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April 1, 1999
a year ago

Unloading

I really do feel about a million miles away from the physical and emotional point of time and place where we were just even a week ago. Yeah. Thursday night when the house was all in boxes, and we were just waiting for the moving crews. I guess it's appropriate that the house is, yet again, entirely filled with boxes; but now we're not waiting for anyone. Not for or on anyone at all anymore. That makes all the difference.

Last night I tried to write a journal entry from the beginning of the trip and I just couldn't do it. The mental gap is so very wide. My notes, handwritten, are all that's left of my brain from that time.

We're here. We're moved in. It's not yet home, but every single thing that finds its place, every item that's set where it isn't likely to be moved, and every decision we make makes it more like home. Our home.

Fezzik had an absolutely great day as it was cold, raining and a few snow flurries sparkled through the air. It was cool, too cold even, and Fezzik thought it was wonderful after all the sunny days we've been through. He was trotting everywhere, tireless and watching everything that was going on.

On the other hand, I was a complete wreck this morning. John's snoring more and I just wasn't sleeping well with a bloody nose or two in the night, unknown noises, and all the motion and movement that happens in a hotel. The dry air really is making bloody noses far more frequent and unpleasant. I used to have more of them when I was a kid and now I wonder if it wasn't just the Southern California climate or if it really was just because I had more of them as a kid. Anyway, they're frightening and unpleasant. My mind and senses weren't good about letting me sleep soundly, so when the alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. it was really hard to get up. Someone once told me that they really craved sleep for a while after moving here. I wonder when that will hit.

At breakfast it was very clear that our move was small potatos compared to the news in the rest of the world. The capture of the American airmen was everywhere. In the newspapers, all over the TV and everyone in the breakfast room was talking about it. I think, with TV it will never again be possible to ignore the news of the world in the midst of daily life. One learns of things happening all around the world instantly, no matter where one is or how busy life on a daily basis gets.

We arrived at the house at eight minutes after eight, as the driver had said between eight and nine. The crew arrived a bare minute before we did and were maneuvering through the gate as we drove up. The garage was already open, so a few of them were already taking a few things out of the back of the truck and putting them into the garage, as the garage was also the last thing to go into the truck. There were a few things packed around the Green Monster, and then that was the first thing they rolled off the truck. Next was the rest of the garage stuff. John and I swept out the garage even as we handed down decisions on where things went. That was the hardest part, to decide, instantly, on where everything was to go, without really having any idea if things would fit in the layout given.

Our decision making was the main bottleneck, too, as the guys would ask us where every piece of furniture, box, and item was to go and we had to know from the minimal lavels. That was actually a bit fun, too. These absolutely huge guys taking stuff wherever we told them to go. Big stuff, too, those packers had packed some really large boxes, and a lot of those we put in the basement for storage. The basement now has a wall of boxes. I think that if I'm not too lazy a lot of that may end up in Goodwill in the next few months as we unpack and find out what it is that we just don't use.

There is a very great deal to sort out, too. Way too many boxes for my peace of mind. Most of the furniture did get disbursed pretty evenly across the house in places that seem to actually make some sense. There's one extra end table in the livingroom that we have no idea where it should end up, and it seems far more crowded, now, with two room's worth of stuff in it rather than one. The basement also got a few things that I expect to make use of, eventually. Our bedroom got the loom, which surprised me a little; but the master bedroom is so big that it fits fairly well. What was a really pleasant surprise was getting the old Victorian writing desk in there. All those nooks and crannies and no reason to go upstairs to write!

Yes, our new house is just a bit smaller than the old one. But it has the whole of the basement for storage, and the basement is insulated, dry, clean, covered, and it holds a boatload of stuff. Way more stuff than I'd normally put in it and the guys took some pretty astonishingly huge pieces of furniture down that narrow flight of stairs. There was at least three large pieces of bureau to go down there and one ten foot tall bookshelf. I was very impressed with how easily they got things down there.

It only took then six hours to put everything in the house, boxes, furniture, everything. We're still missing a slew of Land Rovers, but they're still to come in the next week.

One really cool things was getting to see the inside of Umit's truck. There's practically an apartment in the cab. Two bunks, storage space for clothing, even a closet. It also turns out that he knows the one person that we know from Turkey. Millie was the woman who guided John's Mom and Dad in Turkey and was a lady that came to present a slide show about Turkey to the whole church. It turns out that Umit drove a tour bus for her on the way to becoming a moving van driver! That was pretty cool to find out. It's such a tiny world.

The kitchen is now just a forest of boxes. It's bigger, too, than the old kitchen, even after the remodelling. The old loft had a lot of space that we didn't use, as did the odd room in front of the fireplace. So this house has much better usage of the square footage it has. I really love the extra counter space, cupboards, and room in the new house. I might, however, have to get John to put up the halogen work space lighting again in the kitchen. With the vaulted ceilings the light gets lost up in the heights and it's just not as light as I'm used to it being, at night. During the day, however, the cathedral window into the kitchen lets in quite a lot of light, especially in the morning, when the sun is in the East.

The truck also had a pile of our work boxes, so we loaded them all into the van and went to Xilinx to unload them. We had one hand truck and I had three or four boxes at a time on it, as the hand truck was easy on my wrists the way holding a box would have been hard. John carried boxes one or two at a time. We got a few comments from co-workers about my Kinesis keyboard, the most colorful being 'that weird-assed keyboard'. Though folks did note that it looked like it would be good for bad hands. John said that the primary purpose of the keyboard was to keep people from touching my machine. Everyone laughed at that. I didn't deny it.

After that a few of the HR folks came out to see Fezzik in the van. He was so totally tired from the day that he didn't even really want to get up from the van's floor. Pretty much how I felt, but he was far more eloquent in his furry way. He just gave us long-suffering looks when we tried to get him to come to the door. Poor kid.

We went to Target after that. Shelving paper, another pd of paper for John's lists, and a bag of Pepperridge Farms cookies. Yum. We then went back to the hotel and the snow started to just fly in earnest. Fezzik collapsed on the floor of the hotel room, while I dumped my brain into a notebook, drank hot chocolate, and John called lots of people to finish off the things that the Redmond house still needed. He got quotes on the drainage, getting the furnace maintained, and installing a pump alarm for the septic system. He got it all from the yellow pages and set it all up so Ross can follow up. I'm pretty impressed.

We decided to just walk to the little Chinese restaurant in the strip mall because it's starting to snow pretty hard. It's beautiful outside, all the tiny white flakes filling the air, covering the ground, turning it all strange and new. They were just melting when we first got back to the hotel, but now they're starting to stick, dusting the world with white. Fezzik got to stay in the hotel room while we ate and just was zonked out the entire time, he hadn't moved from his spot when we got back. The restaurant was okay, but the food was fairly Americanized. The lady manager said that there was a Chinese menu as well, and they were going to put a counter in that would sell dim sum and Chinese bakery stuff in a month.

It's really caught up with us, the storm. Waited until most of the worst of what we had to do was over, though, and tomorrow all we're really going to have to do is unpack. The van probably has to get returned as well; but that should be doable if some of the Land Rovers show up. Also, John's brother Walt and Walt's wife, Cathie have said that they're going to come and help us unpack for the weekend. That should be fun!

Fezzik's sprawled on the floor, still, snoring, now.

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