One Day

By dinner time tomorrow, our soggy, box-full, furniture-empty, house will feel like home despite it all.

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He leaves the deep freeze on the shores of the Arctic Ocean tonight and will arrive on the unusually frozen southern shores of the Atlantic tomorrow.  Knowing he had not planned on bringing his arctic gear, an emergency phone call took care of that.  True winter in the lower 48 awaits his arrival.  He doesn’t mind though, winter is kind of his thing…

matt2

We’ve not seen him for over a year, Christmas 2012 to be exact. So much has happened in his life and ours since then, I’m not sure his two weeks will be enough time to sort it all out.  And sort it out we must, for as much excitement as there is in his return, it wears the shroud of sadness that only a broken heart wears.

You see, he fell in love with a dog, who owned the girl, that stole our son’s heart…

tandum

He chose the ring for the knot that means a great deal to her and announced to the world “SHE SAID YES!” on July 20th…

the ring

She chose the dress in the color that says “I am not afraid as I face the world with the man I love

the dress

They chose the date, Friday, February 13, 2015, to tell the world “We have no fear of your superstitions, we’ll face it together

They spent every spare moment they had together, traveling the land they both love so much…

matts land

One of the hardest things to witness is the breaking of your child’s heart.  Whether 2 or 25, the heart cares not the why or the how, only that it’s a pain unlike any other.

The life plan has changed. The love won, now lost. “She said yes!” echoes hollowly in the darkness following “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to be with anyone”

As his mother, I grieve for his tender heart and shattered dreams.

As his mother I silently thank the girl for knowing this truth now and being brave enough to say so.

As his mother, I weep for and with him, longing to make it better, but knowing I can offer nothing but a safe place for him to cry.

So, it’s time for this boy, this man, our Matthew, to come home to slide into the open arms of his Dad and me; the only place he can let it all go.

The place where the man can again be the boy who needs what only his family can give him…a safe place to grieve, a hearth to warm the bone deep chill of lost love, and the touch of those that know the truest nature of him…love.  He shines with it and has since he was born.

He will find The One.

Someday.

One who will see him for who he is, and love him completely for it.

We know this.

He will too.

One Day.

Until then, we’ll do what we have always done…love him, guide him beyond his feeling foolish for having loved “too much”.  With the gentlest of reminders that no love is ever foolish or ever wasted or ever “too much”. That to deny the best part of himself for fear of being hurt this way again, would be to deny the very air he breathes.

He won’t.  He can’t.  It’s not in him.

As his mother, this I know.

Welcome Home Matthew…where the heart is

matt1matt 3

Ebb and Flow?

need a paddle

While the recent trauma-drama had not yet completely ‘drained’ from my brain, it had, at least, ‘trickled’ to a minor, albeit steady, unresolved, ‘drip’.

Something akin to Chinese water torture.

However, that said, I was surprised that I was surprised when I found myself, yet again, ‘wading through a ‘puddle of shit’ left behind by another supposed professional’s incompetence!

This time, a new washing machine installation gone horrendously wrong…to the tune of 9,000 bucks (and counting)!!!

[Not to worry though.  The insurance companies are duking it out…and if ours wins, we hope to recover the 3 grand over what the insurance has paid so far to re-build my laundry room and replace 1,296sf of carpet and pad upstairs, along with all the molding, as well as damaged drywall and insulation!  Which of course means I still have basically NO furniture up there and everything still dumped into boxes!  43 Days People!]

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, I left disappointed in the frozen north about a month and a half ago.

But, surprised?

Yeah, I was.  Surprisingly surprised.  HA

IMG_0043

Are. You. Shitting. Me ???

Because truthfully?  I thought I was on ‘dry land’ once the move was finally over.  Even though I was still having to deal with those numbskulls at Colonial Van Lines Relocation, Inc. out of Margate Florida on a daily basis

(oops, did I just reveal the goon squad’s company?)

…I still felt I’d made strides away from the mind-numb “knuckle-dragger pulling me by the hair” chief cave-cook and horn washer, not to mention head buffalo hide pee-er on-er…

Ugh

…to the “upright walking, slightly behind and to the left of the Neanderthal” can you take me out for a bison burger instead of hacking it off the carcus and throwing it to me to cook cave-slave .

don’t get used to it

In other words, almost human!

Writing about it here helped; receiving validation for my outrage here helped.

Not quite in charge, but gaining power.

Or so I thought.

This is not where I thought I’d be 43 days in

…without a you know what

Ya know?

While you were reading about the moving shade spinning out of control, I was ‘immersed’ in that new ‘flood’ of bad karma.

I know some who’d say that this is just the way things are sometimes, and that I should just ‘ride the wave’.

Others I know might say I should not let this stress me because all things eventually come out clean in the ‘wash’.

And more still who might believe that at some liquid point between the amniotic fluid and the tidal wave that is my life, I did something mighty wrong and am paying for it now.

Am I?

Are these the waters “come to cleanse my soul”?

Maybe.

But then, if that’s true, I’m not sure how happy it makes me to think that my salvation lies in the gushing effluent of semi-rural, semi-agricultural Virginia.

