Sunday, December 25, 2005

I'm back (more or less)...

I've been off the Internet for ten days (except for about a half an hour the other day, on someone else's computer). It was very strange, not being able to look things up, check e-mail, or follow the news, etc. But I've put my time to good use, for the most part.

We got most of the household moved the first couple of days, but had to deal with recently repaired plumbing that decided to not stay repaired (no main bathroom, kitchen iffy) and a few other glitches (since fixed). We're still getting all the business stuff rearranged and hauled around. Today we finally strung a phone line to my new office, which has me, my chair, my table, my computer, a light, and that's it so far. We plan to line the walls with shelves, which will let me move my library, which is still at the old apartment. I've been meaning to cull my library for years now, but haven't. So that ought to be quite a job, hauling those books across. But it ought to be fun. I can't remember the last time I could have all my books in one room. Usually I have to fit a few in the living room, some in the bedroom, and the rest wherever we can find room.

We had four hale and hearty young folks (each twenty years old, give or take a few years) help us with the main move. They made it look almost easy. Since this move involves going across the street and down just a couple of doors, we hauled most of it by hand and by handtruck instead of loading and unloading from vehicles. The post office is between the old place and the new place. Some of the folks who work at the post office somehow didn't get the memo that we were moving, and I guess were vastly puzzled and a little concerned at the furniture and boxes walking out of our place. At any rate, when I knocked on the door a week ago Saturday to pick up a package, the woman who gave me my package hesitated, and then asked, "Are you guys moving?" and then looked relieved when I said we were. "We kept seeing furniture," she said. :-)

(Side note: We only have partial post office service Saturdays around here. If you get a slip in your post office box saying you have a package on Saturday, you either knock on the door to the sorting room before noon, or you wait until Monday.)

We waited to bring the cats across until the bulk of stuff was over. They have become new cats. They did not necessarily like being hauled into new surroundings, but once the shock was over, they have been having a heyday. George found her way to the top of the bedroom door this morning, from which perch she made me rather nervous when I got within pouncing range. She has never done a door perch before this, that I know about. Gracie has decided that her current calling is to hunt spiders, real and imaginary. My husband, poor fellow, has a very large scratch across his forehead, from when he accidentally got between her and a spot on the wall, which I assume she mistook for a spider. (This cat, you understand, is usually lethargic. The new surroundings have done her good, I guess. Something got unleashed, at any rate.)

Speaking of my husband, ahem, I should probably tell you that I have discovered that there are two rules for moving a man on oxygen therapy. One, after moving an oxygen concentrator, always check to make sure that all the settings and connections are in proper order. Two, always have a tank of oxygen on hand, in case anything goes wrong with the recently jostled oxygen concentrator. He's fine, but not because we were smart. Somehow in all the activity, everybody thought that somebody else had taken care of doublechecking the connections, etc. Five thirty in the morning our first night here, he wakes me up because he realizes that he's not getting enough oxygen and probably hasn't been for hours. The middle of the night after a long, hard, physically exhausting day I'm not too quick on the uptake, but I hauled out of bed and started checking like crazy. It turned out that the hose wasn't on tight, for one, and the hose had gotten so twisted that the air flow was compromised, for another. Luckily, he's no longer what they call "brittle" and we got away with it. Yikes, though. (Overall, though, knock wood, he's doing well.)

I used to think that talking about sick people in terms of "he likely won't make it to Thanksgiving, and certainly will be gone by Christmas" was a rather odd way of looking at things. No more. Not after this year. Not after feeling the relief and gratitude and joy of having him here for the holidays. Not that we did anything special this year. Yesterday we went to the hardware store and bought a few things for the new house, including new drinking glasses. We've been married long enough now that the drinking glasses are in odd ones and twos and threes, survivors of different sets. So now we have a full, matched set, shaped in a way that's easier for my husband to hold when the MS gets nasty. This was a Christmas of little things like that. Mostly we just rejoiced in being together. A big gift, that.

I didn't decorate. I haven't a clue where the Christmas decorations are right now, to be honest with you. Somewhere in storage, I assume. Even if I'd found them, I'm too busy getting the basics set up. The bathroom has no drawers in the cabinet, for instance, and I've never had to organize a bathroom without drawers. (Book lover hint: To keep books from getting wavy pages from being left in the bathroom, try putting them in a drawer, if you have a drawer that shuts tightly, in a cabinet with no dampness problems.) I'm still making the kitchen workable. The dining room needs lighting. Then there's that library to move. There are no real closets here, either. There are shelves to install, and curtains to fix. Decorations would have been in the way.

I still haven't checked even half of my accumulated e-mail yet. Nor have I made the rounds of my usual sites yet. I expect I'll be a bit out of touch for a while yet. We only got television service a couple/three days ago, so I've been without both Internet and television.

Dare I say it? It was a nice break, not being bombarded with bad news, foul language, and lousy attitudes for a change.

On the other hand, I've missed my contacts in the blogosphere.

We've got the easy part of the move behind us, but there's still lots to do. I've got to finish getting us out of the apartment. Beyond that, we have the inventory for the online bookstore moved - but not the shipping room. At present, we verify orders in one place, pull the books from another, and then have to haul the books across the street to the shipping room. (Luckily we're good at laughing at ourselves.) For a while, things will get more complicated, but in the end it should be simpler to run the bookstore than before. That's the plan, anyway.

So, 'til later.


Joan said...

Welcome back, Kathryn. What a job moving is! We have done it 12 times -- and will have to move again when my husband retires in just a few months now.

Just a few tasks a day will eventually do it. Enjoy your new home.

Kathryn Judson said...

Thanks, Joan. Overall I am enjoying myself. I was fine about living in an apartment all these years, but having a real house again is something of a treat, I'm finding.

The big hurdles, for us, are the having to move our offices and Internet bookstore at the same time, without leaving any customers in the lurch. Or missing nightly reports or payroll at our gas station. Or getting messed up with end of year accounting. That sort of thing. You know, the stuff you don't realize you need things arranged "just so" for, until things are no longer "just so." Logistics, logistics, logistics...

Good luck with your move!

Jane said...

Welcome back, we missed you. I have done it more times than I wanted to. Enjoy, it will all eventually get done.

Kathryn Judson said...

Thanks, Jane. I'm especially looking forward to when everything gets settled enough that I can start in earnest on the stuff that will make the house pleasant and beautiful. For instance, the landlord told me I can pick the colors and he'd supply the paint. That is too good a deal to pass up, in my book. I intend to have great fun repainting the dining room and bedroom, which are presently very smudged and scarred, wall-wise. And there's a flower box built in right in the front of the house. I intend having great fun there, too, come spring and summer.

Bookworm said...

It's so nice to have you back blogging, Kathyrn. It's also wonderful that the little oxygen oversight, while immediately distressing, didn't create any long term problems. I wish you very happy in your new home, and I look forward to much future blogging.

Dave said...

I didn't expect you back so soon, so I have a lot of a reading to catch up on!

Having just moved in August, I know how long it takes to get things sorted out.

And thanks be to God for continuing to preserve the life of your husband. May God grant him many years.

Kathryn Judson said...

Thanks, Dave. I've been doing a lot of "thanks be to God" myself during and after this scare. I'm counting my blessings this season in a whole new way, believe me.

I was raised by a mother who thought religion was for idiots and prayer was worse than worthless. It took me a few years away from home to figure out she was wrong. When David was at death's door, reaching out to God gave me strength as well as comfort, and we could both feel that others were praying for us, and it gave us peace as well as hope. I appreciate your prayers.