Re-Box and Garage

The last load of stuff that I brought up was in odd sized boxes that often were not strong enough to hold the load imposed by the boxes stacked up on top of them. The shaking the boxes endured during transport didn’t help and the boxes were in quite poor shape.

So, I’m moving the stuff into much stronger boxes that are all the same size so they can be efficiently stacked in the storage units.

“Here”, the storage units are less than 1/3 the cost of storage units “there”, so the work of moving stuff from storage unit to storage unit, is saving us a lot of money each month. That is why I’m moving stuff.

The attached garage to the house has been converted to a place for my mother in law to live, so to have a place for our hobbies and to park our cars, we are building a detached garage/music room/ham radio “shack”/workshop. The building inspector was by earlier this week to inspect the steel reinforcing rod and footers, and, yesterday morning, five “cement” trucks showed up to deliver the 48 (cubic) yards of concrete. Each truck could haul 12 yards of concrete, but a bridge the trucks had to traverse would have been overloaded by a fully loaded truck…so five trucks instead of four.

We lucked out. The day before the concrete was delivered, it rained and wet the ground to a “just right” amount. Concrete doesn’t dry out. What happens is that it undergoes a chemical reaction that requires water and there is an optimum amount of water needed for the chemical reaction to complete without water being left over. If the ground is too dry, it will “steal” water from the concrete mix and if the ground is too wet, water will “squish” out of the ground and into the concrete mix. Either situation will result in concrete that isn’t as strong as expected. For a cement slab in a residential situation, it’s not that critical because even “weak” concrete far exceeds the requirements, so I wasn’t too worried about concrete being less strong, but since things worked out well, I’m not complaining.

Now it is “wait awhile” until the concrete “dries”.

They Were Right.

The roof vent on the borrowed trailer blew off in a recent storm and, fortunately, I noticed it a few minutes before it started raining. Duct tape came to the rescue (holding the broken vent in place) until I could find a new roof vent cover and get it installed.

The replacement cover’s box label….”Fast and easy installation in less than 10 minutes.” made me laugh when I it, but, as it turned out, they were right. I’m guessing it took only 5 minutes to get this done.

I also took care of several other chores that needed to be done before we go bring another trailer load from the city. Amazingly enough, those chores took only a few minutes to complete. So now I have rest of the day to do other stuff.

Job 1 is to move three shelves from storage unit 1 to storage unit 2. The shelves were brought up from the city, but we had to put them into “the wrong” storage unit because we couldn’t fit the truck-trailer combination to where the unit 2 was located. The shelves were made from shipping pallets and are both awkward and heavy enough I don’t want to carry them too far, so I’ll use my old Jeep truck (which does fit “the right place”) to move them.

If I get done with that, job 2 will be to install the post needed to hold a 6BTV ham radio vertical antenna. The antenna looks vaguely like a flag pole and normally doesn’t need much to hold it up–just a 4 foot long 1-1/2 inch diameter piece of water pipe driven into the ground so that 18 inches of the pipe sticks out of the ground. However……the spring time winds here are such that I don’t think that “normally” will apply. I have a 6 foot piece of pipe, a small bag of concrete and a post hole digger. If I manage things well today, I’ll be able to play in dirt, water and concrete. ๐Ÿ™‚

Moving Books

This is the fifth trip we have made to the storage units in the city to move stuff up to our new home. We are using a 25 foot/7.5 meter long trailer, belonging to my Test Daughter and her husband, to move stuff.

Previous trips brought up the vintage (antique?) vehicles and the things we needed to be comfortable in the new home. Trip four brought up book cases, dishes and cookware.

This trip brought up only books…7,227 pounds (3,280kg) of books. This is not all the books we have. We had to stop loading because any more books would have exceeded the trailer’s cargo load limit. I think we can get the rest of the books on the next trip.

That weight number is an actual weight. I weighed and labeled each box as I packed it, and as we loaded each box into the trailer, we added the weight up in our smart phone calculator. I’ll grant that this isn’t the actual weight of the books because that figure also includes the weight of the cardboard boxes. Still, that is a lot of books.

Anyway, now that the books are coming into the home, we are starting to feel better. Life without books is not a very good life. ๐Ÿ™‚

The New House

We have been moving stuff into the new house at a somewhat slow pace because the trailer has been hauling, mostly, antique vehicles. So what was brought was stuff to “keep house” at a minimal level.

