T-9 days and a wakeup.

And I’m so ready for it to be over. My back is sore. When I get up in the morning, I need a little extra time to get my knees and ankles to bend to my will. The allergies have been non-stop. You never know how much dust you have until you start moving things around and boxing them up. Even with a maid, dust settles where it wants to, and there’s so much more of it when you have pets. But I’m getting so close to getting through this house move.

Tuesday, I closed on the new house, but not without a little last minute drama. The attorney’s office considered postponing the closing because the seller’s payoff letter wasn’t in yet. (It showed up early Tuesday morning.) And I received the money wiring instructions the day before closing, which was a bank holiday. That meant I needed to be on the phone as soon as the bank’s call center opened at 7:00 a.m. Naturally, I overslept, having forgotten to set my alarm. I had to make my coffee, feed the animals, get dressed and get right to an 8:30 meeting. I woke up at 8:07. I made it, but this meant I couldn’t call the bank until 9:30 a.m., when my meeting was over. After all of that, I was told it would take 1-2 business days for the wire transfer to go through. These days there are many hoops you have to jump through to move money. The closing went ahead as planned, with me emailing a bunch of last minute PDF files of various items and my son signing on my behalf with Power of Attorney.

Now I have two homes, two mortgages. It makes me nervous. But because I am only one 60-year old woman (whose body has been through hell and back) trying to deal with repairs, painting, packing, and nervous animals, I made the decision not to list my house until I’m out of it. It was the right decision for me, and I had the luxury to be able to do it. I’m taking an additional two days off of work so that I have some focused time to finish the last things I need to do around here. During that time, I’ll also take my sweet dog, Adele, to her favorite groomer for a bath and nail trim, and I’ll also try to get some sedative for my cats. One of my cats, Lola, is a very nervous girl whom I rescued from the local animal shelter. She has taken a very long time to trust me, but the car still scares her. Every time I have to take her to the vet in her carrier, she eliminates in it. Thankfully, the one I take her in can be easily hosed out, but I’d hate to be trying to do that at various points on a 7-hour drive. I imagine how stressed out she’ll be in a carrier on that long a drive and how many pee pads and blankets I could go through. It would be better if she could sleep for at least part of the way.

My ex-wife will be driving her car down with me so that I can stop and go to the bathroom or get a drink without turning off my car. Given the soaring temperatures, I’m so grateful for that. Otherwise, what would I do? Stop on the roadside and go behind some bushes somewhere? Ha! So she’ll get to see my new digs and will be helping me get settled in while she’s there. I’m hoping we have a chance to go look around my new surroundings before she has to come back up to Maryland.

It’s all really happening. It doesn’t seem real, but it is. There’s a whole plan in place for the maid and the carpet cleaners to come in after I leave. There’s a plan for everything. But I have to count on this tired body to get me the rest of the way to being ready for the movers.

My rhythm was thrown off today, because I tried to get to downtown Frederick for Pride. Unfortunately, with traffic and road closures, I kept getting dumped out a street or two north of where I needed to be (on a one-way street). After a half-hour of dealing with that, and with the low fuel warning lighting up the dash, I gave up and headed for home. I stopped to fill up the gas tank (to the tune of $55) and then came home to my babies. As soon as I was in the door, I did a couple of minor tasks and then climbed into my bed for a nap. It was an early morning for me, up with the chickens, and most of the kitchen got packed up before my little jaunt. As soon as I settled in and rolled onto my side, Adele plopped down against my back, and Annabel, my other cat, curled up on top of me. I slept solidly for over an hour.

We finished out the day with a pizza and grocery delivery, and a little bit of The Waltons. I still love that show after all these years. John-Boy and I had the same longing to write and the same trouble finding the peace and quiet to do it. Watching those old shows from time to time reminds me not to give up on that particular dream. This move is going to get me closer to being able to do it. With a lower cost of living, I think the pressure will be off, somewhat. I will be in a small neighborhood of little brick homes, nestled in farmland. No HOA! A mile away is downtown Boiling Springs, with its history, and fifteen minutes in the other direction is downtown Shelby, with its history. (Can you tell that’s the part that most interests me?) I fully intend to keep my job for as long as I can, because I do love it. That’s a rare thing, isn’t it? Keeping my job means I can sock more money away. Maybe I’ll actually start trying to sell stories again.

The sun is setting now, and the moon will soon rise. My babies are sleeping nearby, and outside the peepers are singing near the small pond next door. Soon the crickets will join in harmony and lull me to sleep. Tomorrow will come soon enough with all its lusty demands. And I’ll rise to meet them.

Peace, Jude

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