Move Along

We woke up at quarter past seven in the morning on Thursday so that we could bring the cats over to the new house before the movers arrived at 9:30.  We brought two at a time, without a carrier.  It’s ten times easier to transport cats when you don’t use one; they feel trapped, and scratch and pee everywhere – when we just hold them on our laps and let them glance out the window they’ll just fall asleep.    Mom put them all in the spare bedroom while we went back to the old place and waited for the movers to come and take all the big stuff.  They made one trip, and took just barely over an hour.  Quick guys.  

While they were in the midst of moving furniture, I was on hold with the phone company trying to get our service switched over.  It took 35 minutes of elevator music before I finally spoke to an operator, and then another 15 minutes of total confusion before I got what I wanted.  Turns out the last guy who lived here had a home business, and there were two lines between the three jacks.  One line had everything attached to it (voicemail, long distance, etc.) and the other just had local calling.  We assumed the all-dressed phone line would be the main one, and decided to hook up our service to that/those ones.  She said it would be up by Friday.   When we moved in, we checked all three jacks and had no service.  Friday we checked three times – still no service.  Saturday, Sunday: same thing.  Starting to feel really irked, we did another check on Monday to find we still had dead lines.  We went back to the old house (which still has a box here and there to move) to call the company and found the line had been disconnected.  Big surprise.  We figured we’d call them from town on Tuesday, and went about our business.  

Curtis and I spent four hours cleaning and organizing our home.  We vacuumed, unpacked, put away, moved furniture and everything else that needed to be done.  By 9pm that evening almost everything was in order and the house looked and felt like a home.  We watched the sunset while we assembled shelves on the porch.   We did our bedroom last, as the bed was covered in shelves and clothes.  Curtis vacuumed and moved the bed from the corner where the movers had haphazardly placed it, and lo and behold there was a fourth phone jack hidden underneath.  We exchanged a “how much do you want to bet..?” look, and plugged in the phone.  It worked.  Less than one minute later the phone rang.  It was Amber, who has continued to show that kind of impeccable timing since the day I met her.  We’d wanted her to come over and see the house once we moved in, and since we’d finished everything only an hour before it was ideal that she’d called just then.  Turns out she’d be in the city with her family for her father’s CT scan on Wednesday.  I’m escorting my mother into the city for her CT scan on the same day.  Further discussion revealed the appointments were only 15 minutes apart and at the same hospital: more convenient coincidences.  When I told my mother about it, she wasn’t at all surprised.  “It’s Amber,” she said, “Those kinds of weird things always happen with her.”

Monday morning Curtis and I slept late, and were laying in bed around 11:30 talking to each other when we heard a car pull up.  Our neighbor’s driveway is parellel to ours at the top, so when they come home it sounds as if they’ve pulled up right in front of our house.  We both assumed that’s what had happened.  But a moment later I heard voices right outside our bedroom window, and saw shadows cast on our ceiling from people walking about outside.   “It’s probably the water guy for mom’s house,” Curtis said.  Her cottage is without water or adequate heating as it’s been uninhabited for years prior to her moving in.  We’ve called the plumber and electrician a few times and have been expecting them to come by.   After a few minutes of listening to the two male voices outside, I realized I recognized one of them.  I rolled out of bed (and fell onto the floor, because I underestimated the momentum of a big belly), threw on some clothes and ran outside to find my brother sitting on top of a shiny red sports car chatting with our mother.  It was the new family car, and just in time.

The car we’ve been using is a 12-year old Chevy station wagon.  The transmission leaks, oil leaks, gas leaks, dextrin (I can’t remember the word now, but it sounds like dextrin) leaks, even wiper fluid leaks.  Not including gas, we put in $26 of fluid a day just to drive the two minutes to the village and back.  It’s an automatic, that doesn’t shift it’s gears on it’s own and randomly falls into neutral while going up and down hills.  The seatbelt in the front doesn’t work; the front wheel is falling off; there’s no shocks or suspension; the breaks are worn, and there’s something under the car that drags on the street when we drive, but we can’t see what it is.   This is not a safe car.  Perhaps this is part of the reason I haven’t really driven in about a year because of the huge panic attack that hits me every time I get behind the wheel.

My brother had been organizing with us for weeks to get us a nice used car that handles well.  He’s a freak when it comes to getting the best, so we knew that the extra time he was taking was likely worth it.  

When I came outside I made a comment on how nice the car looked, and my brother turned around and yelled, “Whoa!  You’re huge!”.  I smirked and told him I had two more months of expansion ahead.  With jaw agape, he muttered, “You’re gonna be early.”  His friend laughed and said, “What a polite way to greet your sister.”   My brother shook himself, “Oh, sorry, hi.  I just – I’m taken by surprise.  You’re so big.”  “I know.”

I invited him in to show him around, and mom jumped at the opportunity to show off with us.  Though, she spent the whole time pointing out every single negative aspect.  I was a little miffed, as I thought that she’d really loved the place.  Later when I asked her about it, she said it was because my brother was quite obviously jealous of our find, and she was trying to make him feel better about his own place in the city.   Ha-ha!  My house is better then your house!

Well it’s true, it is.  But I’m not about to say that.  I prefer to subtly rub in his face all the months he spent telling me about how Curtis and I were never going to find anything but a piece of crap to live in until we were in our late 30’s.

No, there’s no sibling rivalry here . . .

I love it here. There’s so much wildlife.  Every morning Curtis and I go into the sunroom and eat our breakfast while listening to the birds.  This morning there was a doe lying on the grass below us, curiously staring at my mother’s cat, who growls at the deer as if she honestly expects to scare them off.   Our cats love it here. They haven’t been allowed outside in two months because we were too afraid to let them out on a semi-busy street where we lived before.  The first night here they caught a bird and spread black feathers all over the house during the night.  We don’t mind; they’ve been deprived of their nature for too many months.  I hate it when people think it’s cruel that cats kill birds.  They’re cats, it’s what they do.  Get used to it, or don’t have a cat!.   All of our cats do have bells on their collars, not for sake of the birds, but because they just happened to come on the break-away brand that we wanted.  They don’t do crap to alert the birds, the cats just learn to move in such a way that they don’t ring them.  Don’t ever buy them under the assumption they’ll save your local wildlife.

There are a few odds and ends we need to tend to.  The house is rather rustic, but we’re very comfortable with it.  It’s still in better condition then the old, old house – which forever remained unfinished.  I don’t think there’s a single house on the island that’s truly ‘finished’ . . .  We replaced the shower heads, as they were all set at about 5’2”, and while that’s perfect for me, Curtis needs to shower on his knees in order to wash his hair.  This morning while I was taking a shower, Curtis came in and warned me that if I had cereal it would be “a little chunky.”  “Um, why?”  “The fridge had been set too cold, and the milk froze.  So there are bits of ice in it.  I turned it down.”   I laughed, and then offered to let him join me in the shower.  “I can’t,” he said while gesturing over his shoulder, “I have a bowl of cereal defrosting in the sink.”  I started giggling; it just sounded so silly.

I really love it here.  I can’t wait to have our baby here; there’s so much room for her to crawl around, so much life for her to feel – it’s just wonderful.

~:) Babs



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