How cleansing could they be having traveled the length and breadth, in 200 year old plumbing, before snaking its way through the plastic portals of my laundry room; sent to bathe me in their healing, mystical, all forgiving, powers?

eeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwww-ah
(that’s a two syllable eew for those that don’t know)

I mean…Noah got rain.  Fresh, pure, clean from the pristine clouds of the pre-industrialized world, never heard of acid rain, sky.  And he only had to deal for 40 days!  I’m already at 43 and I’m NOT done yet!

And I dare say, even HE had a paddle!

anyone seen my paddle?

 I get rusty, fertilizer tainted, used to be filled with poop but now we use chlorine, WASTEWATER!

When is it going to be MY turn?

“Who’s saying ugh now huh?”

Oh nevermind me…a girl can dream can’t she?

(ps…thank you to my grandsons Kyle and Alex for giving me the means to express the faces of surprise and eeeeew)

“As the Shade Spins…When the Door Opens”

The opening of this, the last episode of As the Shade Spins, was inspired by my good friend Mimi, when she commented on the last installment “Why do I feel like this is movie material for the Griswold’s?”  Damn if that ain’t the truth!

Now, without further commercial interruption…on with the show…

As the Shade Spins – Part IV

Last we saw our driver, he was stomping out the door following heated discussions about his practice of hiring thugs and lying to his clients and/or boss.

Well, he huffed and puffed and drove the truck off.

Yes folks, we were officially victims of furniture-napping.  And the ransom was the ‘balance due’

“Pay up or we’ll kill the recliner!”   😈

Since we had signed on the dotted line, and we wanted this nightmare to end, we decided it best to pay up and fight later. So when ‘he with fork-ed tongue’ returned, without a single word, he took the card, processed the payment over the phone, and headed outside. The passenger side door opened and the accomplice disembarked while the napper opened the main door.

“Ahhhhh, free at last” came whispering out of the blackness (I think it was the recliner…it must have overheard the two goons plotting its demise!)

It was already dark outside, but here, at least, we had outside lights. I was a little concerned that we didn’t have overhead lights in the bedrooms on the second floor, nor did we have lamps (they were all packed neatly in a red truck 800 hundred miles north of us), but with the 3 hall lights and a ginormous foyer light on, I didn’t think it would be too difficult a task with the little that needed to go up there.

Of the 3 bedrooms, we had suites for 2 and a small 3-part sectional and the ‘rescued recliner’ were to go into the bonus room over the garage.  Other than that, there was only a kitchen sized dining set and a few accent pieces going on the first floor.  Since the majority of the boxes had not been marked from whence they came nor where they were going, I decided that all the boxes would be put in the first floor living and dining rooms since there was very little furniture to put in either.

Sound like a plan?  Simple enough right?  More work for me later, but hey, I was happy with it.

Uh Huh…you know it’s coming. Now it’s my turn.  Please watch your step, but follow me into the next black hole of our own little Twilight Zone…the one I call:

BREAKING BAD

Once the plan had been relayed to the fearless leader, things began well enough.  I mean, with just two guys, we knew it was going to go slow (oh, and by the way, ZERO sign of any back trouble from ol’ huff-n-puff).  It was mainly boxes coming off for the first half hour or so.  I didn’t say a word when they brought in each box and plopped it in the middle of the room where they’d continually have to go around it to plop the next one down.  I didn’t ask them whether they thought it might be better to stack them against the walls, to open space to move freely.  No, I just did it myself and kept quiet. Until…

I made the mistake of asking the accomplice (in my mind referred to as ‘I swear he’d move faster if he was walking backwards!) to actually place one of the boxes he was lugging in, as I could see it was too heavy for me to do alone.  Well, jumping Jesus, you’d have thought I’d asked him to carry ME up the stairs (no small feat I can tell ya) instead of just putting that box somewhere other than the middle of the dining room!

His hip actually caulked cocked (? LOL) to one side, his head lowered, and he fucking sighed….like a TEENAGER.  Then he looked at me without raising his head (you know, the ol’ eyes rolling up thing?) and said “I really can’t, I’m busy” then plopped the box right where he stood!

Yup. The line in the wood floor was drawn.  The white flag of truce had been lowered and hoisted instead was this:

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Okay, I get it. I’m on board. I left the room and left him to deal with putting the boxes wherever he wanted to.  Let him have to walk around them, who gives a shit. Not thinking that, of course, he wouldn’t be walking around them, he’d just be plopping them closer and closer to the door.  Atta girl Rhonda, you sure showed him!

I’d decided to check on the fearless leader’s progress, he being the one in the truck, passing the boxes forward.  I saw they were close to off-loading some of the furniture pieces, so I mentioned again ‘the plan’…which bed and dresser in which room, the bonus room furniture, etc.  No problem.

I went inside to try to make some inroads in the kitchen while the muscle started bringing in furniture.  Kitchen table, chairs, hutch in the kitchen…check.  Secretary, computer desk in the living room…check. Twin beds, dresser, nightstand in the back bedroom…check.  Double bed, dresser, chifferobe in the front bedroom…check.  Beds assembled? Yes, sure, absolutely, no problem.  Awesome.

No surprise that by this time, the Hubs had decided to dig in for the obvious reason; at the current rate of progress, we’d be there ’til their place of birth froze over if he didn’t help with something!  He was assembling the table in the kitchen while the other two were bringing in the other pieces that had already been designated, so no need to direct this part of the opera.

