The unpacking game

There’s an unspoken game going on in our new house.

Dawn and I are both working full time, so there is still little time during the week to get much unpacking done. We have dishes to wash, laundry to fold, neighbors to meet, children with homework and baths and teeth to brush, and let’s not talk about the leaves piling up on the front yard. So unpacking happens in stolen, guilty moments, time spent illicitly away from the morning shower or the burnt out light bulb or the dirt spread across the front stoop by squirrels digging in the tomato plant.

Despite the fact that I work at home and so have more opportunity to unpack than Dawn, she seems to keep up with me. At least, I assume it is her.  I never actually see her unpacking, which is a little spooky. Every day, I find something new in the house, something that was packed away in Vermont and hasn’t seen the light of day for two years. It is like having the opposite of a burglar; someone who sneaks into your house and leaves things (other than over-sized garden zucchini).

The hot water bottles took up residence in the hallway closet overnight. At lunch today, I found a fiddle-shaped cutting board hanging on the wall next to the built-in ironing board cabinet. Two days ago, my college diploma appeared magically on the wall of my office.

So far, no Mini Cooper, sapphire necklaces, or airplane tickets to France, but one can always hope.


Why Am I Stressed?

(For those who wanted pictures of our new home)

Why am I stressed? Here is a photo of our lovely new home:


Lovely New Vinyl-Draped Home


Here is a photo of our lovely new dining table:


Pizza? Again?


Here is a picture of the master bedroom:


Great for limbering arthritic knees



Here is a typical sample of a box as packed by our movers. Note the half spilled plant pots with dirt. You cannot see my daughter’s clay sculptures crushed on the bottom:


Jackson Pollock School of Packing



Here is my minivan full of all the items my movers left behind in the old house:


Vacuum Cleaner, ironing board, toy parking garage handmade by Granddaddy, ...



Sewing machine, two baskets of laundry, ...


In other blood pressure news:

– After being told it would be delayed two weeks, the washer and dryer we ordered arrived on time. Surprise! The installers got it downstairs without gouging the walls, and were going swimmingly until they asked where the hoses were. I called the manufacturer. “Oh, did you want hoses with that? They cost extra. And how about an order of fries to go? ”

– Today, after finding the fourth dead or dying yellow jacket (to which Dawn is allergic) on the kitchen floor, I hired an exterminator who discovered the nest on the outside of the foundation wall. In the frosty mornings, these winged carnivores had been stumbling out of their nest desperately seeking warmth, and some managed to find and push their way into our unsealed mail slot around the corner. Even as we speak, they are all being horribly asphyxiated in their sleep with noxious powder. The exterminator let me know how proud he was to get the job from such notoriously organic gardeners. (Advice to homeowners: never allow an exterminator coming from a previous job into your home unless they have stripped, showered, and put on newly purchased clothing in factory sealed plastic).

Sin Offering

Bought a house.


Sorry. I ought to be excited as a Saturday morning kid on Frosted Flakes. But my excitement has been tempered by circumstances. You may recall, in my last entry, the reference to the sin and guilt offerings. We performed neither, so the Fate and Destiny Collection Agency gave us an unexpected visit:


Prius meets deer
Wildlife - 1; Expensive, gas-sipping Hybrid - 0


What happened? Glad you asked.

Thursday was Closing day on the new house. Friends took in our children after school, so that Dawn and I could walk through the new house one last time before closing. Something akin to counting fingers and toes on a new born. The owner had moved out, but everything that was important to us was still there – the cherry tree, the built-in phone stand, the two-floor laundry chute. Then at the title company, I signed and signed and signed while Dawn watched because she has NO CREDIT HISTORY.

This was an unpleasant discovery we made last month when we applied for a mortgage. For years all our bank accounts and credit cards have been joint accounts. But as my name was first on the accounts, only my name went in the credit reports. Understand, it isn’t that Dawn has a bad credit history. She has NO credit history, which in some ways is even worse. If you have bad credit, you can still get a loan, albeit with high interest rates and indenturing your children and such. But Dawn is a non-person as far as credit goes, a fiction, a increditable ghost.

She will be opening a bank account soon and getting a credit card and buying groceries and gas with it, but in the meantime, the mortgage is in my name only. (Fortunately, for a small fee, her name is on the title.)

Afterwards (hope springs eternal) we went out to an Italian restaurant in Fort Wayne. It was billed as family operated and owned for generations, and all the food (including dessert) was homemade on the premises. Lots of promise, but ultimately mediocre. (Fort Wayne, you must stop being OK with mediocrity.) We retrieved the children. We retrieved the Prius from the school parking lot where Dawn left it. We headed home, Dawn driving the Prius, and I following with the children in the minivan.

There’s a turn off the state route for Kendallville city center, and Dawn is convinced it is the faster route. So I let her go and went along the state roads at the legal speed limit. And I would have made it home first, but she called me on the cell phone and asked me to come back. She had hit a deer.

So the sacrifice was taken. A white, unblemished yearling. The Prius that is. The deer walked away into the woods. No one was hurt except the Prius, which is languishing in intensive care while the insurance paperwork is sorted out and parts are on order.