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February 10, 2013

It's been a whirlwind of crazy the past two weeks, with few signs of slowing down.

Brian's grandfather, Edward Leitner, died January 30, at 101 years old.  We had a few hours of anxiety before funeral arrangements were made for the following week and we realized we COULD squeeze in a trip to Connecticut for his funeral.

My car was picked up on Saturday.  Fun to watch, but they've been calling me every other day changing the date of delivery in Boulder.

My car, off on a cross
country road trip
without me!
Monday the packers showed up.  Three solemn, middle aged women who arrived and went to town immediately.  Unfortunately we just hadn't had enough time to organize ourselves properly and hadn't even packed ourselves for the week.  We knew there were things we wanted to take with us or have right away, and so we had to struggle to keep  ahead of these packing maniacs to get them in our 'do not pack' pile.  We missed a few things, like my gloves, scarves and hats, Brian's medicines, and the book Brian made me for our first anniversary that I really wanted to transport myself.  I scattered my favorite jewelry throughout my purse and big suitcase.

Our evening entertainment - sitting on the
steps, watching two guys with a mobile
workshop build custom crates for our more fragile pieces.
We haven't found a house yet, so our things were going into storage.  Since we had some antiques and unusual items, we requested they be crated for the move.  Never having done that before, I was amazed that they came over, took some measurements, and produced the crates right there!

We had to pack things to wear until then, plus a separate bag for the crazy week, which included a train trip to Connecticut.  It was hard to figure that all out, and I actually failed a bit as well.  No gloves!  I had one pair in my winter coat, but every time I put them on I developed a rash.  No idea why,  as I've warn these previous years with no problems.  (I have REALLY tiny hands, so gloves that fit properly are hard to find.)

Since one leg was broken/loose, they also
included a board directly under the top
so the weight would be taken off the legs,
and another across the lid to keep it from
Tuesday the movers showed up, and we saw them get situated and started, but we had to leave to catch the train for a 6 hour trip to Connecticut.  We were lucky to get an earlier train than the one we booked (we REALLY didn't want to be around when they moved the piano down the stairs)  but we missed the viewing and just made it in time to have dinner with family.  We both felt rather useless about the whole situation and arrangements, which included the discovery of a broken water pipe in the house which flooded out the furnace in Grandpa Leitner's house.  Plus there was a mega-snowstorm headed towards the area.  We were confident that we would get out in time, but couldn't help with cleanup or problem solving.  Then we checked into a creepy looking Days Inn motel.  It was ugly and beat up, but the water was hot, the door locked, the heat worked, and the bed was more comfortable than the hotel we'd stayed in Monday night.

Wednesday morning was the funeral and burial, which included full military honors.  Very moving.  It was a bright, sunny, cold day.  I wore thermal underwear and my long winter coat, tucking my hands into my sleeves to keep them warm, and managed not to freeze.

I do have to say that those were the most cheerful funeral directors I've ever encountered.  The ones in Herndon are so funereal (there's no other word for it) that it almost seems like overacting.  You could crack a joke at them and they'd respond, deadpan, straight face, monotone, 'that's very amusing.'  The Connecticut ones were quite cheery, but also organized and sympathetic.

Afterwards we had another 6 hour train ride back home, and didn't get back to the house til about 11 pm.  Sometime during the day Brian got a call from our credit card company, warning us that our information had been 'compromised' and that they would be mailing us new cards.  He explained we were moving and couldn't get new cards because we didn't yet have an address and didn't want to play the fowarding/catchup mailing game with credit cards, and please PLEASE don't cancel our cards right now.  They promised to keep it active and put a fraud watch alert on it.

Dad was generous and picked us up in Maryland so we wouldn't have to deal with DC and Union Station, and had a gift for me from Aunt Karen in the back seat.  I opened it later to discover all kinds of pretty warm weather gear and a beautiful handmade necklace.  My glove problem had been solved with a pair of fingerless gloves that had a mitten pouch that folded over the top.  I looked like I was wearing a sock puppet, but my hands were warm!

