Archive for October, 2011

Books I haven’t read

Before I go on to tell you about the truly insane life I’ve been leading since arriving in Massachusetts, I will veer off into randomland.

Whenever I think about packing, I think about books. All the other junk I haul around with me is just so much..stuff. What’s really important to me are the books. I have packed up and moved my books about…22 times in my adult life (yes, I counted). The books in the first 12 moves were kind of a group, added to and deleted from, then there was a big break and I sort of lost a good many of those books, so the next 10 moves or so started small and then built up again.

Everyone in my immediate family (and most of my gathered family) loves books. In my immediate family, sometimes the acquiring of books superseded the need to read said books, and due to the stationary nature of their lives (1 address in 30 years in stead of 22), the accumulation there is truly amazing.

I’ve always been proud of my ability to purge books – to sell them or give them away as necessary. Although I was in my house for 8 years, I still had the opportunity to purge (as people I loved moved in and out). I was glad to do it, especially since my new method has to do with how easily I can find said book online if necessary. It makes it nearly painless. And the last purge before moving was just that. I knew I’d be moving and I knew I wanted to move as few books as possible.

And yet, today, as I pull books from the shelves I find myself looking at some books and saying, “This wasn’t a very good book in the first place. Why am I carrying it with me?” It was just after one of these moments when I came across a book that I didn’t recognize (which is unusual for me – generally I do read all the books I own – apart from school books – and even those I recognize). It was a hardback, but no slipcover. Even reading the title, Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, I got nothing. Author? Joseph Jaworski and Peter M. Senge. Still, nothing. I opened the book and found some small writing inside, in pencil in some margins. I don’t recognize the handwriting, either. It first occurred to me that it might be one of my ex’s books – he also bought books he never managed to read and loved a yard sale.

Then I opened it and checked the table of contents and realized it must be one of my dad’s books. This made me smile. Before my dad died, I gave away hundreds of his books to the library at his request. There were hundreds more to be dealt with after he passed and I managed to snag a few for myself despite the opinions of other family members. I’m not completely sure that this was one of his, but I tucked it away in the box on the off chance that it was. Maybe I’ll stay with tradition on this one and never read it.



Back to the big Bodhi move

So, eventually everyone left and we got to sleep. The next day there was more packing, but I also got to spend some time with my Rumi (we packed and moved too). We had a nice afternoon together where we pretty much avoided talking about the impending move. It was wonderful and awkward too. How do you say goodbye to someone who means so very much to you? Yes, we will stay friends, we’ll find ways to connect and maybe even to see each other in the next year, but it will surely be different. And while I seem to have made a career of moving from place to place, this is not the preferred mode of friendship for my Rumi.

And this bittersweet afternoon was made possible by my very own sweetie, who took herself off to a movie. More packing, more moving, several moments wherein I said, “Where is my….?” to which the answer was always, “In a box somewhere in the truck.” Duh.

One more day before we were finally ready to climb in the truck. The truck I reserved wasn’t ready so I ended up in a larger truck which had a different kind of seat – kind of like bucket seats with a little square in the middle. My honey came up with the bright idea of putting in the cpu of my nearly dead pc to make the seat wide enough for Bodhi. We got everything in then Bodhi took his first leap at the seat. Why didn’t I try this before? I mean, really. What was I thinking? Here we are, in the dark street asking Bodhi to jump into a truck he’s never been in before, higher than any vehicle he’s ever been in before. As you might expect, he missed. He slid back out and brought a box with glass jars in it out into the street with him.

Now we are out in the dark street surrounded by broken glass. I had Bodhi sit till I could get him out of the area without stepping on the glass while my sweetie went and got the broom to clean up the glass. Now Bodhi was completely freaked out about getting in the truck and I had to sort of lift him and shove him to get him in. He aimed for the floor, so came up under the steering wheel and for a second I was afraid he’d be stuck under there…but he made it. 

Finally made it in!

We all got into the truck (after I killed some mosquitos who tried to hitch a ride in the cab) and sat there in the dark a few minutes. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, moving away from MN has changed a good deal in the last year – and even more over the summer. And here I sat with my sweetie trying to think of a good way to say good bye (just so you know, there isn’t one).

Well, it's better than no bed...

