July 19th, 2002 § Comments Off on § permalink

Not a Good Day to Give Up Caffeine…

Moving day. Started with a 5:30 a.m. phone call from an insurance agent in Boston who didn’t realize area code 206 was in another state. Movers said they were showing at 8 a.m., so the night before was a rush to throw whatever was left in boxes. It was an emotional day all around, so we decided as soon as the movers were done, we’d take off. I’d actually seen a fair number of people in the previous week. People dropped by to say “hey” as we were packing, which meant a lot to me. But no “good-byes.” I was steadfast in the no “good-byes.”

Walking through the empty house was surreal. It was completely different from when I first walked through it: the shag carpet was replaced by hardwood and fir floors, tobacco-stained walls repainted, new sinks, new tiling, new counters, new colors, new roof, new outside paint, a garden instead of the horrible juniper-filled lawn. Walking through the empty house made me realize just how small it is. Adam and I have all these grand plans for our new house, and on my tour of the old house, I have to laugh at all the things I was going to get done “first thing” that never got done. The cutting board sitting in the basement for the cabinets that I was going to replace right away because it was such an “easy fix”; the broken drawer I was going to repair; the medicine cabinet that needed hardware to shut. I wonder what Adam and I will actually get to in our new house.

And yes, I’m trying to wean myself off caffeine. On my last official physical while I’m still an insured person, the doctor suggested it.

The Move

The movers took about 5 hours to load up the truck, which was surprising to me, because I didn’t realize how much stuff I had accumulated over the past couple of years (which, of course, would include Adam and all his belongings, but since I made him get rid of all his furniture before he moved in, I didn’t think it was that much. Adam’s a small guy. In fact, when he moved in, before we were engaged, I was telling the Tweedle Twirp, “Yeah, he’s not bringing his bed or his couch… or his lamp, now that I think of it.” “What is he bringing?” “Um, I’m okay with his Dunkin Donut mug.” “This is so he can never leave, right? ‘Get out now! But all you can take is your Dunkin Donut mug. He’ll have nowhere to sleep, sit, or read, he’ll only be able to have a cup of coffee, so he’ll have to stay!”). It took an hour when I moved in. I roped about 12 friends and convinced them to help me move. Bill showed up and I said to him, “Hey, guess what, you’re driving the truck!” I may have been bossy, but that was the fastest move in the history of moves.

While the movers worked, I lay around. Took a nap in the car. At one point, I became sentimental, so Adam and I walked down to Ballard Market to buy wax paper, so I could cut flowers from our garden to press. In our already overfilled trunk, right now, is a Seattle phone book stuffed with flowers.

So Now We’re Off

So at about 2:30, we hit the road. We stopped at Barnes and Noble to pick up a Lonely Planet: USA, since on this trip we’ll actually stop along the way. We’re also armed with Roadside America, which was a present from my girlfriends. Our first destination is Wilson, Wyoming, which is just outside of Jackson Hole. My aunt and uncle live there so we thought we’d pass through. Rather than take I-90 across, Adam suggested we first go to Portland, and head across on I-84. That way, we could make our final pilgrimage to Powells, the finest books store in the world, bar none. The only problem with this idea is that I’ve only traveled I-90 east a handful of times. I’ve done the I-5 route millions of times, and it was one long reminder of what I’m leaving. From leaving U-District (where I started the STP with Eugene, Todd, Scott, Laura, and Kate in the Montlake parking lot; Husky Stadium where I ran the Beat the Bridge race Mary, Jen, Sandra, Pam, Juliewa, Julie P., and Pam; the IMA where I used to play racquetball with Andy in my grad school days), passing through the city (the new REI where I suited up for my first local camping trip with Rico and Steve; passing the building my father named for me [“Look at that tall building! I think we should name it the Jenny Building”]; passing US1 and 2 in the International District, where I’ve worked the past bunch of years; Safeco field, where Adam and I had one of our earliest dates). Different signs along I-5 make me think of other adventures: Yakima, my first wine trip with Barb, Andy, Steve, Rico, and Jill (anyone remember Jill?); Mt. Ranier, hikes with that same crowd, snowshoeing with Jeff; Puyallup, going to the fair with Marc. Yeah, yeah, now I’m being self-indulgent and sentimental. So now, let’s get on with this trip.


Did I say we were going to go to Portland? The great thing about working is you forget what day of the week it is. Which means you think nothing when you’re husband says, “We should go through Portland”… on a sunny summer afternoon… in July… on a Friday. Yikes. The normal 3-hour trip took 5 hours. Five very cranky hours. But we made it, and I exercised extreme control at Powell’s, buying only one WPA guide (which I sort of collect. I say I collect them, but I’ve only got 5 now. However, I figure 3 make a collection, so I collect them, dammit!). There was a beautiful pristine copy of the New Orleans guide, but it was on the pricey side and I actually already have New Orleans, so I didn’t splurge. I’m collecting because I love the guides—not for the value of the books (everyone know what the WPA guides are? They’re a series of guide books put out during the Depression to keep writers working and to encourage this new-fangled way of traveling: by car).

So right now we’re at a Motel 6 just outside of Portland, on I-84, and today we continue our trip east. Notable conversation of late:

After I declare a need to be entertained, Adam tells me a story of two of his friends who are inseparable.

J: Why aren’t we inseparable?

A: Because when we’re together for too long, you get cranky and want me to go away.

J: I think we should be inseparable.

A: You might want to think about that for a little bit, before you ask for it…

It’s going to be a long trip, folks!

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  • Who I Am

    I read, I write, I occasionally look to make sure my kids aren't playing with matches.

    My novel, MODERN GIRLS will be coming out from NAL in the spring of 2016.

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