‘On the move”
A year ago, Kay and I were sharing a table in Cracker Barrel with our friends the Plilers. As we waited for Radiance to bring our cornbread and biscuits, I said, “Have you noticed how girls with common names seldom get hired as waitresses?”
Kay picked right up on that and said, “This time next year, Mark and I will be in a different house.” – What? – That’s what I said, only with an exclamation mark. -- “What!”
Kay explained that for a few months she and I had been talking about buying a lot and having a home built. Apparently, our discussions took place while I was digging wax out of both ears at the same time. As soon as Kay discovered how shocked I was, she began a subtle campaign geared at helping me see the light.
After 23 years in our house, the place has become too big for us. We have too many rooms in which to enter without knowing why. We’re too old to keep the place tidy. Too much lawn to mow and flowerbeds to maintain. Plus, there’s a good chance I’m going to fall down the stairs, forcing Kay to move without me. I only hope that one of you will inform her second husband about her first husband’s demise. – “Yes, he fell down the stairs using the back of his head to help break his fall. Used it 18 times.”
Over the months, Kay did manage to sway me a bit. It was during the dismantling of the jungle gym that I managed to make my right knee turn in a direction that knees are not intended to go. Since then, climbing the stairs has been a royal pain in the knee.
My horrible limp did not keep me from going with Kay to find a lot for a home and a floor plan we like. We immediately signed a commitment for the house. Starting date for construction: August. -- Finishing date: November. After that, our current house had a buyer in the first week of its posting. Charming couple… in a big hurry to have us out of here. Out-of-here date: June 15.
Our contract will not be signed until a few additional steps are taken. The first step was a house inspection. The inspector got here at about 9:00 Wednesday morning, and was still inspecting at lunchtime. I didn’t feed him lunch, you understand. He was just here at lunchtime. Kay and I had our radio show to do, so we ended up leaving before he did.
A very thorough man, Chad the Inspector. Every faucet, wall plug, light switch, air vent, toilet, doorknob, window latch... Chad went into places you don’t even want to know about. All the while, he gave us no indication of his findings. He was cordial, nice, friendly and professional. Way too professional. Not a hint. He was hintless. We won’t know the results for days.
I wouldn’t be worried were it not for the fact that we’ve got three weeks to get stuff out of here. What if we manage to move out, only to find that the buyer’s mortgage company refuses to loan money for a home with a cracked whatsit on our thingamajig?
Kay is packing as I speak. If you want to know something crazy, my family and friends have all scheduled vacations for whenever we move. They won’t commit to a date, but they each say they’re taking a trip to the panhandle of Idaho. They don’t even have the decency to make up different vacationing spots.
Added to our moving dilemma is the problem of finding a place to live for at least five months. My sister Sue in Washington State says that Kay can live with her. I can come, but only if I feel it totally necessary. A friend from church invited the both of us to live in his guest room. A foolish man, Barry. By Day 3, he would boot my buns right out of there. Probably get the church to disfellowship me.
The Plilers didn’t even offer to keep us. The big problem with best friends is that they know you too well. Our realtor said that between July and October we could live in her camping trailer. I asked her how big it was and she said, “I don’t know. It’s a camping trailer.” Five months in a camping trailer? Five months having to go to a washateria; having to shower while sitting on a toilet; watching TV programs that show stuff like a vet surgically removing a tennis ball from a St. Bernard’s colon? I’d have to start watching TV on my phone. A phone that holds a charge all of 20 minutes.
Tomorrow, we’ve got an appointment with a leasing agent representing an apartment complex. I think here name is Oceania. No idea how she’ll react to our request. – “We may or may not need an apartment in a couple of weeks. I don’t want to pay anything to reserve the place, ‘cause we may not need it. I’m just giving a warning that in a couple of weeks we may show up ready to move into a unit on the ground floor. You know, due to my bum knee?
Yes, this is a problem that I never saw coming. The worst kind. Regardless, it’s not like Kay and I didn’t talk this over. It was a year ago this month. Radiance was carrying a plate of cornbread and biscuits toward our table. I had just uttered, loudly enough for the those at the surrounding tables to hear, “What!”