Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Dream About The House

A couple of nights ago, I had a dream about the old house. I knew it was inevitable. In the dream, the dutch door was half open (top half, obviously) and I opened the bottom and ran into the house. I felt like my heart was exploding with joy. I was running in to my family, who I knew were in there waiting for me.

I made it about 8 steps into the house, and it was empty. It was just the same way we left it on the last day, on August 31, empty.

I was standing in front of the giant kitchen hearth, and I felt the sadness just drain from me. I felt wave after wave of unbelievable loss.

Waking up from this, right at that moment... I felt the loss in my heart while the dogs and Doug all snored softly around me, in my same bed from that house, my same sheets, my same pillows. My same everything.

And I thought about how you can really see a lot more stars here at this house, when standing out in the yard, you can actually see the Milky Way. That is kind of cool. But when I am in my bed, I can't look out the window above my head and see Orion guarding me, as my bedroom is on the total wrong side of the house.

These things shouldn't bother me.

But they really do.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

a eulogy not delivered...

at marie's funeral, we weren't sure if we were going to be given a chance to stand and say anything. As a good Boy Scout Leader, I was prepared anyway.

I've edited this so it is a blog entry instead, simply to say it, have it said, and have it out there.

Her funeral was nice. I'm not a big fan of Catholic funerals. I always feel the Priest is a supply staffer who doesn't know the family, the family maybe on the whole doesn't really BELIEVE any of this Catholic stuff. The service is always long, weird and disjointed for me. The Priest doing this service was very young (maybe in his early 30s?) and Filipino. At first his accent was a little hard to get past, but I have to say as far as these things go, where my perception is the Priest is a borderline stranger, he did a tremendous job. He told the story of how he met Marie 6 weeks ago when her son called the parish and asked for someone to come pray with his mom. By the sounds of it he had the opportunity to spend quality time with her and her family. He may not have been her pastor for long, but he certainly "got" her, the family, and the friends. So... hats off to him. Well done, sir.

So, here's what I would have delivered, maybe.

If you are a Boy Scout, scout leader, former Boy Scout, or even if you just know the words please rise, and Scout Salute.  A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.  

Please be seated. You may be wondering why I opened my comments this morning with the Scout Law. 

For weeks now when I have been thinking about Marie I reflect on how she was all of these things and lived the Scout Law in her life daily. 

I’d like to say she was the best Boy Scout I ever knew, gender roles, rank advancement, and merit badge completions aside. 

For those of you who do not know me,I served on the BSA Troop 87 Committee with Marie, and several years ago she encouraged me to be the Troop Chaplain. Hopefully no one is offended in stating the Scout Law in church, but for me each of those items trace back to Biblical principles, straight out of scripture. So I’m comfortable saying these things, and feel they have a place in this space. 

As the Troop Chaplain, it isn’t my job to convert anyone to anything. It is primarily to set a spiritual tone in the Troop, which I think I do when I’m not being excessively silly.  Chaplaincy guidelines are less about trying to tell someone what you think they should believe than they are exercising compassion in action, providing care, encouragement and love. Acts which in and of themselves are spiritual in nature. It is an honor for me to be the Troop Chaplain. But I'm not just that for the Scouts, but to the adults in Marie’s life and to her family. And I especially feel compelled to be here and share with you today because of Marie’s love for me.

Marie was an excellent role model. When my son came into Troop 87 in 2007 after receiving his Arrow of Light, Marie and Jim (the Scoutmaster) welcomed us in with open arms. My husband and I knew that for Geoff to have a successful transition into BSA from the Cub Pack, we would have to be involved. Doug went on camp outs and off to summer camp as an adult leader, and I joined the committee.   

I remember going to a committee members training with Marie a few years back. There was a NH Troop committee chair who basically said that she was the committee chair, treasurer, and the committee along with her one scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster. She looked at the four of us and was jealous that we had four people on the troop committee. We sheepishly let her know that we actually had a lot more than four … and we had a lot more scoutmasters than two. She asked me how we motivated parents to be involved. I thought about it and told her that we just have incredibly committed parents, but the truth of the matter was that we had an incredibly committed committee chairwoman. 

What I have gotten out of this experience the most since our son joined the troop is that as a parent, I’m not just invested in the success of my son in scouting - I’m invested in the success of the other boys in scouting. Marie set forth an example of what a scouting parent should be. She let us know that it’s not just about “get your kid to Eagle,” but … get all boys to enjoy themselves. Build a quality program with excellent activities. Sure, monitor their advancement and their achievements in merit badges and encourage that … but also encourage their growth in relationship with one another and their joy in the troop. 

And in doing so, you connect with the families, the parents, the siblings, and the community. 
As you know, this past Saturday was (our town) Day. For the last five years I’ve coordinated the details for the Boy Scout Troop. Marie were my right-hand man in this, and starting in April or May each year she’d start touching base with me about what was arranged. To be honest, our vendors didn’t want to hear from us in April. But I’d always have everything ready to go and wait another month or so before I started reaching out for the donations.
The most important day leading up to (our town) Day for me was always the Thursday BSA Troop meeting right before the event. 