Yeah, so we thought.

When the time came to bring in the pieces for the bonus room, we ran into some pushback.  Hmmm, ran into some pushback…sounds a tad mild to my mind, but what it boiled down to was this:

They didn’t care to bring those pieces upstairs.  The living room was closer, on the first floor, empty of furniture, and it certainly LOOKED like living room furniture, so they figured that’s where it belonged.  THEY figured that’s where it belonged!  I’ll say it again…okay…I won’t. But REALLY?

Initiate melt down…three, two, one…..BLAST OFF!

Hubs and Me:

(Best guess would be around a decibel level of 95 (somewhere between a lawnmower and a car horn, all the while the two devil-goons are carrying on like we were not even there)

What do you mean they won’t bring it upstairs?
God Rhonda, let’s just get this over with.
But who the hell IS gonna take it upstairs?
We’ll deal with it later.
What do you mean WE? You are always at work and I can’t lug this shit upstairs alone.
They said it wouldn’t fit through the door up there anyway.
What the fuck are you talking about?  It fit through the door at home and it’s NO BIGGER than this one!
They said the legs don’t come off that chair and there’s no way it’ll fit.
BULLSHIT…the legs DO come off, they came off when it was delivered to the OTHER house!
I don’t want to argue about it, let’s just get DONE!
Fuck that…I want this furniture upstairs because it BELONGS upstairs!
I mean it…just LET IT GO!
Bull…tell them to take it upstairs or I’ll leave!  I’ve had ENOUGH!
Rhonda…wait,  wait damn it….where are you going?
OUT…AWAY…I’ll walk and keep on walking or I’m gonna KILL something!
FINE…have it your way, act like a child, LEAVE.

So I did (act like a child).  Grabbed my coat, my purse, and my cell phone (thank God) and walked off into the night.  No violins, no crescendo of dramatic music…just me, in the dark, in the rain (had I mentioned it was raining?), and in a huff.  I’d only known two things about this neighborhood prior to move-in day; how to get to my house, and how to get to the main road.  That’s it.

So, I did what I knew I could…I walked to the main road and took a right.  I knew there was a convenience store somewhere up there at a major intersection…I’d make my way there, get a coffee, and wait.  For what?  I didn’t know.  I just knew I had to get out and I had to have a place to go.

I trekked like a mad woman on a mission, tears mixing with the rain, continuing the idiotic conversation with the Hubs, OUT LOUD and to NO ONE, all the while walking that street like a hooker on speed.  I kept my eyes on the white line, avoided looking up at cars that were flying by lest they see the eyes of an insane person!

I continued on that way for about 20 minutes, and only when the white line disappeared, did I look up to see that the concrete drainage ditch that ran beside all the roads around here was inches away from me, where before then, it had been feet away.  In the noticing, I must have startled myself, for my left foot slipped on the slippery slope (ha!) and rather than go with the flow and land on my ass in the running drain water…I tried to jump the gully.  Tried being the operative word. As soon as my foot landed on the other side…I heard it.  SNAP.  Funny, I did hear it before I felt it too.

Next thing you know, I’ve face planted in the ditch, soaking and covered in mud, crawling my way back up to the road, crying like a baby.  I’d managed to hang onto my cell phone, though I honestly cannot say how.  I had forgotten one thing though…in my haste to escape.  My glasses!  I was blind as a bat.  Traffic was whizzing by, the rain on the road making that sound so much worse.  But, through my tears and over the traffic noise and the sobs, I saw the familiar silhouette light up the screen and heard the ringtone of my husband.

hugh?
Where are you?
i don’t knoooooow laying on the side of the road
WHAT?
i’m laying on the side of the roooooad
Where?
I don’t knoooooooow on the MAIN road just take a riiiiight i can’t waaaaaalk i thththink I bbbbroke my leeeeg
Oh Jesus Christ, stay there, I’m coming
iiiiiiii wiiiiiiiil wahhhhhhhhhhh (imagine Lucielle Ball…yeah, like that, exactly like that!)

A few minutes later, his car pulls up on the side of the road, me in the headlights.  No one else had stopped, and I’ve wondered since if I was even visible in my black coat, on that rainy night.  I think I’m lucky I wasn’t roadkill!

Anyway, Hubs grabs me under the arms, and together, we manage to get me on my one foot…the other one won’t work…and settled into the car.  I instinctively put the seat back as far as it will go and put my right let up on the dash to elevate it.  As there were still two goons at the house, he was obviously torn between taking me to the ER and going back to get them done and get them GONE!

So, for the next two hours, I sat in that same spot while Hubs ran through the rest of that truck like a madman.  And being the kind, compassionate, professional ASSMONKEYS those two were, they watched him.  One stood there folding blankets, the other may have taken in two boxes during that entire period.

After I’d left, they had emptied the truck of the rest of the furniture pieces and a few more of the boxes.  And yes, they placed everything within 10 feet of the front door.  Not another second wasted on talking to them, not another fraction of a second did he spend doing anything but getting that truck empty and those devil-dogs out.  Once that was over, he didn’t even stop to breathe…he ran to the car and to the ER we went.

