Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rent an RV WHEN?

We had a huge, last-minute snafu with the closing on the house in North Carolina. Raymond received an email this morning that the closing costs are $1,000 higher (the cost of the fuel in the propane tank). Even though we had the funds, there was NO WAY we could wire that money in time for the closing, and the seller was not only antsy, but adamant about getting his money by Friday. Our realtor, bless her heart, offered to pay the additional monies, and we could reimburse her when we got to North Carolina. However, Raymond (or his attorney, I don't know which) suggested that Raymond simply put the check for the propane in the overnight priority package with the other closing paper to the attorney. This was after Raymond tore into him about having more than ample time to get all the data needed for closing, and that we had not only done our part from 3,000 miles away, but all the parties involved 'back there' are within a few miles of each other! Indeed, the mortgage lender is in the same building with our realtor!! She rode herd on the process, but apparently someone wasn't doing his job.

As Raymond and I were in my Honda on our way up to Everett, Washington to pick up the CruiseAmerica rental RV (winterized), he had a phone call from our realtor. Since he was driving (his hands-free ear piece for his cell phone was ALSO packed), I answered and talked with her. She was apologetic, but stated that [someone] was investigating why this closing went so badly, especially right up to the last minute, which was complicated by our being 3,000 miles away. Not because we weren't doing our part, and that includes anticipating and getting the arrangement done far in advance of deadlines. So much for professionalism.

Long story short, the house is ours, but I have NEVER seen Raymond in such a rage.

The rental RV is beautiful, and even though winterized, it'll make us more comfortable going across country. Winterized simply means that the tanks for water are not filled, and cannot be filled because freezing weather might freeze the water and crack the tanks. So no running water, but we're going to carry a few gallon jugs of water, buying more as we need them. We have a convection microwave oven, a three-burner propane stove, a refrigerator-freezer, and lots of storage overhead for groceries, etc. There is even a closet for clothes, with hangers, etc. Besides, the shower is a great place to put my angel-wing begonia, my Christmas cactus, my arrowhead vine, and my Ali-Rosemary plant. See? All things work out for the best.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Day's Rest, Unexpected

A down day for us, not meaning depressed as much as not high activity, although we just about blew our gasket at our financial guys early in the morning. Despite our coming in LAST WEEK to get all the money transfers straight -- how much, from where, to where, by when -- the money for the closing was NOT liquid, and they were saying it wouldn't be until Friday (the 1st). Raymond told them to get the money transferred on time, that they had more than enough notice to get the transfers complete.

We ran errands all over town; in the evening, we played Freecell and Spider Sol on our computers, since we were surrounded by boxes. I tried to write the annotations for the first four novels of my second semester (Great Expectations, babel-17, Lord of Light, and Madame Bovary), but doing critical theory work based on character (rather than narrative structure) is difficult for me. I might not get them done in time for my packet, which paradoxically is going to my advisor several weeks early. If anyone tries to tell you that a low-residency MFA program is easy, send them to me. It's intense and enlightening.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Packers


Packers arrived: four gentleman, courteous, well spoken, very attentive listeners. We thought we had pointed out everything they were not to pack and that we had grabbed up the rest, but by that evening we found our error. Good thing I had my sneakers in my office, where I was working. I had gone down to get a pair of shoes to go out to get the mail, and the hall closet was empty! Already!!

Of course, Ceci's cat harness—which I had delayed putting on her, because she was so stressed with the tranquilized visit to the vet on the 16th, and then the every-other-night oral meds (which I got smart and ground up and served in tuna oil), and then the strangeness of boxes everywhere—was packed in a blink of an eye. Not only my shoes and Ceci's traveling harness, but Raymond's iPod, his multi-tool, my underwear (which I had to rescue). These guys were efficient, that's for sure! They only took one day, where they were supposed to take two (I had said I didn't think there was enough left in the house for two days of packing).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Decision

When one lives in God's country, why leave it? What would force two people—one of whom had lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1954 and the other since 1977—to dig up their deep ties to family and community and move three thousand miles away?

One word: sunshine.

Getting older has its advantages—a certain permission to speak one's mind, for example—but the ability to feel energetic in a country known for its rain forests diminishes. The decision became a choice: live with diminished energy and feel old or move into sunshine.

We chose to move, despite leaving behind family. There are regrets, of course, and even a sense of estrangement. However, like water on a dying bush, sunshine and clear skies have brought energy to grow and be alive.

This blog is a record of our decision, our trials, and our triumphs.