Sunday, August 19, 2007

Whoa, Nellie!

I've been working like the dickens trying to find certain personal treasures in all of my yet-unpacked boxes. It seems like I have been unpacking up to a dozen boxes a day ... maybe half that but it feels like 100. One of the most-sought treasures has been my computer modem.

AT LAST! Today I found it, and it was by pure chance and luck, or God's blessing. I'm thinking the last.

The church I've been attending (and which I probably will join in September) had a potluck lunch today. I was invited to come along, though I had not prepared anything to bring. They said that was OK since I'm still new. Their handbell choir was beginning rehearsals today and I really wanted to go. It started at 6:15. I made a deal with myself that I could go, but only if I finished getting EVERYTHING out of my temporary apartment. There were little dribs and drabs left, and I just had to get it done.

It amounted to about two cars-full of the most basic things one needs for survival. I had the second load packed when something told me I needed to check the "hobbit closet" -- a small closet with a door just my size (about 5 feet) which was tucked into a corner of the living room beneath the center stairwell.

I didn't remember putting anything into this closet, and I had completely cleaned out everything else, so I did a final look just to be sure.

WAH-LA, there was a plastic box in which I had put my modem, a router and splitter that I had once used to connect a couple of computers to one monitor and keyboard. Now I have been working hard trying desperately to find the modem so I could use my computer from home. Halleluyer!! There it was.

Problem is, I'm not sure I'm really correctly connected to MY rightful connection. The only connection I can get to work properly seems to be a nearby wireless connection that's not secured.

I've bought my own wireless router and really want MY connection all to myself, just as anyone would. But hey, if I have to piggyback tonight, I'm happy it's there. Maybe there's an answer to this puzzle somewhere in the mail I've let stack up this week. Before bedtime I'll glance at the bundle and see if I can learn something. I probably should write a few checks, too.

Anyway, for the moment I am typing to you from the card table which is set up in mid-dining room for now. I am totally unorganized, even for me. I've had a pretty productive weekend, complete with plenty of napping and time just for myself and my own interests. I did work for a while yesterday, but stopped at a reasonable half day. It was the shortest Saturday work time I've put in yet.

I know this isn't much of an update. Well, here's a little of what I've discovered in my unpacking frenzy: The people who packed me lack all common sense. A precious dresser set that belonged to my grandmother (delicate porcelain made in Germany about 100 years ago) was casually tossed into a box unwrapped, then topped with several books from my night stand. I am grateful it survived without a nick.

On the other hand, one box contained this item: A recently emptied Mr. Peanut jar (without the lid, mind you), carefully wrapped in layers of newspaper and positioned so it wouldn't get bounced around or bruised. Oh yes, the newspapers? Samples of my work, wadded up to fill the box. Thanks a lot.

Then there was a T-shirt, packed in another box, carefully secured in a metal pail that had been a media give-away treat. It was in a box along with some crystal boxes that held some of my small collection of jewelry -- sentimental pieces such as my great-aunt's ivory broach and a ring that a dear friend gave me one year when we were on vacation.

It made no sense at all to me, but it makes me fearful of a couple of other pieces I have not yet found. One is a tiny Chinese man carved from ivory that my mother had long before she married my father in 1953. It is tiny and delicate and very detailed, and if it is harmed I may hurt someone. The other is a vase that my grandmother won in a drawing in 1911 -- she had written a long personal history of the piece and tucked it down inside the vase. Let's hope they are both safely tucked in one of the many boxes still on the screened porch.

I wish I was finished with the unpacking. We had some rain today and I worry about some of the boxes getting wet where they are, but there is no place for them here in the house.

In other news: Work is going well. I have stirred up controversy with a series on restaurant inspections and a few stories about how poorly 9th grade students have been doing. My mind is already working on this coming week's stories. I do wish I could turn that off at will. I know my fellow journalists will agree that this is not possible, though.

I've been going through my old high school yearbooks. Many of my former classmates are on the boards and committees I cover. That's kind of fun.

Oh, a bit of irony. A historic home that was determined eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places missed out because the mayor and city commissioners decided to go ahead and put vinyl siding and new windows on the house at the request of the garden council, against the recommendations of the historic places advisory panel. Well, just this week, about two weeks after that decision, Laura Bush announced that we are now a Preserve America city because we value our historic buildings and our community's history. We're now eligible to apply for grants to maintain our historic places. The grants range from $20,000 to $150,000 I believe. Another touch of the ol' irony is that the niece of one of the commissioners earned her Girl Scout Gold Project by helping the city apply for this designation. Said commissioner voted against preserving the historic home in its original state. Yep, he's a vinyl siding kind of leader. I hope he appreciates this kinky twist!

There will be more to come now that I'm connected, by hook or by crook.

Oh yeah -- bell choir practice was fun. These bells are much lighter than the ones from my previous church, though. I about let my bell fly the first time I rang it. It will be hard to relearn how much effort it takes to ring.

Well, my friends, it is about time for me to head for bed. It's already 9 p.m.! I've become a real old fogey, it seems, being in the "early to bed, early to rise" camp for the first time ever. I real never thought I'd be able to overcome my night-owl tendencies. I am sleeping much better now that I'm out of the temporary apartment! That place really was giving me the heebie-jeebies. Did I mention that the upstairs neighbor just blithely walked into my apartment the other day because I had the door open trying to load out a few things? Didn't even knock. I think she had intentions of seeing what was left and deciding if she wanted to help herself to it. YUCK!


Anonymous said...

Woohoo! You found your modem! :)

It sounds like you're making some serious headway. Being that it wasn't all that long ago since we moved, I remember the feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere, even though I was. Six can easily feel like one hundred, too! Just keep plugging away at it.

That's too funny what and how they packed. My sister has some stories like that, too. Having someone else help us pack should be a reminder that we all think differently. LOL

I'll try to be patient while you finish unpacking. :)

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are up and going again. I have been my new house for 6 months. I still can't find some things. :-)

I am an old fogy too.

Take care,
Jeannie Diane
PS. I have a new post. Finally