While waiting for the Ortho to come tell us what the x-ray had revealed, we received a visitor.  Yup, not in town but a few hours and already had visitors!  It was a Virginia State Trooper.  A Captain no less.  Apparently, he’d been in one of those whizzing by vehicles, when his daughter shouted “Daddy, there’s a woman on a cell phone laying on the side of the road!”  Yup, that were me!

The good Captain continued on his way taking his daughter home after a basketball game then returned to “the scene of the grime” only to find I’d gone.  He used his amazing intuitive skill to surmise I’d likely been taken to the hospital and upon further investigation, found me and the Hubs in the ER.  He introduced himself, asked for the scoop, then stayed and chatted for a quarter-hour or so, before wishing us well and taking his leave. What a nice guy (cute too I might add).

Once diagnosed with the broken tibia, wrapped, booted, drugged, and given our appointment for a couple of days hence, we were sent on our way.  Drowsed from the meds, I recall just one thing…walking into a house that looked like a cardboard A-bomb had exploded and left its residue all over the first floor!  I didn’t care.  The Hubs walked me tenderly to the (now thankful it’s downstairs) recliner, propped my adorned leg up (toes to nose you know) and let me sleep.  What he did then, I’m not sure, but I pray it was just fall asleep on the (again, thankful it’s downstairs) sectional, for had he gone upstairs that night…well, let’s just say we may NOT have survived to see today.

This is not the end of what we’ve had to deal with…but it’s the end of this traji-comedy for now.  Perhaps a sequel down the road…one detailing just WHAT we found upstairs and just how incompetent these people were and what steps we’ve taken with this company, and maybe even what has happened SINCE in our new home…I’ll think on it.  I’m not entirely sure I’m up to it (you either for that matter)!’

All I will say, about what’s gone on since, is there is water involved….lots and lots and lots of water!  If you saw the photos from “As Promised – The Opening Line” you won’t be surprised.

Thanks for joining me, sharing it with me, hopefully laughing with me too…hindsight is a funny thing!

R

“As the Shade Spins…the Hubby Loses it!”

I can’t speak to your usual customs during intermission…but I hope you’ve refreshed your spirits, refilled your bowls, settled in the comfy chair, and are anxiously awaiting the next chapter of our little drama.  If so with your permission, here we go…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

We left our cast at the end of a very long, very cold, very anxious, and extremely infuriating day 2…to sleep the sleep of the damned!  The next morning was the coldest yet, frigid is just a word we use because we can think of no other.  Dang it was cold.  But no time to dottle   We stuffed our luggage up, down, in, around, and under anything we could in our two cars and hit the road.  We needed to be in Virginia by 10am the following day for our walk through and our closing was at 2pm that same day!

Yeah buddy.

(Oh, and by the way, the fully loaded F-150 of my father’s?  Yeah, still in Vermont.  We are now 31 days in, and it’s still there loaded with MY stuff.  No help for it though.  What with health issues, weather issues, lack of finding someone able to drive it down here issues, it is what it is.  A truck ready for anything that could possibly occur if the need should arise, as it’s full of lamps, Christmas decorations, books, movies, bookcases, garden tools, trash cans, bedding, ladders, and even a small charcoal grill and a lantern!  So don’t worry Dad, if you get caught out in the weather and need a place to stay?  Climb in the back…you’re good to go.)

I’m sure there’s a post in me somewhere for detailing the wonders and the beauty of the drive down, and you know me, I’ll add some photos…but for the sake of this little drama, I’ll just say good thing it was pretty.  That’s all I have to say about that!  It was a looooooooooong day and my ass hurt, and I get ugly when my ass hurts.  We landed in Virginia late, tired, hungry, and thirsty as hell for something that didn’t need a straw or a cover on the cup!

W I N E…give me wine!

We made our walk through (we’d managed to put it off until noon), found the water heater had mysteriously shit the bed, the work under the crawl space that had been contracted per our professional home inspection was not done as directed, and the gas fireplace wouldn’t work, so closing was delayed a couple hours while the seller/realtor/and powers that be got it all straight that these things would be corrected ASAP at no cost to us.  Great, fine, good to go.

Meanwhile, the movers, who had given me a delivery window of 7 days (yes..7 days) had called no less than 3 times while we were at the attorney’s office, wanting to know when we would be at the house so they could unload.  They were sitting there, parked in front of the house, pretty as you please!!!

Really?

It was already late afternoon.

Really?

What happened to the 7 days and we’ll call you with the exact date?

Are we really going to be doing this IN THE DARK?

AGAIN?

Foreboding.  You knew the feeling was coming yeah?

Forefuckingboding hit me like a brick.

So…no post-closing celebratory dinner for us (or any for that matter).  No moment to walk the empty house, placing furniture (what there was of it) in my head, no looking forward to the first chance at a decent night’s sleep in days.  No, for us…it was ‘same shit different day’ time.

F I N E—BRING IT!

We got to the house after 4:00 and sure enough, there they were.  The moving crew from hell!  Did I say they were from Haiti?  I should have said they were from Hades!

First things first…the driver gets out alone, says he can’t open the doors until we pay him the balance due (50% paid up front).

Not “I’ll get my guys started while we settle the paperwork.”  Nope, plain and simple, he cannot open the doors until we give him a credit card.

