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breeden
ursulav

…Not…Dead…Yet…

So I’m back.

whew.

It’s been a long ten days.

As some of you may recall, I was helping my dad and stepmom pack up their house and driving everything from Arizona to Atlanta.

Packing up a 4500 square foot house is hard—packing up such a house that is jammed to the rafters is harder, packing up such a house when it is largely jammed with craft supplies and dollhouse parts, which are all Very Very Tiny And Require Individual Wrapping…well.

The best analogy I will come up with for packing a craft room, if you’ll forgive me, is a violently dead chicken.

A live chicken, for the most part, is a pretty compact object. Everything fits together very neatly and it makes a small clucking package that wanders around and pecks things and is susceptible to complicated avian diseases.

If, however, you have ever borne witness to what happens when a stray dog gets ahold of one, you will know that a chicken unpacks amazingly. One chicken plus one feral dog equals an entire Civil War battlefield. It is carnage as far as the eye can see. There is a great deal more contained in a chicken than could possibly be accounted for by the relatively sleek shape of the average specimen. Chickens are a sort of TARDIS stuffed with guts.

Craft rooms are like that. They’re all packed in there, and when you go to pull the stuff out, it’s a huge horrifying mess that could not in any way have fit in the room in the first place, and also there are feathers.

There were two such rooms. There were eight people packing. I personally belong to the Genghis Khan school of packing, which assumes speed, fury, and a certain number of casualties. We still ran over our deadline by a day and a half.

When the house had been packed into two giant Penske trucks and a trailer—and the amount of sheer human labor and grief I am glossing over with that phrase boggles the mind—we hit the road. I was driving a dog-grooming van, and was the most maneuverable member of the convoy, which included a large RV, and the two Penskes pulling trailers.

About four days spent on the road with my companions, we shall say little, as they are all alive and use the internet. (Hi, Dad!) Suffice to say that very small character flaws are like grains of sand, and you wouldn’t even notice them until they get in your eye and stay there for days (and I do not exempt myself from this at all, as I’m one of those obnoxious people who wakes up, slams coffee, and is twitchy to hit the road in fifteen minutes, which I know is annoying to deal with.) Sleeping in an RV with three other people and several geriatric poodles who began whining hysterically whenever Their Person left the vehicle is difficult for everybody. Plus we ran out of water and thus showers and the generator didn’t work the first night and…well…it was a long couple of days.

We made dreadful time, as these vehicles are not equipped for speed, and we started late, and then the RV blew out a tire in Texas and we sat by the side of the road for four hours waiting for somebody to come out, and the various roadside services were convinced that we’d need an RV-sized jack (we already had one) and thus kept being unable to send anybody, and it was all just a dreadful clusterfuck.

By Friday it became obvious that we weren’t going to get into Atlanta in time to get the keys to the storage unit (in the South, everything closes on Sunday) and so I took off in the van and drove like a bat out of hell, crashed at a La Quinta somewhere on the far side of Jackson, Mississippi, and managed to squeak into the storage place Saturday before it closed, five or six hours ahead of the rest of the convoy.

But I lived! Flew out Sunday, ran into Kevin’s arms, plastered myself to the hood of my own car (my car! Which is not huge and van-like and has brakes that actually respond when you push them and a turning radius smaller than the orbit of Jupiter!) and then came home and spent two hours wandering through the garden, which has grown enormously. That was better than Christmas. If you ever have to leave a garden for a week, do it in mid-spring. The growth when you get back is the purest delight available to adults (unless you’re one of those people into the laughter of children and so forth, I suppose) and I am still squeeing and doing little dances today as I discover that things I had written off completely, which have exploded out of the ground and are suddenly ALIVE! gloriously ALIVE!

Anyway. So I’m alive. And in a day or two, I will be sane again and able to answer e-mail and stuff, but for the moment, I am a thin layer of Ursula-shaped goo plastered to the floor of the house. But we lived!

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.