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Tag: moving

Pack Rats!

It truly is amazing what one can accumulate over the years. Before and since our move we have been sifting through our belongings in an effort to reduce the bulk and fit into our new home. This exercise has turned up some interesting, some ridiculous, some wonderful and some odd things.

One of my first goals was to get my husband to toss out some of his magazines. We have been toting these boxes of ancient Outdoor Sports, Guns and Ammo and Black Belt magazines around for years. We just keep putting the boxes up and he never ever reads those magazines again. So, when he agreed to sift through these boxes, I thought, “Hallelujah!”

In the weeks since, I have observed him doing just that. Well, I thought so anyway. He definitely has gone through each box. He definitely has been rereading articles because he keeps reading bits and pieces out loud to me. I have the sneaking suspicion, however, that not one magazine has hit the trash.

I, on the other hand, no longer keep magazines. I’ve been taking Better Homes and Gardens for thirty years. Back in the mid-eighties I finally went through them and clipped articles. They are filed in one of my filing cabinets by improvement area—garden, storage, decorating, windows, kitchens, etc. I’ve been patting myself on the back for that accomplishment for many years.

I only have 2 filing cabinets, but as we moved, I realized that there were all sorts of cardboard file boxes in the attic. I have dutifully checked all those boxes as well and can report that the three boxes of stationery (printed but never sold) will be donated to the Maxeys Woman’s Club for a fund raising effort. (Maybe someone will buy them for a good cause: I certainly couldn’t make a profit on them!)

I tossed out tax paperwork from 1992 to 1994 from two businesses and got rid of two more boxes. I finally burned that box of English 101 student essays that I have been carrying around for twenty years (I did use my students’ paragraphs at one time in a grammar book I wrote—about twenty years ago!)

I culled specific files of out-of-date materials from the career counseling box and from the writer’s box (a list of writers’ agents from 1982 really isn’t very helpful nowadays). I finally threw away my set of Décor picture framing magazines (guilty as charged—those I didn’t clip but, alas, kept whole).

I’ve definitely attempted to reduce our book collection. I gave an encyclopedia-type set to my granddaughter that dated from the ‘70s. I gave a full box to the Potter’s House. And then last weekend while unpacking some boxes, I was able to toss out 3 more books, including a second edition copy of Sound and Sense, a standard English text used in Georgia back in the 60’s and 70’s, because I had a third edition, also. Later I found that same text in Tommy’s room—he claims there’s an important poem in that book and he “might” check my third edition for it. Foiled again.

I’m going to break down that 386 and the old 486 computers for parts. I needed to use one of the 14″ monitors I had stuck away and found that both weren’t working any longer. More trash.

We’re still trying to sell that exercise bike I committed to five or six years ago. And now… now, we have extra things to sell as well that came with this house.

Of course, I still have pieces of lumber, tin, and plastic pipe, not to mention all the odd bits and pieces I inherited from Daddy’s workshop when he died. For some reason, his pack rat tendencies might have been passed on to me in that area.

Late Sunday I was sifting through paperwork in my office, working hard at organizing and cleaning up, when I found our greeting card stash. I’ve always kept the greeting cards Tommy and I exchange, but I hadn’t really looked at them like this before. Much to my delighted surprise, I discovered three-not two-three anniversary cards from Tommy—all identical, saying he would marry me again. He must have meant it! As I was chuckling over his self-claimed poor memory, I found 2 identical Valentine cards from me two years in a row. Oh, dear.

In our invitations for our frog/prince/princess theme wedding I wrote “Please, we are the prince and princess of pack rats: no gifts—we’ve got no space.” Was I right or what?

Let me see, I think this weekend I’m going to trash those extra picture frame pieces I hauled off when Danny Fullerton moved his shop down to Greensboro. I think.

I’m Home

The darnedest thing happened to me recently and I have just now sat down to make sense of it all. We moved. OK, now I have done this before—over 30 times in fact as an adult. This time, though, is different. After 4 years in Crawford we sold and then bought a house in Stephens. Actually, not in Stephens, but 2 miles out a dirt road between Maxeys and Stephens!

This city girl is now on a well, septic tank, no governmental trash pickup and no visible close neighbors. My husband thinks he’s in heaven with 2 acres in this quiet spot. I was just glad to start my next remodeling project in this 100-year-old folk Victorian farm house.