Oooooh, I saw the look on the Hub’s face and it was not pretty.  Worse…it was eerily murderous.  He was in the driver’s face in a flash, and I mean Silver Bullet type fast.  The driver never had a chance.  Next thing you know the three of us were in the house, there were three different phones being put to use at the same time…and while we were all waiting our respective call backs (you didn’t think we could actually get anyone on the phone did ya?) this is what the driver had to say…paraphrased in English of course…and my inner most thoughts in parenthesis, per usual:

Driver says:

“Sir, I need to tell you that I hurt my back off-loading a piano from that other load that was on the truck with yours (what? there was a piano in there somewhere? and when the hell did you have time?  oh, those poor other customers) and I can’t lift anything (WTF?) and I only have one of my cousins (you mean crew member right?) with me ’cause I had to drop the other one off back in Massachusetts (you went to Massachusetts AGAIN? and it’s just you and ONE guy? and you can’t LIFT? Wait, WHAT?)”

He continues…

“So, if you’ll just pay me, I’ll go to a truck stop I saw about 20 miles back up the road and hire a couple of guys. (huh? what did you just say?  truck stop? hire? wait, WHAT?)”

Okay…here is where it goes out of control.  Well, at least where my husband goes out of control (mine comes later.  oh and same thing applies here…my inner thinking in parenthesis).

Husband says:

“Are you kidding me?  You expect me to hand over my credit card so you can go hire some fucking random, thugs you picked up at some truck stop?  You are out of your mind! (you go honey)  I hired a MOVING COMPANY…I did NOT hire three thugs and a fucking truck!  (whoo hoo) I want what I paid for!  (that’s telling him babe) You get on the phone to your dispatcher and have him make arrangements to have qualified help here tomorrow. (that did it hon, we’ve got him now)”

Driver says:

“Sir, I do this all the time. I hire people off Craigslist too (did he really say that out loud?)”

Husband replies:

“You what? (yeah that’s what I said) Don’t you work for CVLRD? (good point honey) And isn’t that a CVLRD truck you are driving? (yup) And just whose name is on this paperwork? (it ain’t three thugs and a fucking truck I can tell ya that much) Are you telling me you routinely go out and hire random people, of your own volition, to finish jobs your company was hired to do?  (you’re in trouble now buddy)”

Driver says:

😯

The Hubster:

“I’m telling you right now, you will NOT get one red cent from me for that, or for anything else for that matter, until you get your dispatcher on the phone…RIGHT NOW! (whoa babe, you’re even scaring me!)  You get on the phone, tell him what you told me about being hurt and what you want to do about getting this job done!”

Meanwhile, we’d finally gotten our coördinator on the line, and she passed us to the dispatcher, who as it turned out, is just as knuckleheaded as his driver.  He said no, they were not in the habit of hiring from truck stops or Craigslist; yes, the driver works for them; yes, the truck belongs to them; yes, he understands why we’d react to being told such a thing; no, he had not been informed that the driver was hurt or missing a crew member; no, he’s more than sorry, but there was no way to get him qualified help in time to finish this job because this job HAD to be done that day as the truck and crew were already booked for another job the next day; (wait for it….) and finally yes, we needed to give the driver our credit card before he could open the doors!  Oh, but could he please speak with the driver to find out about this ‘injury’ as he wouldn’t expect him to work hurt.

Remember that clip from Poltergeist?

W H A T  I S  H A P P E N I N G ????

Are we even still on EARTH?

Long story short (hahaha, now THAT’S funny), the driver lied through his pearly whites, told his dispatcher he was NOT hurt and could finish this job no problem, all he wanted was to tell us he needed to be paid first, and we reacted irrationally.  Now, understand, we could HEAR him (amazingly clear English I might add).  Did he not get that?  My husband didn’t let him finish his conversation before getting back on the phone and telling the dispatcher he’d just been lied to.  Either that or WE’D been lied to.  When the driver heard my husband say that, he huffed out the door saying this exact thing (in English and everything):

“I don’t need this shit.  This isn’t even my REAL job!”

Ummmmmmmm…what’s that word?  Gobsmacked?  Yeah, that’s it!  Gobsmacked.  And not because we didn’t believe it (no one would mistake this clown for a professional) but to say it?  In front of us while on the phone with HIS boss?

omgomgomgomgomgomg…can this day get any worse?

Seems it can…join me next time for “When the Door Opens” on the next installment of “As the Shade Spins”

“As the Shade Spins Some More Still”

As we get ready to join our already-in-progress play of numb-nuts and dumb-bells. I invite you to refill your bowls.  There’s a surprisingly large quantity left (what? you don’t like it?) so I’ve kept it warming on the stove. It may be a tad thicker than it should be, but you could always add a drop or two of that Canadian almost beer…the little dirt eaters could probably use it.  And please, let me know if you are in a part of the world where the sun is just rising, I can fry up an egg to top your stew…I believe I can retrieve one or two from the face of our leading man…the driver.

We’ll pick up with our little ensemble right where we left them…in the freezing dark…at the end of day one. To refresh your mind, and get you in the mood, here is where we stand:

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

And now we return to…As the Shade Spins, Part II

Before the crew left that first night, we tried to find out where they were staying the night and what the plan was for the following day.  Not as easy as one would imagine…owing to the fact that the driver’s particular Haitian dialect was out of our scope and our particular English one was gibberish to him.  Apparently.