We got back to Centreville around 11 pm.  There we wandered through the empty house with increasing annoyance.  The 'do not move' box was still there, along with our luggage, as well as some things that we had intended for them to move but they somehow missed.  A new mop.  Three hand towels, hanging in plain sight.  Brian's squirt gun.  A pair of my shoes, still sitting neatly in the cubbyhole, but pushed a little farther back.  Metal parts to the stereo speakers.  Brian's book making board, which we had specifically discussed with the packers to pack.  Random trash and lots of cardboard boxes.  Later we discovered they had packed the pizza stone box but not the pizza stone, which I suppose I should have thought to pull out of the oven beforehand.  Hardly any of it was easily mailed, but in the end we managed everything but the mop and the pizza stone (I didn't discover that til Thursday night).  I noticed that the onions on top of the fridge had disappeared.  I'm hoping one of the movers/packers took them home, but I'm concerned I'm going to be opening some oniony boxes in a month or two.

Thursday Brian's car was picked up, and we rented a very large car at the local Enterprise.  We managed to pack up not one but THREE large boxes to mail to ourselves in Boulder, and hauled them to the post office.  We used a gift card to Famous Dave's for a rather late lunch, and went back to the hotel to try to breathe for a few minutes and arrange for mail forwarding.  Then we went back to the house one final time and pawned off all our leftovers and the grill and charcoal to our neighbor and friend Mark and his brother Patrick.  The decks were close enough together that we just passed everything over the rails, including the pizza stone and the two pounds of butter left in the freezer.  Then we went to Carrabba's for one last night in Centreville, and chatted with the bartender, who turned out to be from Denver, and his significant other, who told us about an awesome restaurant in Clifton that we'd love to try but will have to sneak over the next time we're back in the area.

Friday morning we rushed about like crazy collecting luggage, and arranged for a cab to meet us at the car rental place, who charged you $50 extra if you wanted to do a one-way from Centreville to the airport!  We arrived quickly and slowly trudged through the security line, but lucked out when we got to the front and only had to go through the X-ray machine.  Brian's very last can of Diet Caffeine Free Mountain Dew got confiscated.  The plane was slightly late owing to the mess in Boston and the crew disappearing, but we had an uneventful trip.  This was my first flight in first class.  (the tickets turned out to  be only slightly more than the regular seats, so we figured, 'why not?')    They kept trying to feed us, and feeding Brian is difficult.  I finished my crocodile stitch scarf about 2 hours in, impressed with my ability to finish this scarf almost completely on trains and planes.

We arrived in Denver, found all of our luggage (a plus!) and got another large rental car to accommodate our luggage.  We managed to hit rush hour traffic, and could see how backed up it was on certain roads, but it was still moving pretty well.  Fortunately it was all Denver traffic that we wouldn't have to deal with.

Eventually we arrived at our apartment, let ourselves in, and checked it out.  Not bad!  The furnace is old and rickety, and the bed rock hard, but we have room, it's warm, and it's convenient to a lot of places.

It was then that I discovered that I had a voice mail from a Boulder company that I had submitted my resume to on a whim.  I hadn't expected to hear from them for a while, if at all, so I was kind of shocked that they wanted me to interview on Monday.  I'm still trying to work that one out, as I still have no idea when my car will arrive, and I need to be present when they deliver it.  (Brian will be in training all week.)  Technically I have some work clothes with me, but not enough for an entire week.  I may have to do some shopping.

Afterwards we went to dinner at Oak's in the Pearl Street Mall, which was very noisy, but the food was good.  After THAT we decided to check out a local grocery store and found ourselves at Sprouts Farmer's Market.  It was like an oversized Trader Joe's, and carried pretty much everything I needed to feed Brian safely.  Then we went back to the apartment and crashed.

Saturday we drove around with the real estate agent, looking at rentals.  We found one promising one in Lafayette, but will have to wait for Monday morning to discuss some issues with the management company.  (like the lack of door to the master bathroom, carpeting under the washer and dryer, and the place could use a good scrubbing.  Otherwise cute, convenient, and meets our requirements.)

It's been a whirlwind February!  Five different beds!  I don't even want to think about the mileage! But we're here safely and things seem promising.  Time to do some exploring.