It’s been a while, guys, and I’m sorry about that, but along with having already established that I tend toward laziness, it’s also been chaotically busy. What’s been happening? Well, when we last left off, I was en route to Vermont. Gatsby and I had a leisurely journey back east via some vineyards and National Forests, and stopped in Albany to pick up my buddy Jack, who flew out originally to grab my Subaru and turn and burn back to MI, but due to an unforeseen circumstance, he didn’t have to be back in any particular hurry, so he got to stay and hang out and enjoy Gatsby’s Getaway for the week and help me putter and pack and whatnot.
The highlights of that were it rained about 85% of the time we were in VT, the van’s rear doors started leaking (in addition to the gullwing panel that I’m about to FlexSeal closed due to its perpetual leaks), and I saw a psychic who specializes in animals, so while I wanted to know more about how to best help Gatsby (she confirmed that he is rather ADHD, and recommended he be on a daily regiment of CBD oil or Prozac), my old dude, Donky, kept chiming in, so I spent the better part of an hour bawling my eyes out. Oh, also, the moving company (we initially didn’t know that Jack was going to be coming out to VT to help, so I’d hired a moving company to schlep my shit from the storage facility) damn near doubled the quoted price that we’d agreed upon. Naturally, this happened right after they’d loaded all of it onto the truck and I’d terminated my storage unit lease, not to mention we were setting out on our expedition the following day, so as much as it grieved me, I anted up.
We set out on a (rainy) Tuesday, and the first day we meandered just down to Craryville to overnight with Bill, Anne, & mom, since they weren’t able to come up to the lake the weekend that we were there, and I just couldn’t bear not seeing them until April. While we got a tarp over the gullwing, neither of us realized the extent of the rear door leak, so Jack ended up a trifle moist that night. The rain continued the next day. All day. It was either raining and/or foggy for the entire 10 hour drive.
As is my norm, I was eyeballing the shit out of the weather over the Mackinac Bridge, and while it looked spectacular all day Thursday (meaning we’d have to do another long drive day), it went straight to shit on Friday, so the options were to either have another long day and make it over the bridge the following day, or go the longer way around through Wisconsin. We opted for the Bridge. That drive is really a million times better, avoiding both Chicago and Milwaukee, as well as shaving off a couple of hours, and I’m sure doing it in the Subaru will be fine for me in a̶n̶y̶ ̶ reasonable weather, it just isn’t in Hecate. I’m not sure if that’s been established already.
Anyway, since we were on the east side of Cleveland, we got our asses up at 5:30 to make it through the city before rush hour started in earnest. Although it was still foggy in the morning, it cleared up shortly after Cleveland, and the rest of the drive was so brilliant, I even managed to go the speed limit most of the way. We stopped in Frankenmuth for a clocktick to go to Bronner’s, the giant Christmas shop, and decided to come back to the German village when we had time to overnight and meander leisurely around. We made it over the bridge without event just before sunset, and settled in to a little hotel in St. Ignace for the night. The following day was a quick drive to the new digs.
Now for my “I’m a dunce” story. It was our second day at the new house. The previous owner had left the back door unlocked (each door has a regular door handle lock, a dead-bolt, and a swing bar door lock) and two keys inside on the counter, so when I first got there, I grabbed one key, tried it in the back door, and hooked it onto Hecate’s keychain. I guessed that the other key was for the front door and put it on the Subaru keychain, figuring in the next couple days I’d go get copies made to squirrel away in a hidey-spot somewhere. I should at this point mention that I am pretty diligent about safety and security (shocking, I know), and I always lock all three at night. Day 2 at the new house also happened to be the day of the Army-Navy game, so we had planned on going to watch with Barb and Lonnie. I locked all the doors, played musical vehicles, and sped off in the Subaru to Garden. I’d just pulled into the driveway later that evening after the game and was walking with the dog up to the back door when realized I’d locked myself out, since the back door key* was clearly on the van keychain* which was now locked in the house*, and I’d never unlatched the swing bar on the front door when I woke up that morning. I called the old owner, Jan, explaining the situation, hoping she had a spare stashed away somewhere. She did not, but recommended I call the fire department, since they are apparently proficient at picking locks (likely in part thanks to dummies like me!). I had just hung up with the dispatcher, who was sending someone my way, when Jan called back and said her brain had just caught up to what I’d said, and that the doors were keyed the same. Yes, that’s correct, ladies and gentlemen; it DIDN’T EVEN DAWN ON ME that both doors would be keyed the same, so I didn’t even bother trying. I am THAT special.
The few remaining weeks of 2022 were spent unpacking, organizing, and enjoying the holidays. Gatsby was thankfully quick to warm up to the new house (within a half hour of arrival, he was happily tossing his jolly ball around and taking naps), so by Christmas I was able to leave him to lounge after he’d exhausted himself with Santa’s wares to pop down to Garden to enjoy Christmas dinner with some of Jack’s family that I already had met, and some of the extended family that I hadn’t (and the cutest, wriggliest Boxer named Tito that made me extra wish G wasn’t such a spaz with other dogs).
New Years Eve was delightfully uneventful. We hung out with Jack’s mom for a while to watch UofM lose to TCU (BOO!!!!!), went to Nahma Inn for dinner, and were back home by 10 for a comfy, cozy ringing in of 2023.
2023 has so far consisted of some snow day photography tours, exploring fun places in my new town, training clients, and working on a couple of creative projects, along with a handful of shoveling and snow-blowing (super glad for both the snowblower and a few days warm enough for it to have melted in between storms). Oh, and of course football, even though both of my favorite teams (Patriots and Lions) didn’t make it to the playoffs. I will say that last year I loved watching the Superbowl not giving a rat’s knackers who won and just being able to relax and enjoy the game. Of course, it helped that the entire event, from the commercials to the halftime show was basically one giant love letter to my generation.
There are some fun things upcoming, including a road trip to Indy, Nashville, and Knoxville, which will (hopefully) give the three of us a chance to thaw out a smidge. I’ll try and be more diligent about documenting things, since we’ll undoubtedly run into a snafu or seventeen, and if I don’t make notes rather soon after the fact, I rather forget the fine nuances that make situations so funny.
In between now and then, I will try and fill you in on both locking myself IN the house (I have a special way with things), and the calamities that may soon land the dog in a straight jacket.
Until then, I wish everyone the most joyous start to the new year!