Saturday, April 20, 2013

On the Way Past San Jose

Tuesday, April 16, 2013. I breathe deep and look out the window to clear blue skies. Home.

It’s been a long two weeks. The scramble to pack up my household goods became complicated.

First, I began getting warnings from Verizon. My minutes had been devoured by all the calls necessary to negotiate my move.

Then, on Tuesday, April 2, the sewer backed up again (see ‘Grateful for the sh**!’ from November 13, 2012).

I called the plumber. Quick response and the problem appeared to be fixed.

On Wednesday, I ran a small tub of wash, then dove into packing. I began to hear little burps from the toilet, though I was not running any water myself. I headed to the office, not wanting to use up any more phone minutes.

I rounded the corner to see the plumbing van at my neighbors. Hmmm. I rang her doorbell.

“Are you having a plumbing problem?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “He’s back there now.”

“Could I talk to him? I had a problem just yesterday. Maybe it’s related.”

The plumber – not the same one who worked on my place -- was adamant. Absolutely no connection between the two problems. I declined to argue, returned to my house and sure enough, water, thankfully clean, burbled up from the sewer cleanout.

I nearly ran to the office. The manager called the plumbing company. They would send the guy from my neighbor’s when he had finished there.

I returned to packing, wondering if I would get to wash my pile of dirty laundry.

Then, just before three, I washed my hands and went to the title company to sign closing papers.

Late that afternoon, the plumber came to the door. He went on at length about why he’d left the cleanout open.

“So, I can’t use my water,” I said.

“You can use it, it’ll just flow into the yard,” he said. I started to explain why that wasn’t okay, then just walked away, leaving him standing at the door.

Shortly after that, I noticed a man in a work vest on the deck near the cleanout pipe. I went out, hoping he had a solution. Nope. He was the cable guy and had been notified of a water problem near their cable connection.

I called a friend. She asked what she could do. “Come give me a hug,” I said. She popped in a few minutes later with that hug. By then I knew I needed a break and we went to dinner.

I was up until after one a.m. packing, tossing items wherever they would fit.

The next morning, the movers arrived on time and were in and out quickly.

All I needed to do now was pack the car. I’d overestimated what the car would hold, so when another friend called, I lured her over and gave her my beautiful Christmas cactus and what I thought was the rest of the stuff from the kitchen.

Then I locked the door and went to Valley River Inn for the night. Room service and a bath! How glorious! But I woke in the night remembering the few items I had left behind – locked securely in the house along with my last key!

Early Friday, I texted my realtor, asking if she could let me in for those items. But by the time we connected, I had gathered Simone from the cat hotel and was headed south. Was I running away? I shook my head. More like a boat being shoved from the dock.

I was in Redding when I got another text from my realtor. “Did you give someone permission to take plants and move stepping stones from the yard?”

Oh, oh. I was pretty sure the plumbing company had been there to fix the sewer problem. But I hadn’t given anyone permission – that was up to the park manager.

“No, why?” I responded. She called immediately. Here it was, four in the afternoon, and no one had spoken to the manager! I suggested that option. I never heard more.

A rainstorm pounded through the night in Redding and the next morning, we left in sputtering showers that dissipated by Corning.

Simone slept all the way past San Jose to our new home in Atascadero.

My furniture arrived, late but all accounted for, on Sunday. The money from closing showed up in my account on Monday.

Yes! Done!