Aug 5, 2014

Breaking out of blogging limbo (or moving lessons from a commoner)

If it feels like it’s been a month since my last blog entry, that’s because it actually has been.  But there has been a very worthy reason for my longest hiatus as a blogger, as my girlfriend and I have moved in together. 

Yes, we’re now living the classic Midwestern lifestyle with the three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch-style house on a slab with a two-car garage, located on the edge of town.  Cornfields are visible just past our block of houses, and the interstate traffic is audible in the distance.   

This does not mean I will no longer be recounting my travels; however, in the short term it may mean a lot of my travels will be closer to home.  It will also mean some of my travels will have a new focus, as I will be going places with my girlfriend and her daughter that I otherwise would have not considered.  Of course, I still have a lot of catching up to do from my travels earlier in the spring, and I am committed to getting caught up, so I have even more reasons to find new blog-worthy places.   

And then there are the travels of a commoner that require a journey inward to gain perspective about the daily joys, trials and tasks of life that we all experience and from which we all learn.  This month-long process of preparing for our move, and then actually doing it, was one of those long journeys.  A few observations:

Moving in together may be the ultimate relationship test. There’s nothing like being forced to share space, habits and life quirks to really find out how compatible you are with someone.  But if you can smile about it at the end of the day and feel like you’re accomplishing a greater thing by being together, the struggles are all worth it. 

Good friends come through with help (even though it really sucks).  We are forever blessed to have friends who will willingly sacrifice a HOT Sunday afternoon moving box after box of junk into a stuffy garage, delicately haul old heavy furniture on the verge of breaking from a moving truck to the house, or painting walls until all their joints are stiff.  It is a favor that perhaps can only best be repaid by helping to move someone else when the time comes. 

The older you get, the more crap you have.  I can understand my girlfriend amassing a lot of stuff.  It comes with the territory when you have a six year old daughter.  How I still manage to have so much useless crap after 40-plus years is beyond me.  It’s even more astonishing when I realize how much I got rid of in anticipation of the move.  Only when you actually have to find a place for that Foreman Grill one more time do you seriously ask yourself, “Why didn't I just give this to Goodwill?”

Suddenly, the daily priorities in your life revolve around yard work.  With a lot just under the size of a football field (at least it looks that way), I’m actually scheduling which days of the week I’ll be mowing after work.  And I’m really looking forward to a large garden in the spring, if only to reduce the size of the yard.  On the plus side, we have a new kick-ass grill, and plenty of time to perfect cooking on it.  And that garden should produce plenty of grill-worthy veggies.

It takes longer to unpack and settle in than you think.  At this point, we've given up on actually using the garage for anything other than storage until we have a solid inventory of what belongs in the house and what can be boxed to collect dust.  And I know we've only been in the house a little more than a week, but we still haven’t found the time to remove all of the blue painter’s tape from the ceiling.  But, we make a little more progress every day.  Once we stop moving boxes in from the garage and other boxes back out to the garage, I can start building my bar and man cave area. 

Comcast still sucks (and probably always will).  If there was a way for us to have reliable Internet at a good speed, I would have kissed Comcast goodbye with no uncertainty upon this move.  Unfortunately, that was not possible.  And the billing and service snafus that have resulted from my transfer of service and the addition of cable would require a whole other blog post to do them justice.  I may eventually get around to devoting an entire post to why #Comcastsucks.  But what’s the point, really?  The Internet is already loaded with Comcast complaint stories, and some of them are on their own website’s customer service forums. 

That said, the employees I've encountered “on the ground” – in the local office and the technician who came out to hook us up – have done about as well as you could hope for given the company they work for is managed by a bunch of morons. 

As I promised, I will be getting back into my blogging groove this month.  In addition to the remainder of my New Orleans trip from earlier this year, I have a lot of ground to cover closer to home, including my first trip to The Hill neighborhood in Saint Louis and the one-of-a-kind Redneck Fishing Tournament in Bath, Ill.  

If that doesn't bring you back, I'm not sure what will.

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