Wednesday, January 25

Moving Summary

Greetings. Here's the long awaited moving summary. Too much happened over the weekend to detail everything, but here are the highlights, broken up by day.

Thursday. In mid afternoon, my parents came over to my place with the truck so we could load all my stuff in it. This whole process took about 2 hours, plus another hour or so that it might have took to get the truck and load a few pieces of furniture in before they came to my place. That night, I went with them to my older brother Neil's house for dinner. That was fun. Among other things, I showed my new camera phone to my two nephews. The younger of the two, Cameron, didn't quite know what to make of it. However, the older one, Finley, loved it and wanted to take pictures with it. That didn't go over quite as well with me, since letting him take pictures meant giving him the phone, and I wasn't about to do that. However, we did take a few shots with him and Cameron separately, and one with the two of them in my lap. Incidentally, that last picture is now the wallpaper of my phone.

Shortly after I got back home, my good friend Heather came over to pick me up for an evening out. That was fun too. Even though some of the schedules conflicted that night, it was fun to go out with Heather to dinner at our/my favorite place, the Cheesecake Factory.

Friday. My parents and I got up early that morning to drive down to Austin. They took a regular car in addition to the truck, so they would have a car to drive back after they turned the truck into the rental place. Anyway, we made fairly good time and were in Austin by 11 or so. We immediately went to the apartment complex and picked up my keys. Here's where things went astray from our original schedule. The complex didn't have the new carpet in my apartment so we couldn't move in right away. We chose to have them put the carpet in that afternoon. Although the leasing person told us that the carpet wouldn't be in until at least 3-7 or so, the carpet installation people got right on it and had it in by 2. The entire process only took them an hour. I don't know if that was the norm, but we were glad all the same. Meanwhile, to make up for the error, the leasing agent bought us lunch from Blempie's, and that was good. After that, my mother and I did some beginning orientation to the complex, showing me the way from the office to my new apartment. My mother did a great job over all in her orientation. It's safe to say that I think she now has a new respect for people that orient blind folk for a living. Over the course of the weekend, she oriented me from the office to my apartment, and back; to the laundry room, the dumpster, the mailboxes, and even to the nearby bus stop and transit station.

After we went back and forth from the office and apartment a few times, we started unloading things and checking out where to put things in my new place. The largest item which took the most man/woman power and was the most challenging was the 7-foot couch from my grandmother. I now have a new respect for movers, who carry this kind of stuff all the time. Moving things in took a few hours, and before I knew it, it was nearing 6:30. My mom ran out to get dinner, in the form of a frozen pizza, and some other things while my Dad and I stayed behind unpacking and getting things put together. I don't remember what we did after dinner, but think it was more of the same.

Saturday. This was a busy day of shopping, grocery and otherwise, orienting, putting things together, learning about the community shuttle that runs by my complex, and many other things. When I look back on it, its like a blur of activity to me. One of the things that stands out though was dinner.

My Dad had told me that he wanted to take me out to dinner and treat me, as a celebration of my new apartment and over all new beginning. He said that we'd go wherever I wanted, whether it was really cheap or really nice. This was quite an offer, and it took me while to decide where I wanted to go. This decision process was made all the more complicated since I had no idea of the restaurants in Austin. I ultimately settled on barbecue, and we found ourselves at one of those neighborhood places that seem to have everything. I ended up with a sausage poorboy sandwich, fries and Cold Slaw. All of which were very good. I couldn't finish the Slaw, actually I got full long before I ever got to it, so I took it, along with my Mom's leftovers, which she graciously offered to me, in a box and had them for lunch on Sunday. One other highlight. Before we went to dinner, we had a champane toast to my new success and beginning. They suggested that I should keep the small bottle as a momento, so it now sits near the Cable box on the shelves in my living room. All in all, it was a busy but satisfying day.

Sunday. In the morning, my Mom and I wrapped up our orienting, but I was clearly beginning to hit the wall of exhaustion. Two days of unpacking and memorizing and internalizing lots of information, and trying to keep all of it straight in your mind, wares you out. This was how I felt. By the end of it, in the remaining half hour before my parents left, I had a look on my face like, "Don't bother me; don't ask me to make any decisions; I've had it." We went over a few more things, through one of those Move-In checklists from the complex, and said our goodbyes, or as I call them, the "See you laters."

I freely told my Mom that after they left I was going to crash. This wasn't exactly what I did immediately, but I did move into relaxed mode. I dozed on my bed for awhile, got up and had the leftovers from the previous night for lunch, and generally took it way easy that afternoon. Lunch was a time of realization for me, since it was the first lunch I've had in my new apartment, at the new dining room table. So, there I sat, eating the remaining brisket, Slaw, and hash browns, wearing a Walkman and listening to "A Prairie Home Companion." It was mighty good, and I'm not just talking about the food.

During all of this time, throughout the weekend, Tony (my former yellow Lab guide dog), had been walking around the apartment, trying out various places in the rooms as laying down places. He was even spotted in the closet, with only his head sticking out. I think he was getting acquainted with the layout as well. Even now, he goes from laying by the couch, near the coffee table in the living room, on his mat in the bedroom, and probably other places. I think he liked laying in the walk-in closet, with all those clothes around him.

Sunday afternoon and evening I listened to the NFL conference championships and did more relaxing. That night, I talked with my Mom and Finley on the telephone. The talk I had with Finley was fun and was a great comfort.

At one point, we were talking about Austin--the city and his friend named Austin. This was a hard concept for him. Here's a small clip of this talk:

Finley: "Where's Austin?"
Me: "Austin is when you get in the car and ride for 3 hours. That's a long time, but its where I am."
Finley: "Are you in Austin's house?"
Me: "No, I'm in my own house in Austin."

We went back and forth like this for awhile, until he asked me, "Where are Austin and Barbara?" I then understood and said I didn't know where they were. After asking me the same thing again, and repeating my answer, he gave the phone back to my Mom.

Monday. Not much to write about this day. It was a long and boring day. Remember, I didn't get Cable TV and Internet until yesterday, so Monday I figure I was still decompressing from the weekend.

It's been cool to walk around my apartment thinking that its mine. At various times, I'll walk from room to room and marvel and what I now have, mainly for the fact that its way more than I had before. I can now put things straight up in my regular fridge, fill a shelf in the door with sodas, and have lots more freezer space to store things. I experienced this feeling again of ownership this morning when in the bathroom area. My sink, vannity and cabinets under the sink are outside of the closed off bathroom area, which is nice. I was standing in front of the sink, running my hands over the vannity, admiring its width and inner storage space. It's good to have a place to call your own.

That's about it. I'm sure I've left out things, but that's enough for now.

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