Let this be a cautionary tale. Or moving advice. Your choice. Oh, and this move happened in the year 2000. Just in case you haven’t read the earlier ones. Because that date explains some of the stuff we do. But, maybe you want to read the chapters that came before. Scroll down for the links. Then, do come back for this one.
Between getting telephone service and putting things away, I was still looking for cat-tag forms and I was certain they were buried in one of the unopened boxes.
Before I could figure out a solution, the doorbell rang. The technician from ATT Cable was ready to install our complex, high-tech digital system.
It was so complex, actually, that it took three of them. One did all the work, while two stood around the truck drinking coffee. It was evident that they belonged to the same union as the Pacific Bell technicians.
After a couple of hours of crawling under the house and climbing poles, the tech who did all the work set a large, rectangular box on top of our TV set and walked out the door.
I looked at the box. Chips and computers are getting smaller, but from the size of that box, it sure didn’t seem like that technology had reached the cable industry.
But how would we operate it?
“Bob,” I said. “Did he tell us how to WORK this thing?”
Looking stricken, he ran outside to hail the installer before he took off. The tech came back in.
“I don’t see any instructions that tell us how to get these hundreds of useless channels,” I pointed out. “Were you just going to install the box and leave us to figure it out?” He had no idea how dangerous that really was.
“We’re out of instruction booklets,” he said, “ and channel guides.”
I hoped that meant the service was free, since we wouldn’t know either how to use it or what channels were available.
But instead, he did a five minute tutorial on using the system. I took down every word in green ink on one of the hundreds of pads of paper that kept emerging from our boxes.
“Oh, and by the way, don’t set anything on top of that box,” he said.
Wow. What was THAT about?
He left. We decided to leave experimentation for later in the day.
Bob was in the mood for ribs, so he took off to get takeout from Armadillo Willy’s for lunch. When he got home, he spread it all out on the table, looked up and said: “We’ll eat this in memory of Sandy.”
Mom and Bob had been rib-eating partners at Willy’s every summer, when she’d come out to visit us during our first tour of duty in California. It was a ritual they both loved. Mom had passed away just 10 weeks before. I realized that now that I was back, there would be many times in the future that I’d be reminded of Mom’s numerous visits.
I suppose it’s all part of the grieving process. And I was over-tired. But, as glad as I was to be back where I belonged, in California, the ribs were bittersweet that day.
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