He made me promise that, barring some dramatic change in our lives, we would stay here. ACK! Our last two homes, one for 5 years and one for 4 years, were both aberrations for me–the former military dependent, the world traveler. And now we are going to stay here?

We started moving on Saturday–you know, the day before the ice storm. We moved on Saturday with the sleet, Sunday in the ice and Monday during the snow, and it went downhill from there. No power on Sunday, no candles or flashlights (packed somewhere), no heat, no water (oh, for city life!).

In my distress and discomfort, I insisted on a motel for Sunday night. Well, we and the three dogs stayed in a fine establishment in Athens that accepts pets (no, I didn’t volunteer how many pets we had). I could overlook the cigarette burns on the tub, the worn carpet and threadbare sheets, and even no towels (the motel hadn’t washed due to no power that day). It was warm!

The next day we met the Rayle Electric crews on our way home and made sure they knew where we lived. Everyone else had power back that we could see but not us. By 2 p.m. we had power. That night I sat in my recliner underneath the afghan trying to stay warm (the heat doesn’t work right). I was reading a bit when suddenly I heard a noise. I looked up to see sparks arcing from the water heater. I duly noted its death.

During the 2 weeks that followed we continued this streak of bad luck through various mishaps and problems. Now my shoulder is inflamed and I can’t do any of the work I moved here to do. By last Thursday I was depressed and frustrated and regretting ever moving.

And then it happened. That darnedest thing. I suddenly had a feeling that I had come home. Not only did I not have to go anywhere, but, yes, we are here to stay! I don’t know exactly when it happened. I just realized it today—following a Saturday morning at the Commercial Bank. I talked with the president, Bill Cabiniss, (my friend!—I remember telling him 4 years ago that I wanted a personal relationship with my bank.) I spoke to Gradine and other bank employees; I was hailed by a coworker from Greater Georgia Printers; I ran into Donna Meyer Disque who bought my house in Crawford; and as Bill suggested, spoke with the ladies from the women’s club as I was leaving.

After I got home, I began thinking about Ralph Maxwell’s invitation to write for the paper, about how folks were getting to know me and about how they would be getting to know me as a writer. I began thinking about Rachel’s column and what I would like to write about…and here it is.

I’m home, Oglethorpe County.

Moving Catch 22

I remember in my youth when after a move I could put the house together within 48 hours. Of course, I owned less and was more practiced at moving. Yeah, well, those days long gone.

Nowadays, I find myself staring at walls and boxes. I’m still trying to unpack those boxes, 6 weeks or so after the move. Why you ask? Well, because. Because this wall has to be painted before the bookcase can rest there. Because the books that belong on this other bookcase are down at the bottom of a stack of boxes. Because this bookshelf has to be put together before I can start unpacking the 1000 or so science fiction books that have to be alphabetized on the shelf. Because if I paint this floor before I paint the ceiling, I will regret it….

Today I’ve been working on this hall where so many of the books will reside. But unpacking boxes of books that are presently sitting in the same 8-foot wide hall while trying to paint that hall…

So I move on to the bedroom. Well, I can’t hang those large pictures in the corner yet because the living room isn’t fully painted, so I can’t paint the bedroom. I can’t paint the living room because I don’t want to finish the walls and floor in there before I finish making messes in the hall that might get tracked onto the hardwood in the living room.

So what do I do? I am trying to finish each room before moving on to the next. My office has reached a certain level of completion. Now I just have to figure out where everything goes in here. Nope, I can’t cope with that, so I move back into the hall again and find myself looking out the storm door at the lovely weather.

So I take out the boxes that I have unpacked. I relish the budding trees and the warmth of the sun. Then I sniffle and remember my allergies and slowly return to the house. The house isn’t good for my allergies either, for it has enough dirt, sheet rock dust and dog hair to justify a haz mat team intervention, but I can’t clean very well until I finish unpacking those boxes and painting those walls…

Even sitting down at my computer is fraught with logistical problems. Yes, this one works, but the pieces to the new computer are lying about underfoot waiting for my decisions. (I dream of the day this new faster machine will allow me to surf and design my way to heaven!) See it’s even intruding on my work—I’m writing about all this!

Someone recently told me that she had tried to do this, too. She finally moved back out and paid a contractor to finish it up. Let’s see, now who do I know who would let me move in with 3 dogs, husband, both computer systems, etc?

The better solution today—on to my part-time work at Greater Georgia Printers and then the Maxeys City Council meeting. Maybe I’ll come home again after that. Maybe.