We did manage to conclude this though…he was planning on returning to Massachusetts (260 miles one way) because his cousin (cough…I mean, one of his crew) needed to be home in the morning for something ‘important’.

Now, maybe we are just too finicky, or too demanding, or just too damned too too…but if I were to say to you we were more than a little pissed off to find out our stuff was being schlepped an added 520 miles, for something that has absolutely nothing to do with our job, adding an inordinate amount of unnecessary liability…would we be wrong?  PLUS…would you have believed him when he said not to worry because he’d be back by 8am?  Even if he fervently and repeatedly stated he’d be back by 8am no matter HOW much sleep he got?

No, we didn’t either.

And because we lost almost an entire day the first day, we were then in the position of HAVING to finish (finish? shit…start the bloody job) the packing, loading of the house, packing and loading of our storage unit (no electric there either), cleaning and closing both, and making the 800 mile trip to Virginia in one day and not two because we had to be present for our final walk through on the new house in two days time!

Pissed?  Just a little.

So…day two dawns just as cold as the day before and they were just as late.  Yes, it seems our driver has a ‘waking up’ problem. They managed to roll in somewhere around 11:30am, a mere 3 and a half hours past his feverish and fervently promised 8am.  I won’t bother with the emoticons…you can just imagine!  Nor will I mention the many, rather colorful, telephone conversations with ‘corporate’.  And remember my mentioning in Part I the little detail about daylight being at a premium up there (12 miles from the Canadian border)?  Right.  We now have about 4 hours ’til dark, and I mean DARK, and they’ve only just arrived and the entire job still to do!

No. Fucking. Way.  KISS MY ASS AND CALL ME FRED (Now you know why I dubbed this my 50th Shade – what the hell next?)

Well, I’ll tell you what next…Mayhem!  I couldn’t believe it when I went out to the porch to have a smoke, and saw through the gaping mouth that was the open doors of that truck, what could only be considered CHAOS inside!  It looked like a couple of drunks had gotten in and started throwing things hither and yon looking for another bottle!

U N B E L I E V A B L E!

I had to leave; had to get out before I killed someone.  My husband had been so busy doing their job (dismantling furniture because they had no tools, packing boxes using packing paper they didn’t seem to be using, trying to MARK boxes they had packed because they didn’t realize they had to) and I was trying to keep an eye on how things were being wrapped, etc…that we’d not had a chance to see what was going on until then.

Other than telling them to stop, unload the truck, and get the hell out, there was nothing to be done in the time we had left.  So, I had to leave.  I drove down to the house periodically to check on my husband, who was working harder than all three of the others, and each time it became more and more evident that my husband had been right…there was NO way this truck was big enough. Especially with the way it was being packed, if you can even call it that.  Not for what was in the house and certainly not what was in storage.

O. M. G.  Kill me now!

(I’m so sure you all need a potty break by now, or perhaps more stew?  But let’s see if we can at least get out of Vermont before we have a commercial. Trust me though, I need one too!)

We end the day at 10:30pm, in the pitch black, bitterly cold, frozen north…steaming mad.  When all was said and done this day, in addition to the truck, we now have our two cars, my father’s pick-up truck filled to bursting (where to put our luggage? yeah, like that) (how the hell are two people going to drive three vehicles?  yeah, like that) and STILL, items tucked in his barn that won’t fit into either of those three additional transports.

The parting of the driver, crew, and truck wasn’t without a sigh of relief all the same.  They even left us a present.  Yes ladies and gents, never let it be said that these folks don’t respect their customers.  No sir.  They lavished us with two plastic carry bags full of garbage, three empty work boot boxes, a broken Styrofoam cooler, and a sundry of packing material trash…strewn carefully and cleverly in the middle of our driveway!  And as an encore, they even managed to hit the retaining wall on the way out, knocking the railroad ties flat.  Yes indeed…consummate professionals right to the bitter end!

After a few hours of what is sure to be nightmare filled sleep…we hit the road in the morning.  It can’t get much worse, so we’ll see what happens on the other end next time on…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

How about a tease for what’s to come?  Okay…have a look-see below…oh boy!

THIS IS MY LIFE! Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes? Together? Unprotected in the same box? (yeah, like that)

THIS IS MY LIFE!
Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes?
Together?
Unprotected in the same box?
(yeah, like that)

(God, I need a drink! I’m just writing it, it already happened, and it’s only 10am…but I NEED it!)

“As the Shade Spins Some More”

Grab a bowl of warm can o’ worm stew off the stove, and please make sure you only take what you can eat…there is plenty, but we want everyone to get their fair share.  Yum!  Oh, and there’s some (Canadian) almost-beer in the cooler to choke it down with. (You’re welcome NB) Then pull up your favorite soap-opera-watching-tv-chair ’cause we’re ready to go.

As we return to our saga…we are about to enter the Final Act, which, you’ll recall, has been referred to as the “then shit REALLY got interesting” act. This is an act of more than one part…so we’ll begin with part I:

After months of searching and a dozen or more unanswered emails and phone calls, as well as the same amount saying they’d love to help but they don’t service our area, I finally found a moving company to pack us, load us, and deliver us from evil….I mean from the north.

