Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Camping out in Chapel Hill

So, here I am sitting on the floor in my new...empty...house...catching up on what's happened in the past couple of crazy-on-toast days. Because let's face it--while it was absolutely critical for me to bring my computer (that goes without saying, right?)...a chair? Not so much. Besides, I had stuffed the Subaru full to the brim with all of the pictures and photo albums I just didn't want to spend time prepping for the moving truck. So yeah, it was me, a suitcase, many many boxes of heavy books...and lots and lots o'glass. (Fortunately I was traveling solo, so I could belt out showtunes at the top of my lungs...to distract myself from the fragility of my cargo...or some such nonsense...)

Anyway, I made it back to North Carolina without mishap, for the settlement meeting on Monday morning. All I can say about that particular event is that since I was representing both of us for the proceeding, I had to write the following phrase at least 50 times: "(Husband's first name, middle initial, last name), by (my first name, middle initial, last name), his attorney in fact". Oh, did that get really old, really fast....and he's already been informed that he will be paying me back...preferably in chocolate. But after that, it was (da da da DA) MY HOUSE. (Okay, okay "our house", but I'm the only one here right now, so I'm truly the Queen of the Castle...for the moment...)

So I came right over, checked it out, lugged the 975 pounds of stuff in from my car...and then hung out to wait for the AT&T guy to show up and make the magical Internet and cable TV connections happen. But after that, hoo boy, the fun really got started, let me tell you. I hopped in the Forester, fired up the GPS, and set off to find the nearest Target...and Bed Bath & Beyond. (Yep, major excitement, I know.) While the purchasing itself was ho-hum routine, (dish drainer...shower curtain...soap dispenser...yawn...) the fact that I made it back without the navigation app gave me a super-dorky thrill. (What can I say? Easily amused...) Another cheap bit of entertainment: I found and programmed in some radio stations I like...I mean, it's almost like I live here, or something...oh wait...)

That was quite enough for one day, because Tuesday's agenda kicked off with a 9:00 contractor meeting, to get an estimate on the list of jobs we'd like done before we fully move ourselves and all our household belongings in. (Lest I forget, first I had to greet the local wildlife--a mother and baby deer--who were serenely munching the greenery on my front lawn. I swear they barely glanced at me when I came out the front door...except to throw me a brief look that seemed to say, "Yeah? Whatta you want? This is our yard!" Darn...bambis!) Then it was off to the local post office, to instruct them to hold our mail for the next 2 weeks, to prevent our box overflowing before we can deal with it. Next, I visited the school administrative offices, to register the boys. This process took approximately 5 quick, painless minutes, but during that time--believe it or not--I met another mom who introduced herself and told me she, too, has a son who will be a Freshman at Derek's new high school...furthermore, she used to live in Maryland, about 1/2 hour from Olney. Freaky! But in a cool, happy coincidence way! Finally, I needed to make a quick stop at Home Depot...and one more at Target (yes, AGAIN) before heading home. (All of this is helping me to build the map in my head, I suppose...)

When I got back (the foraging forest creatures were STILL there, by the way...or I guess it could have been some completely different ones, how am I supposed to tell them apart?) it was time to talk to a painter about slapping some color on the walls around here. When the decorating discussion was completed, I figured I had earned a nap...before the next scheduled activity, in which I planned to brave the heat and explore my habitat on foot. I was thinking that I would try to simulate Riley's..."commute"...as I discovered that, due to the proximity of our house to his school, he will definitely be a walker or biker next year. Well...I enjoyed a lovely stroll on tree-lined sidewalks through peaceful, attractive adjacent neighborhoods...but I never did stumble upon the actual school building. Eh, we have several months to figure that out...

At that point, I had hit the "famished" level. So I decided to allow the...Food Fates...to guide my dinner search. Once more I climbed into the trusty steed--um, "motorized vehicle" and let the winds of fortune lead me to sustenance. What ended up happening was that I found myself on Franklin Street, in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill--quite fortuitous (and more importantly, hunger quelling). The way it worked out allowed me to learn that we now reside about 3 miles from UNC and all the fun stuff that surrounds it--yay! Also useful: I have managed to locate (not entirely error-free, but whatever...) the nearest grocery store, all-purpose retail mecca, and Whole Foods. Now all I need is my closest Dunkin' Donuts, and I'll be all set! Too bad my Southern experiment is almost at an end...for now...and let's just hope I don't forget it all before I return in 2 weeks! Maybe I should be writing this stuff down...now where did I pack the pens...

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