The vehicles were a priority since they were parked at a friend’s house and I didn’t want to overstay their welcome.

Also slowing us down was both of us catching a cold (or COVID). It was the familiar set of cold symptoms and the symptoms lasted as long as those of a cold usually lasts, but since our reaction, stay at home and don’t give it to others, was the same, the name of the illness doesn’t matter.

We now have a clothes washer and clothes dryer, enough clothes to last most of a week, a recliner chair, a sofa, our bed, the kitchen table and chairs, all of the kitchen cookware and the tableware. Everything is in its proper place, so we aren’t having problems moving around the house.

Now that the vehicles are all here, we can move things more quickly and reduce the size of the bills associated with storing all our stuff.

There are not yet many decorative items, nor books, so the house has not yet been “personalized”. This will get fixed with the next load we will haul here.

What isn’t done is our telephone and internet service. The telephone company has to bury their lines, so they have to get the other utility companies (electric company, in this case) to mark (called blue staking) their already buried lines. Normally all of the marking is done within 2 business days…it’s been 12 days and the electric company not yet marked their underground lines. I called them and, “The person who does that is on vacation.” I reminded them of “the 2 days” and “just happened to mention’ the name of the public utilities commission person that oversees the blue stake work…..hopefully that will get things moving.

In the meantime, we are using cellular service, some special antennas and a booster to get the 0 to 1 bar of service. I did a speed test and 0.028Mbit/sec down and 0.020Mbit/sec up. Note the decimal point….good internet speeds are at least 1,000 times faster than these values. I did not do the cellular system design work for this area, so…it’s not my fault. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s Really Done Part 2

We just received an email that the property deed, showing we are now the owners of the property, has been presented to the county recorder’s office and that the keys to the house are being brought to us by our real estate agent.

So, we are no longer homeless and we are now officially writing in the new chapter of “our life’s book”.

Tomorrow we will remove the camper from our truck and start bringing up our furnishings (and antique Jeeps) in a borrowed 25 foot (7.5 meter) trailer.

I am going to make sure I bring up the dozen *huge* pots in the first load as it is “about now” to be placing plants, like tomatoes and peppers, outside.

The Last 48

My mother in law likes to watch the television show, “The First 48” and that is where I got the idea for this post.

In 48 hours, we will be signing the papers to sell our home. Technically, the house is ours until the papers are presented to the government office responsible for keeping track of property ownership records, and this will happen on Tuesday morning. So, technically this is “the last 72”.

Since we will be leaving as soon as we sign the papers, I will go with the reality, and not the technicality.

I had “khaki diapers”…also known as a “marine brat”. The “brat” part was part of the vernacular (I hope I wasn’t a real brat) referring to children of US Marines. My father was marine officer and moves were a normal occurrence. For me, I was born toward the end of my father’s 30 year career in the marines and I only moved seven times in the first 18 years of my life.

Since then I sort of settled down, 10 years in one place, 10 years in another place and 23 years in the current home.

I’m hoping that we can live at least that long in the new place we are buying.

Less Than Two Weeks

In less than two weeks, we will sign the paperwork to sell our home. The next day, when the ownership paperwork is filed with the county government, the home will no longer be ours.

As we have been packing things, the home has been slowly losing its “personality”. I’m not sure how else to describe it except as personality.

VERY little is left in the home….I’m estimating it will take four hours to move the remaining “stuff” to storage and probably six hours to move the old vehicles to a friend’s home.

Signing the paperwork will be a bittersweet time. We will be leaving the place where we lived for 23 years and our daughter grew up. At the same time, we will be achieving a near life long dream.

Figured It Out. Maybe

I think I’ve figured out my sense of foreboding regarding our impending move to the “cold desert” and it was a dutch oven that made me realize what is happening.

Moving to a “cold desert” was the dream my fiancรฉe and I shared.

The dutch oven was bought by my fiancee. We did a lot of tent camping (hauling it all in the car) and we wanted something more than just skillets to use on the Coleman stove. That was why the dutch oven came into my life.

The dutch oven was purchased from a “junque” (fancy name for junk) store for something like US$5. It had some surface rust, but was still smooth on all its surfaces–nothing that a bit of vinegar and seasoning wouldn’t fix–the bottom was flat, the lid fit tightly and there were no cracks in the cast iron.