I did my due diligence, checked BBB (a couple of issues, but nothing unresolved), checked previous client testimonials (no red flags there), did a background check on the owner, who seemed a long-standing professional in her field. Though I’d never heard of them, they were a national mover, based in Florida, but serviced more than their fair share of relocations from the northeast.

Cool.  And.  Phew.

I mean, we were right down to the wire and I was so thrilled to have the worst of the moving process settled..someone to pack the stuff, load the stuff, and deliver the stuff.  Not cheap, but not out of line with the current industry rates either.

Happy      😆

Moving day is here!  YAY

Zero degrees outside and I know once they are here the heat will go off because the door will be open, but so what?  I am so excited it’s finally happening that I don’t care.  Coats, scarves, gloves inside?  Psshaw…nothing to it.

I’d spent the previous two days making sure all was ready for them.  Nothing on the walls, soft goods tucked neatly in drawers, like items all in one place, kitchen gadgets and little bits placed in baggies for easy packing, all important papers and cables, etc. boxed and in my car, bottled water aplenty, toilet paper left on the holder for those special moments…what more could I ask for.  I was breathing easy and actually looking forward to the crew’s arrival…

Promptly at 9am

No – slightly late at 11am

Whoops – damned late at 1:30pm

Shit – you’re so damned late why bother showing up at all friggin’ late at 2:30pm. (And they show up in a truck too small by half and already half full!)

Says the husband:

“No fucking way will our stuff fit in THAT!”

Says the wife:

“Now, now Dear (teehee, not really), let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.  You know how movers are…they can fit 50 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.  It’s an art!”

Says the diver: (at least this is what we think he said)

“Slept late, so sorry.  Phone didn’t work, please excuse.  Needed to stop and buy work boots, so glad we passed a Wal-Mart on the way here.”

Husband  😡

Wife  🙄

Driver  😯

Uh Huh.  Okay then, daylight’s at a premium up here in the Northeast Kingdom this time of year, so they best get cracking if anything was to be done with what was left of the day (which, as it turned out for them, was about 4 hours, the last 3 of which were in the dark!  More on this in Part II).

Time to get rolling on the process, the paperwork, and to get the crew working on bringing in boxes and packing material.

We get the process explanation (sorta); no sign of the crew.

We get the paperwork and the explanation of that (sorta); no sign of the crew.

We get frustrated with the back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, due to a language/communication problem (sorta); still no sign of the crew.

Husband  👿

Wife  😕

Driver  😯

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, seems the driver had told his two-man-crew to stay put while he got the paperwork done (one hour and one translator later).  We are now at 3 dark thirty, which is fine for packing inside, but shit for loading a truck with overhead lights blocked by the previously loaded job.  By damn-ass-dark thirty, an hour later still, all that had been accomplished was bringing boxes and ‘some’ packing material inside rendering what little floor space left, utterly useless.

Hmmm, where to find room to tape these boxes together.  Hmmm, I know, let’s not worry about that now.  Let’s start wrapping some furniture and taking it out to the truck.  Yes…let’s do that.  Let’s fill the nooks and crannies usually filled in nicely with boxes with MY FURNITURE instead because you can’t get to your job on time, can’t get your crew working without your paperwork being done, you can’t speak English, and can’t get your head out of your ass long enough to see it’s FUCKING PITCH BLACK OUT THERE!

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

More in part II…I’ll save some stew  🙂

“As the Shade Spins” A traji-com-edy of dysfunction and disillusion

once upon a time

long ago and far far away, in the beginning of a dark and stormy night, it was love at first sight…then shit REALLY got interesting!

2014
The new year’s babe came roaring into existence
dragging what was left of her meaner older brother
2013
by the roots of his dead gray short hairs

I had hoped to see the end of The Year That Almost Totally Sucked Ass (T.Y.T.A.T.S.A.) around the same time I saw Massachusetts in the rear view mirror

Seems Ol’ 13 had other ideas.
Seems Ol’ 13 wasn’t quite ready to belt out Auld Lang Syne
And it’s obvious good Ol’ 13 conned his newborn kid sister into taking him along to continue the never-ending days of madness and mayhem

No way was he going out like a lamb
If he was anything at all, he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing
And determined to stick around for the final act he called

 “Wanna see the crazy old crow lose her mind?”

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WHAT’S HAPPENING?
(shades of poltergeist…at the 2.08 mark to be exact!)

My enthusiastic and optimistic return to enthusiastic and optimistic blogging in March of T.Y.T.A.T.S.A., has not gone quite as I had planned.  Then again, how does one plan life anyway.

I won’t recount the entire war, as I have already shared a few of the bloodier battles here already.

Those days were the “Once Upon a Time” and “In the Beginning” days.

And, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether to visit the “”Long Ago and Far Far Away” tales and wade through those deep and scoured trenches.

For now, if you choose, a quick peak at what optimism looks like (On the Road Again), then maybe a bit of “Love at First Sight“…

For soon, we’ll pick up where the shit REALLY gets interesting!”

Somewhere between Moving Day and Moving Day II

The can of worms is in the pan and on the stove, so join me for dinner and a show…

Next time on “As The Shade Spins

😳

On The Road Again

It’s official…we’re on the road again.

Tradin’ in

‘Ya can’t get theyah from heeyah’ 

for

‘Ya’ll come back now, y’hear?’

