Settling in


So, life in Dallas continues in an unabated whirlwind. I’d hoped to return to my commentary on the city, its amazing restaurants and breathtaking art galleries and conspicuous consumption. However, I’ve seen nothing of the city in the past couple of weeks except the same daily drive to work. Non-working hours are spent continuing get things squared away.

Actually, things aren’t really “squared away,” to be honest. The best I’m hoping for is kind of an oval-ish shape. Like a Xanax. Or an Ativan. Or Thorazine.

I did find the screws to the guest bed, the ones North American absolutely, positively, 100% did not take out of the bed rails. They were taped in a little brown-paper package in a box, along with the bed’s end caps. I somehow managed to get the mattress and box springs, both of which are longer and wider than me, off and the screws reinstalled, so the bed is now safe again for amorous guests and our goddaughters, who are coming next month and have been known to use our beds as trampolines.

There are many fewer boxes around now. This is good because it means there were fewer of them to get wet when the nasty storm rolled through a couple days ago and the roof leaked.

Yes. It did. In a corner of the attic, which led to water coming down a light fixture in the office closet. Drip. Drip. Drip.

D came to find me with the good news. I could tell by her tone that this wasn’t going to be a fun conversation. I thought she was going to tell me something minor, like that the dogs had eaten the couch, or that an 18-foot-long solar array had come unglued from the Hubble Space Telescope, plunged to earth and crushed my car.

Despite the pounding, hellish rain and wind slamming into the windows, little did it occur to me that she was going to tell me that the roof about which I’d obsessed during our house-hunt was indeed porous after all.

We went into the closet, shined a flashlight onto the ceiling, moved a few boxes out from under the drip and mumbled a few things, some of which sounded suspiciously like “flock.” But it wasn’t too bad, so I just put something under it, shook my head and went off to change out of my work clothes.

This necessitated a trip into the wonderful world of the California Closet, which you may remember from earlier posts. The one with all of the lovely shelves and drawers, absolute heaven for someone who’s a bit OCD. (Hint: that’s not D.)

In Nashville, I had a storage area in our garage that I called the Magic Closet, because I stored lots of seldom-used kitchen stuff and extra supplies there. Every time I needed the pancake griddle, coffeepot or more paper towels, voila! Off to the Magic Closet, soon to return brandishing the desired appliance or a roll of Bounty. I believe Jimmy Hoffa, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, aliens from the Roswell crash and several thought-to-be-extinct animals may have been in there, too, but I’m not sure because all of them were packed up by North American in the lost “overflow” shipment.

Anyway, as wondrous as that closet was, the title of Magic Closet has now been usurped by this new closet. It brings me joy and the peace that comes with seeing things in neat little rows.

So, still shaking my head over the office leak, I step into the closet, drawn toward its peaceful, calming space like a sportswriter to a free meal.

Squish. Squish squish squishsquish.

It took me five steps before the horror dawned. Water! On the floor! Of the Magic Closet!

It seems that water, being water, will creep insidiously into any tiny space it can find. It will enter a small leak in a corner of a roof, then inch down a 2×4 inside a wall and pool on the floor of a Magic Closet, rinsing away any hopeful, optimistic feelings it encounters.

I blame gravity, without which the water would have floated harmlessly off into the air.

You may well be picturing me unleashing a few choice words, which can’t be repeated in a family blog. Or in mine, either. But I didn’t. At this point, it’s just hopeless bemusement at the feeling of piling on, just one more thing adding to the “we’re doomed” feeling.

Did I mention that the A/C went out last week? The fan blade had come off of the unit in the attic and gotten stuck, and the motor burned up trying to force the blade to turn. The compressor kept running, though, which turned the unit into a massive iceberg. A nice young man named Aman spent three hours with us fixing that a couple of days later, and we finally were able to get our core body temperatures back down below 106 degrees.

We continue to focus on the positive and cling to sanity with our fingertips. We made another craigslist family happy with boxes on Sunday. We have jobs at cool places that do good work for society. Madge’s arm hasn’t fallen off from a horrible dog-bite infection. I found the screws to the bed. And I have you guys to help keep me from going stark-raving mad.

Oh, and someone from North American Van Lines found the blog and has put me in touch with a very nice lady from their customer service department. (Thanks, Steve.) Maybe we’ll get that overflow soon, after all.

Meanwhile, we have a roofer coming tomorrow to give us an estimate, after which I plan to sell all of our jewelry, my silver fillings and D’s keychain collection and turn the cash over to them. (Don’t cry too much for me here; I’ve been trying to get rid of that keychain collection for years.) And it didn’t rain on Saturday or Sunday like it was supposed to, a fact that I attribute to the preventive nature of us crawling up into the attic and over that icky spun-glass insulation and stuffing towels and plastic bags under the leak.

We also should get a return visit tomorrow from the washer/dryer hookup people, who swapped the water lines the first time they came, so hot is cold and cold is hot. Thank goodness warm is still warm, or I’d be completely confused.

These two service visits tomorrow will occur, of course, without D. She’s allegedly off on a “business trip” again. Yeah. Right. I’ve gotta run — going to go drive by the local Holiday Inns and Courtyards and look for her car…

About wordsmith1313

Now: Somewhat retired, although I don't do it very well. Formerly senior director of Communications and Marketing for the Dallas Zoo. Journalist. EMT. Writer. Breast cancer survivor. I love to travel, and will always return from a trip with a new friend or two. Those fortuitous meetings bring velvet to the rough edges of life.
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2 Responses to Settling in

  1. Melanie says:

    Like a sportswriter to a free meal. Ha!

  2. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you make blogging look easy. The overall
    look off your siote is excellent, let alone the content!

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