms and have me just sit quietly with ice on my back, trying not to hurt more. Trust me, I wasn’t about to start up an exercise program under those conditions.

So imagine my surprise to realize that I’ve been walking more on a regular basis than I have in at least a year, and I’m not even doing it at a gym. I park a mile away from my building and have been walking at least one way three times a week (there’s a bus that I can take if I’m late, it’s hot, or the knee is cranky). On my lunch hour I’ve been taking walks to explore the new campus, take pictures, and find little shops. And inside the library, I’m walking up and down hallways and stack ranges a few times a day, partly to figure out where things are but also because getting up and moving during the day keeps my legs from getting stiff.

I know I need to find a gym and do something more steady and official. But I think I’m going to wait on that for a bit, until what I’m doing now doesn’t feel like enough. For now I’m pleased with myself for pushing to do this much when I’d rather sit on the bus in the A/C and be lazy.


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Honey, I’m home

It certainly takes a lot longer to pack up and load a truck with furniture and boxes than it does to undo it all. My movers arrived on the dot of 11 and were completely finished in 90 minutes. My work has just begun, though, trying to figure out what on earth I put in the different boxes. The kitchen is intimidating but the living room at least looks habitable and I have a load of wash in my dryer. It will be home before I know it.

What’s making me annoyed is that I can’t get the wireless router working properly. Grrrr. I’m connected right now using hard wires but there HAS to be a way to make this behave, though I’d tried it three different times from start to finish and it still doesn’t work. Maybe tomorrow it will behave.

For now, I’m home. It will start to look and feel like it soon.


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In limbo and in pain

Moving boxesI am literally mid-move tonight. The moving guys arrived this morning, later than expected because the truck broke down, and packed up everything that I hadn’t already packed. Actually, I think they were surprised that I’d done as much as I did, but it was a good thing I did, since they weren’t especially speedy. One of them in particular didn’t seem to do a lot of the packing but then, he was the paperwork person and lord knows there were plenty of forms.

By the time they came, my back was shooting out pain bursts if I did anything at all and I spent most of the time sitting in the recliner with ice on my back, alternating with jumping up and cleaning something and then sitting back and wincing. I’d packed my car last night with the things that couldn’t or shouldn’t go on the truck, including jewelry and medications, open bottles of kitchen things such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and my laundry basket with linens and miscellaneous bathroom things. Cleaning supplies had to be carried, too, once I’d finished using them. Even though individually these things weren’t heavy, I could tell by last night that today would be bad and it was.

All of my things are sitting swathed in thick quilted pads or miles of plastic wrap or wrapped in paper tucked into sturdy cardboard boxes. The truck is in Hartford now, waiting for delivery tomorrow morning after I get the key. My parents had a horrible move years ago when their truck was vandalized in the lot of the moving company when it was there overnight and I admit to having some flashes of bad things, but know it’s mostly the influence of family stories.

It seemed so anticlimactic to just run the vacuum, lock the windows, leave my keys and passes on the countertop, and then just leave. No one was there to say goodbye, not even my favorite big brown bunny. It was just me and my car full of weird things, heading west for my new life.

Tonight I’m camping out in the very nice quarters of a hotel in Sturbridge. I didn’t eat dinner because I’m in so much pain I thought I’d throw up if I ate anything – my need was for ice on the back and Percoset for pain control. I’m hoping that by tomorrow I’ll be better and am thinking I’ll ask the movers to take the stuff from my car in exchange for a nice tip. It would be worth it.

I’m getting better at understanding when the pain will erupt and how long it takes between doing something and when the fire appears. I certainly did a number on myself with my fall several weeks ago and hope that once the move is over and I stop doing so much lifting, it will slowly heal.

For now, it’s rest and quiet, ice and meds, with my feet up in a room without any boxes. Tomorrow the next phase begins.