Sunday, October 30, 2005

My stuff is here!!!

Busy, busy, busy these past few days! My POD finally arrived on Thursday,

so I’ve been engrossed in unpacking and getting organized. Seeing all my stuff after a month of having practically nothing was like Christmas. I didn’t notice its absence much for the first few weeks, first staying at my parents' house and then in hotels. But living in an empty apartment for nearly two weeks without my stuff was frustrating. I should not complain, because I had a roof over my head, the heat worked, and the basic necessities were covered in terms of a bathroom and a minimalist kitchen. But it’s remarkable all the things you find yourself needing, like a can opener (thankfully Campbell’s soups now have pop-top lids) and deposit slips (I’d run out). Anyway, all those concerns are over now, because I have my stuff!!

A quick side note: When I opened the POD, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically. It was practically half empty, compared to how crammed my parents' PODS were.

Alas, we could have fit SO much more in there...sad, considering how much stuff we ended up just giving away. But hindsight is 20/20, right? It's like the Titanic lifeboats (only much less tragic, of course)...the first few went out, seemingly full, until they realized how many more people they could actually carry.

I found some help unloading the POD on—where else?—Craigslist. Two guys from the Durham area came down and for 80 bucks did all the heavy lifting and carrying up the stairs. It took them less than two hours to finish! And it was worth every single penny, let me tell you. I did do a fair amount of unloading myself before they arrived, because the POD was delivered around noon and they couldn’t come till 5:00, and I was anxious to get started. But once they arrived, the most difficult task was directing them where to put the boxes as they were bringing them in. For instance, “This one says ‘Jewelry box, heater fan, Tupperware.’ Where do you want it?” he’d grunt under its weight (clearly it contained more than the label declared—bricks, perhaps?), waiting for me to make up my mind. “Uh, the bedroom, I guess?” A lot of things ended up in the bedroom, because it’s pretty big and has a ginormous closet, so if all else fails, shove it in there for the time being!

Once they finished, I got right to work opening boxes and putting things away. The kitchen is always the easiest place to start, because everything has a place and the biggest decision is which drawer to use for flatware and which cupboards to use for glasses and dishes. The rest of the house involves lots of decisions on where to put things—should the couch go here?, should the shelves go there?, and so on. I was motivated on Friday to get a lot done, because Saturday we had plans (more on this in a sec) and Saturday night my parents were coming over for dinner and a movie so the place had to be in some sort of presentable condition. I did a lot of pushing and pulling and sliding of things—very draining when you have a cold, which I do, of course. I think I’ve got all the furniture where I want it now, though. Still a fair amount of boxes to be gone through, but it’s manageable.

Saturday morning my apartment complex was having a yard sale, something I’m told they do twice yearly. It was bitter cold outside, in the high 30’s, and of course it was Saturday morning, so I slept in, probably missing all the greatest bargains. No matter, because I’m happy with my acquisition: a pink lava lamp, for a whopping three bucks! It works beautifully, and I enjoyed watching the mesmerizing gobs float around later that evening while we watched Bewitched (gotta love Netflix!).

After the yard sale, we drove out to Pittsboro, where my parents’ new house is, for the town’s annual street fair. It was a very lively event, packed with people, with tents stretching down the street and snaking around corners.

The weather was beautiful, with clear skies and a gently warming sun. We had fun checking everything out and meeting some of the locals. My mom bonded with a lady at the animal shelter booth who has Chihuahuas, and who recommended a good vet nearby. My dad liked the local sheriff as well as the candidate campaigning to replace him (who is also on the school board and who practically begged me to return to teaching as apparently Chatham county is in desperate need of teachers).

After the fair we went to check out the house again, to see what progress had been made.

The kitchen cabinets are in, and I think they are gorgeous.

The marble fireplace hearths are also in, and equally stunning. It’s coming along quite nicely. They have less than three weeks to finish—hopefully they come in on schedule!

Quickly, now, to backtrack for a second...I wanted to write about last Saturday, when my parents and I went up to Ennice (in the mountains of Alleghany county, about 3 hours away) to visit Matthew, Amy, and the kids. The leaves had started to change up there (everything down here is still pretty green) so the scenery was breathtaking.

Silly me, I dressed for warm weather (a la the state fair) and ended up freezing my patootie off. But it was still fun to see everyone and drive around. Prestin is officially experiencing the terrible two’s, learning to assert his own will...or at least testing the waters, seeing how far he can push his boundaries. He can still be very charming, though, especially when he learns a new word that makes you laugh. His current favorite toy is this gold string of Mardi Gras beads, which I promptly named his "bling bling." Of course I howled with laughter when he finally picked up on this term, which encouraged him to use it even more.

Ah, the joys of children. Meanwhile Layne's temperament is sweet as can be. And of course Cassidy is ever-adorable in the way most six-month-old babies are.

The coming week will start out uneventful—more unpacking—but on Thursday I drive to Philadelphia to visit Marcy, an old friend from high school (who is now a professor at Penn!). I’m excited to see more of the East. I’ll be staying with her until the following Tuesday and hopefully I’ll have the time (and energy) to post about the trip before my other dear friend, Nicole, comes out to visit me for my birthday (the big three-oh!). Then maybe it’s time to start looking for a job...;-)

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