The dutch oven was supposed to be a wedding gift to us, but it was given to me just before we left for the doctor’s office…where we found out that her cancer was “terminal”. The dutch oven ended up in a box at the very back of a shelf in the garage for seemingly “forever”. I was moving stuff in the garage when my daughter and wife found it. I told them the story about the dutch oven and my wife brought it in, saying it was a waste to not use it. I cleaned it up and have been using it on a daily basis since then.

Today I packed up the dutch oven into a very well padded box and I realized why I had the sense of foreboding.

My fiancee and I had goals that when achieved, would allow us to reach our dream. The dream was for her to have a pediatric medical practice in a small town in northern or eastern Arizona, anywhere in New Mexico, southern Utah or southern Colorado. These places are all in what I call the “cold desert”…the high desert.

My wife has always wanted to live in a small desert town that is not hot. It is essentially the same dream that my fiancee and I had. My wife and I, in about two weeks, will be achieving that dream.

Packing the dutch oven up made me realize that the move was reminding me of my fiancee, and this is something I try, very hard, to not dwell on. And, when I “overdo” it, I feel guilty because I don’t want my wife to compete with a ghost.

My fiancee was determined, almost desperate, that I “keep on keeping on” and continue to live my life. It took a while, but I did go on and I’m sure my fiancee would be both pleased and proud.

While I was packing the dutch oven, I realized that as long as I don’t compare the two people, and don’t continually do it, thinking about my fiancee is okay.

For what it is worth, thinking of my fiancee was actually helpful when my wife was undergoing surgery, chemo, and radiation for stage 3 breast cancer. I was able to draw upon my experiences with my fiancee to help my wife. If my fiancee could have communicated with me, I know she would have been proud of me.

Excitement, Worry and Possible Courage

Today, we drove to what will be our new home town and made an offer on the house we are hoping to buy. The offer was accepted, so we have somewhere to live “on the other end”. The sale of our current home will be complete at the beginning of May and the purchase of our new home will be complete 3 weeks later.

I have lived in the “hot desert” for almost 60 years…nearly my entire life. My wife has lived in the hot desert for 37 years. For me, city living has been the case 43 years and for my wife, 45 years. Before that both of us grew up in tiny towns out in the “middle of nowhere”.

We will still be living in the desert, but it will be a cold desert. Each year, the hot desert has one or two days below freezing and many days above 115F/45C. It has never been below 20F/-7C. The cold desert will have high temperatures, at most, around 90F/32C and many days with low temperatures around -5F/-21C. The lack of “water falling from the sky” is pretty much the same for both places…just a few inches/cm of precipitation per year.

While the move, and achieving a near lifelong dream is exciting, I’m also a bit sad. I will be leaving what I’ve known for my entire life for something new.

I also have sense of foreboding and I can’t shake it. I’m not even sure what it is that I am worried about. Is it ET’s (twin sister) leukemia and my not being as close as I’d like in case she needs help? Is it something else? Am I just imagining things? Am I just sad about leaving a familiar situation? I don’t know.

I do know I am worried about ET, but I don’t think that is all the worry that I have.

I guess courage is not a lack of fear and worry but forging ahead despite the fear and worry. So, I guess I’m sort of courageous.


ET has her first meeting with a hematologist/oncologist on April 13. We are both anxiously awaiting the results of that consultation. I’m not sure if she or I is more anxious.

I’m busy with getting the house packed up for the (hopefully it happens) move and that keeps my mind off of it, but, at the same time, having to do all this divides my attention.

Switching topics.

The freezer is now empty, and I just turned it off. The “computer room” no longer has the background hum from the freezer. The computer is convection cooled so it has no fan and I’m amazed at how quiet things have become. Also, since the freezer door is propped open, there is a cold draft coming across the floor.

The garage is nearly empty. I need to put together the hard top for 1964 Jeep and the soft top on the 1950 Jeep. Once that is done, they will be stored at a friend’s home. The 1957 Jeep truck will remain here until the last possible moment as it is the vehicle that is hauling everything to the self-storage units.

I stopped writing this post to work on the garage while the freezer sat, and I’m glad I came back in here because I noticed the freezer was starting to drip water onto the floor. The freezer had no frost inside the freezer compartment, so I’m guessing the water is coming from frost that built up within the door. Fortunately, it was a small puddle, and the floor is tile, so the cleanup was a simple 30 second effort.

The freezer is now in the garage where it can drip without causing a problem and I will remember this so the next time I unplug the freezer…I will be ready.