Moving West: Party down!

October 12, 2015

Pretty in pink;dangerous in camoChapter  10
Our first party in our new home 

We used our new phone to call our friends and invite them over to sit on boxes, drink wine and eat pizza. Mary Ann, Dianne, Eli, 2-year-old Marla, Terry and Rob all turned up to celebrate our return to the fold. We partied.

Commiserating about the cost of living in the Bay area, Rob mentioned he’d been spending a lot of time in Montana for his job and wanted to move there, something his wife, Terry, wasn’t too keen on. First, her kids were in California and second, there was no Nordstrom in Montana.

I’d heard stuff like this before. When my friend Penny remarried, she and her husband bought a place in Oregon so they could “go back to the land”, too. Books on killing and dressing your own hogs began to appear on her coffee table. She began talking about wood stoves and making her own clothes. I half expected her to tell me they were stockpiling food and weapons. Overnight, this bright, Silicon Valley executive had turned into Mrs. Paul Bunyan.

I couldn’t picture Terry doing the same. She was a girly-girl.

“Gosh, Montana’s great!” Rob enthused. “I just love it out there. Terry wouldn’t have to work. We could live in the wilderness, I could shoot our dinner right out the back door, it would be wonderful.”

Terry shot him a look. “Gee honey,” she replied dryly. “Maybe I can make our own soap, too.”

She was not at all crafty. Or serious.

I was very pleased my husband didn’t want to shoot our dinner out the back door. Our neighborhood squirrels just didn’t look healthy.

And proud of it.

And proud of it. No shame at all.

Meanwhile I made sure everyone left with our new phone number in hand.

Sunday morning dawned. Have I mentioned that it had been raining for 31 days straight when we got there? And I hadn’t seen the sun at all since leaving Tampa? We rose before dawn, Bob went to get Starbucks coffee (we owned the stock) and then we dug into those boxes.

Around 9:30 a.m. I looked up. Boxes everywhere. And more on their way. The day stretched ahead, interminably.

“Do you think 9:30 in the morning is too early to start drinking wine?” I asked Bob.

“Only if you’re drinking alone,” he responded and went off to his wine cellar in the garage. He emerged with two glasses of a nice merlot.

I knew all this stuff was never going to fit in Hansel and Gretel’s cottage. The only answer was to have another garage sale. Grabbing a black marker I pulled over a big, empty box and wrote GARAGE SALE on it.

In went 300 referigerator magnets. 30 extra coffee mugs. Half a dozen baskets I just couldn’t live without. More Tupperware than Tupper herself had. One of two gigantic frying pans my mother had bought us. (We don’t fry, but we kept one for a memento.) Three blankets. Six sets of king sized sheets, even though the house was so small we’d had to leave the king-sized bed behind.

In one box I came across a small crystal jar, its top missing. It was a nice piece. But what would we use it for?

“Should we ‘garage sale’ this?” I asked Bob.
He squinted at the jar.
“Didn’t we just have this conversation, about 3,000 miles ago?” he inquired.

Actually, we had. Same conversation. Same jar. It had made the first cut in Tampa, but was in danger of not making the second.

Then, I had a brainstorm. Taking the jar into my office, I emptied the coffee mug on my desk that contained 37 pens and pencils and placed them into the much nicer crystal jar. There. The office looked more elegant already.

The crystal was saved again. The coffee mug went into the garage sale box.

I turned on our new cable TV. The house had been pretty quiet without CNBC running constantly. Yes, those were the days of the dot-com-boom and we were all glued to the screen calculating our gains and our losses.

In Tampa, we got about 70 TV stations and never could find anything interesting to watch. Now, with Digital Cable, we had 200 TV stations, and still couldn’t find anything good on TV.

It’s been 15 years and not much has changed in that regard.

Things finally did settle down for us in San Jose.  But we weren’t there long….

That’s right. We got bored. Ok, I got bored. And we decided to move to the Monterey peninsula a couple years later. We thought Carmel might be fun.

Yes, that Carmel. Carmel-by-the-Sea, a place we’d been a zillion times as it was just 85 miles from San Jose and a frequent weekend destination.

Oh yes, another move was coming.

This is the last chapter of this particular move, which took place in 2000. Looking for the earlier chapters?

Preface: Moving on by moving

Chapter 1: Packing–how hard could it be?

Chapter 2: The adaptability of cats

Chapter 3: Exiled to Pacific Hell

Chapter 4: Hansel & Gretel’s cottage

Chapter 5: Creative solutions

Chapter 6: Remember party lines?

Chapter 7: Purgatory

Chapter 8: Getting cable

Chapter 9: Cats in the kettle

21 comments on “Moving West: Party down!
  1. No matter what you write about , Carol, you grab me right away!

  2. Haralee says:

    A great series! I have had to think over the years about why I saved something and why it didn’t go to the charity shops just to come up blank and off it goes into the bag.

  3. “Only if you’re drinking alone,” — good man, most excellent response! I would say that on moving days you get to forget the the sun-over-the-yardarm thing in favor of the good old “It’s five o’clock somewhere!”

  4. I love reading about your adventures. I’m so with your friend – I couldn’t live in a place that didn’t have a Nordstrom 🙂

  5. Karen Austin says:

    Oh, we are probably moving in the next year or two, so I felt like that was a preview. You were very kind to acknowledge some odd choices (like King Size Bedding sans King Size Bed). I love your solution about the crystal jar sans lid. That was a great save! All my best to you as you continue downsizing. (Or is there a better word? That one has “downer” as an all-to-ready comparison). All my best to you both.

  6. Look on the bright side. At least you aren’t shooting animals in Montana!

  7. Ruth Curran says:

    I have to admit I have that sad feelng I get when I turn the last page of a book that I loved. I want to know what comes next! Keep them coming please :)????

    You do have this way of just transporting me, Carol, and make me feel like maybe 3 or 4 wine glasses came out and I could pull up a chair and sip with you.

  8. Whoo hoo! I am in Monterey. Carmel-by-the-sea is A-Mazing and we try to date night there when we can. Good choice 😉

  9. Then you’ll love my series on that!

  10. And where is that crystal jar now???? I must know!

  11. Moving…. OMG! Not sure, but I may have a couple of moves in my future, and a garage sale will definitely be in order. xoxox, Brenda

  12. Quin says:

    Your adventures in travel are great, Carol! We just confirmed our plans for Napa in May and I’m so excited!

  13. Roz Warren says:

    I don’t know where I’ll end up living, but I do know that books about killing and dressing my own hogs will NEVER turn up on my coffee table. And if I tried to go outside and gun down something for dinner, I’d probably hit one of my neighbors. And I LIKE my neighbors, so that’s not going to happen. I guess suburban Philadelphia is the right place for me – but I enjoyed reading about your move.

  14. I love the response about the wine! You weave a wonderful story. Looking forward to reading more!

  15. Estelle says:

    Love how you found a use for the crystal jar and your spirit of adventure.

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