Adventures in Your New Life, Finale

Judy Garland serenades George Murphy with “Daddy, don’t leave me, Daddy”. In 1942 this scenario was innocent enough, but today comes off as a bit creepy. I am sitting in front of the TV, streaming “My Gal Sal” on Kanopy. We are in hiatus mode, just having labored mightily through five days of wiping dust off of furniture, filling even more boxes with stuff and crumpled paper, loading, unloading, loading unloading. The husband drove Rental Truck #3 and I pulled the utility trailer.

We left Seattle at 4:30 am, one-and-a-half-hours behind our goal of 3am, whereby we would miss much of Portland’s dismal rush hour traffic. At 55 to 60 mph, our timing would be long anyway, but we breezed through, got home where the husband cobbled together a breakfast, and we crashed. Burned, too.

On arrival, I went straight inside to check on the cats. It was a worry of mine, and indeed we stumbled. Mr. Cat was missing, having gotten out a window we forgot to close, our mental capacity being someone diminished by fatigue. Mrs. Cat was still present, but painfully thin and punky. We’d left plenty of food and water—not the quality food we should have had for them—having gotten tangled up in changing vets and difficulties in getting the prescription diet, blah, blah. We felt terrible.

Needless to say, I got Mrs. Cat’s proper food from the vet down the block—made an appointment for her too. She is, as many cats will tell you, highly particular about taste. Fish is the only item that is worth eating, Mrs. Cat told me, over and over.

Also, she reminded me, I never drink out of a metal bowl. NEVER. Where is my ceramic cup bowl, huh? Finding it, I set up a private booth for her on our dining table—don’t judge me—and she visits it regularly, taking bites of Ocean Fish and canned salmon. Her method of eating includes the diminutive bite, backing three steps from the dish, and then carefully dividing the bite into several small bits to leave behind. Except for the bits she actually eats. She is satisfied with her ceramic water bowl, too.

Mr. Cat remains MIA, despite word to neighbors, missing posters, and NextDoor Albany. He was always a roamer, which is how we came to adopt him 5 years ago. I have a feeling he will be back one day.

Back to the joy of moving. Fourth Movers were efficient, cute and polite. I now have a working washer/drier combo and completed 5 laundry loads.

Three delicious weeks are granted us before the next trip north. I am talking myself out of thinking about what is left to do–all the things. Things like getting our Seattle house ready for sale. And it needs a lot to get ready for sale.

No. Stop. Don’t think about it.

Think instead about the exact blinds for the front windows. And how we solved the problem of the wireless printer by downloading a new driver. And how Mrs. Cat scatters salmon bits around as she dines.

Watch Gene Kelly betray Judy Garland. Hear her sing “After You’ve Gone” with real heartbreak. Listen to a mastiff snoring on the living room carpet. Walk barefoot to the kitchen to get a nectarine.

What amazes me is how much I already feel at home. We just spent 21 years in the same little house—I don’t miss that house at all, because this one is so much more, well, me. Today I bought door mats. None of them say Welcome but they will keep the dirt and mud and sawdust out of the house.

The writing desk is ready, too—currently in use for probing the Internet looking for rental trailers, veterinarians, health clinics. Office Max.

Now, how does one get rid of more than one hundred moving boxes?



About Jill Zeller

Author of numerous novels and short stories, Jill Zeller is a Left Coast writer, 2nd generation Californian, retired registered nurse, and obsessed gardener. She lives in Oregon with her patient husband, 2 silly English mastiffs and 2 rescue cats—the silliest of all. Her works explore the boundaries of reality. Some may call it fantasy, but there are rarely swords and never elves. More to the point, she prefers to write as if myth, imagination and hallucination are as real as the chair she is sitting on as she writes this. Jill Zeller also writes under the pseudonym Hunter Morrison


Adventures in Your New Life, Finale — 2 Comments

  1. Does your moving company take back the boxes, and give you back some of the deposit you paid on them, dependinv on how many are reusable?

  2. Freecycle is a place to join to give boxes away. Post to the regional writer’s or fandom group–I drove a half hour to get clothing boxes once.

    Be sure to let Seattle neighbors know that Mr. Cat bolted. It is not impossible that he will show up back at the old house.

    Conga rats, and so glad you guys already feel so much at home!