And then we were off. It was a tiny bit anticlimactic, if you want the truth. I like driving, and with Bodhi drugged up and in the dark, it wasn’t too stressful – wait. Now that I’m thinking about it, I did pull over about 2 exits up the highway to check and make sure Bodhi’s door wasn’t open. That was stressful, pulling onto the shoulder and getting out of the truck with cars rushing by at 65. Yeah, and our first pit stop was stressful too, leaving Bodhi in the cab while I took care of what I needed to inside.

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto...

I won’t say it got better as we went, but we got better at it. Bodhi got better at leaping into the truck although he grew more and more reluctant as we kept going. :What?” he seemed to be saying. “Is this our life now? In the truck, drive for hours, out of the truck, back in the truck?”  

This will do for now...

I was also feeding him less than half what he was used to – I was worried he’d get car sick – so he was probably starving, too. But he stuck it out, even managed not to get too caught up in his seat belt.  

Why is it so bright in here?

For those of you who don’t know Bodhi – he was not this good about driving because it is his nature. In fact, he’s well drugged in all these pictures. Better living chemically and all that.

He looked fresh as a daisy that first morning. Dopey, but fresh.

I did not text while driving, although I did keep people posted from pit stops. And, yes, I did post pictures to facebook while driving. What? Mostly I didn’t caption the pictures…  

Mostly I didn't need to.

What I did do was listen to audiobooks and talk on the phone. With a headset of course. 🙂 I don’t know if that makes it legal in all the states we drove through, but I’ve done it a lot and since many times the GPS was saying things like “go 200 miles on this highway” before the next course change, I felt pretty comfortable with it. I called everyone I could think of who would be up at night and called my mom during the day. I think I mostly listened while other people talked – I can’t imagine what I would have been saying. Like Bodhi’s, my life had become very boring, get in the truck, get out of the truck, get in the truck. 

Ho hum.

I didn’t start to feel dangerously sleepy till I’d been on the road about 20 hours. At first I was like, that’s cool, I can make it another 6 hours. Unfortunately, when I planned the trip with google maps and the GPS no one warned me that I would not be doing the speed limit in most cases.

Are we there yet?

On many of those long, empty highways the speed limit was 65 or 70 (once even 75!) but I was wary of going anywhere near that fast. at 55 the truck felt a little floaty, the way a motorcycle does when you get up to about 60 and at 60, I could feel the car swaying on the back. Going up hills was ridiculous, usually reducing our speed to 45. Originally the GPS arrival time matched what google maps said, 24 hours from departure. I knew in my head it would surely take longer, my GPS is old and doesn’t account for real time traffic changes and such. I was prepared for a a few more hours…or I thought I was, anyway.

What, more wide open spaces?

But when we got to the point that the GPS should have been saying I had 4 hours to go, it said 6. This was the where I was getting sleepy enough that I was closing my eyes and drifting a bit before coming jerkily awake (don’t tell my mom). I called my rumi and we talked about my options for stopping at a hotel around 1130. She looked up places (again) that would take Bodhi. By the time I was feeling really sleepy, though, it was far to late to call anyone. And none of the alternatives we talked about earlier seemed viable. So we just kept going. 

I was so glad to see the sun rising!

We spent a looooong time in some mountains very early in the morning, going uphill was ridiculously slow, and going down I went slow too, because at about 60 the car on the back would begin to bounce in an alarming way. This blurry image is pretty much what I was seeing too. I had changed contacts after about 16 hours, but obviously the new pair was getting foggy by then. And to top it all off, every time I looked at the damn GPS, it said that I had 4 hours to go. Even after an hour had passed. It was infuriating. I looked at midnight and it said we’d be there by 4 am. Ok, I can do 4 hours. I listened to an audiobook for a while and glanced up at the GPS – it was nearly 1 am and now it said we’d arrive at 5 am. At 2 am it said our arrival time would be 6 am and I really wondered if I was going crazy.

Bodhi and I arrived in New Hampshire at about 6 am on Wednesday. I got out long enough to let the dog relieve himself and check to see when the Uhaul place opened. I was disappointed they would be open at 7, because I wanted to sleep in their parking lot till at least 8. I pulled my hoodie over my face and told Bodhi to please lie down (he was much better when we were driving than stopped). It took us 32 hours to arrive.  That’s when the real insanity began.

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