The Green Mountains of Vermont, the land of my birth…to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Before the snow flies and on the wings of the snow birds, we’ll be gone.

Naturally, this meant another foray into the wild green yonder of this place I love, to capture as much of her as I can before heading out.

A week from now we’ll be ‘down there’, looking for a home.

If we are successful, in 3 weeks time, I’ll be an Old Dame in The Old Dominion and the other half will be, ummm, well?

Old

I invite you to share my last Vermont Drive By of the Season and look forward to sharing my new home with you

(as soon as I find one)

R

Five and Twenty

Five & Twenty years today

What seems like only yesterday

You made our family whole that day

Baby Matthew

Second born & second son

But unique you are, second to none

Matthew the Light

You favor both your Dad and Me

Your brother? Lord, you two are like peas

Gramp? Ha, have you seen your ears?

With lobes like that you could fly, I fear

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Your nose though, even I must admit

Raised an eyebrow or two (whose nose is it?)

Not Dad’s, nor mine, and not your brother’s

Not Father’s Grand nor Grand Mother’s

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But we’ll leave the nose, we’ll just call it yours

‘Cause it fits that face we so adore

To celebrate this special day at hand

Our babe, our boy, our teen, our young man

Matthew

You’ve made our lives rich with love and laughter

We share your hopes, the dreams you’re after

You were just a boy when you left and began

The next leg of your journey toward becoming a man

Matt at the North Pole

But you found your life, your love – your way

Thousands and thousands of miles away

It’s never easy to watch your kids go

When you are a father, this too you will know

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But we couldn’t be more proud of you, our dear son

For the courage you’ve shown, the battles you’ve won

You’ve proven your mettle, your strength, your grit

You did it alone (mostly?) (a bit?)

Matt in anchorage

As you keep moving forward, new challenges will come

But our faith in you grows with each passing sun

Though, an old soul you have, there is plenty of time

To live for the moment, those moments sublime

Matt at Alyeska

We know you do and you always will

Without taking for granted the glorious thrill

That life has to offer to you who are willing

To live what they feel, and feel life fulfilling

Promises? Never. You’ll learn as you go

That heartache and pain are a part of the show

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Our best wish for you is to live ‘no regrets’

The more fully lived, the better life gets

We know the depths of compassion you hold

Your empathy, compassion, and emotions are bold

Matt at Portage Glacier

This day of your birth, this twenty and five

Is as miraculous now as the day you arrived

We love you dear Matthew, with all that we’ve got

(Your present’s in the mail…oops…I forgot)

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Sorry honey
Didn’t anyone ever tell you?
25 is the Poetry year
We Love you 😉

A Day Out with Superman and Lois – Part II

For some New England states, the lack of development makes for an inconvenient truth…there is a high price for beauty. Of all the states that make up New England, Vermont pays a higher price for its pristine vistas and unspoiled landscapes, than do the others. That’s not a scientific fact, but as one who has lived and/or worked in all of them, I feel confident in my opinion.

Seasonal tourism has become the bread and butter of a state (formerly?) known as The Dairy State. However, that said, it’s still not enough to make up for what this state has lost, what it once was, and still pay for what this state now is…an entitlement state with a tax bill to prove it.

You couldn’t drive a mile without passing a flourishing dairy farm; their rich pastures dotted with the familiar black and white of the Holstein, just to name one of the breeds that carved cow paths through much of the landscape of its history.

Nearly every generation of my family, leading up to but excluding mine, was raised or worked on, a family dairy farm.

The sights we see today, or in our case, the sights Supe and I captured yesterday, are now the norm.

Neglect may come to mind…but it goes much deeper.

Neglect suggests a choice.

Being a farmer is a choice.

Losing a farm is not.

And this doesn’t just happen here, it happens all over our country. But here is where I live, and here is where I love, and here is where I weep, for the loss of the American dream, one field, one barn, one beautiful bovine at a time.

I’m glad this day of Reflection with Supe resulted in the following photographs, for amid the not so subtle colors that draw the throngs of leaf-peepers, there are also signs of the times.

And please, don’t get me wrong, not all the photos of yesterday are sad reminders.  Some are of the wondrous sites that bring these people from thousands of miles away.  The commentary only addresses those photos that evoke a sense of loss for days gone, livelihoods lost, to government’s well intended (?) intervention.

These signs are everywhere.

And knowing his roots as a farm boy, I also know it’s never easy for him to see what is an all too common sight today.

I wanted him to know that I see what once was when I point my camera in the direction of a falling down ruin of a barn, or the overgrown and gone to seed fields that once produced food for the masses, four-legged and two-legged alike.

I wanted him to understand that the photos I take are not just a sad reminder of the times. Nor are they just a snapshot of the foreseeable future.

They are, for me and I hope for him, as much a tribute to the rich history and grass roots past that he cherishes and I’ll never let die.

I wanted him to come away from our day of Reflection knowing I see and feel, the depth of what’s lost and that I’ll never take life, or family values, for granted.

So, here, Part II of A Day Out with Superman and Lois:

The High Price of Low Progress
~♥~
For Dad
~♥~

(and for you Dad, we’ll start with some to make you smile)

See? You are smiling right? :)

See?
You are smiling right?
🙂

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I’ll end with a Patch
A Pumpkin Patch
Pick one…it’s YOURS!