This past Thursday, I was out at the trailer with Thane, Stan and Stephen, moving stuff around, loading up coolers into the three vehicles that were going to go get ice. I could hear her voice… “is there enough charcoal? Are the coolers clean? Do we have trash barrels? Recycle bins? Is there enough shade cover? How many paper plates do you have?” She always thought of something that I was missing or asked me about a detail that I’d accidentally overlooked. 

Some people probably don’t like having someone double checking their plans or their work but for me, her shadowing was indispensable.  I don’t have ADD, but there are times that even with lists, spreadsheets and checking things off I’m discombobulated and I miss things.  In working with Pattie, our new committee chair, this year, Pattie certainly rose to that task, serving as external checklist, walking the plot plan of the field with Kathy and myself on that Thursday. 

I love Pattie dearly, but that particular Thursday was always the Marie Day for me and I missed her voice, her cocking her head to the side and asking me about detail a, b, c, d, r, x, z… 

After the meeting on Thursday I wanted to go to her bedside and sit next to her, and tell her that everything was all set for the big day. My big concern was ice and keeping the meat cool without using all of our coolers and our ice to do so. Gotta keep the customers food safe. 

I wanted her to assure me that I didn’t need to panic, that we’d planned right. She would know and double check and count every year. This year I knew she wouldn't be able to respond to me, but I just wanted her to know. 

I didn’t want to make myself sad, and so I didn’t go Thursday night. Instead, I promised myself that I would come visit on Saturday night, tired and sweaty, to let her know how it all went. But she left us on Friday night, a little earlier than I wanted.  

Well, I know you can hear me, Marie. So. Here’s how we did, honey:

Marie, it was awesome. This year, we had everything down. The only thing we missed was a detail for one item newly introduced to our set up in the form of a hand washing station courtesy of the Board of Health. I didn’t buy soap, and we didn’t have enough paper towels. (Note to self: add hand soap and paper towels to the shopping list for Sam’s club next year.)
Marie, you would have been so proud to see so many boys out there helping customers and cleaning up. You would have been proud of the dads, Scoutmasters, and older Scouts working on the grill. A couple first timers on the Wok were rocking the peppers and onions, tempting the masses with delicious smells. And I was so pleased that some of the older Scouts truly love to use the Wok as well. You would have loved to have seen Thane’s grill tops in action. They were awesome. You would have loved to see how many parents there working, early shift, later shift.  

We ran out of hot dogs and sausages, which I didn’t expect because we had so many left over last year. Luckily we live close to Market Basket and we had willing parents to brave the parking situation and run out to grab what we needed. And this is always why you monitored what I did, because it’s always something. And we learn. 

You would have loved it. And in some ways I felt your presence with us. And will always feel your presence with us.Thank you. Long may you run.

Thank you everyone for letting me share this with you. Marie was a great Scout. You be a great Scout, even if you’re not a Boy Scout. Do your best. On your honor.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

That's when it really hits you

Even when someone is not dead, gone, the moment that you remember they usually would be providing you with some sort of support and encouragement even when you do not need it, that's when it really hits you.

For the last five years, I've been the coordinator for an event that our Boy Scout troop participates in. We do a huge burger burn. It is our BIG fundraiser. Huge. We can make between 2,000 and 4,000 dollars with this event. It keeps us going. One year, we made 800 bucks because of the weather. It sucked. I think that was the second year I ran this. The last two years have been huge. This year, also will be huge. The forecast is upper 60s, no rain, light humidity... there are 40 vendors at the event, and literally hundreds of people are going to be lining up to get burgers, dogs, and sausages from us.

It is kind of a big deal.

I never wanted to take on the responsibility of throwing this shindig. I always doubt my ability to be organized enough, plan well enough. And each year on the Thursday before the event at our BSA Troop meeting, Marie would be there and would lovingly ask me things like ...

Do you have enough charcoal?
Is everyone lined up for picking up the ice donations in the morning?
Are there enough parents on grill?
Will there be older Scouts there at the very beginning to set up the tents?
Do you need me for anything?

My goal was to say yes to everything except the last one. I'm all set, honest. Everything is all set. I am good. Things are good. Things are organized. This person bought that. This person covered this. All the ice is all set.

And I knew it would always please her.

Last year she was too sick to attend for long. She was there for a few minutes, and it was nice to see her beaming and smiling at the boys and the dads as they rocked out in serving the customers and cooking the food.

This year, everything is under control. With a few minor hiccups.

Our charcoal and ice supplier fell through this year so right now I'm scrambling for ice and got it all figured out and lined up. It's all good. I got this. I bought the charcoal (such a deal) and will just donate it to the Troop myself. The ice situation is alright. Everything else feels really in control.

But I feel like I'm missing something. I'm missing that check-in, that status report. That time with her where we talk about all these things.

And it feels so empty.

Don't get me wrong, don't ever get me wrong -- I love our new committee chair to death. She is on top of me and others making sure everything ins in place. She's plot walking (they move us every year) to make sure we've got the right amount of space. She's communicating with Park & Rec (which I so appreciate her doing) while I communicate with the Troop Parents. She's perfect for me as a partner in crime in executing all of this.

But tonight I miss Marie.

I may just go to the hospice tonight and sit with her and let her know everything is all set for the event on Saturday. She doesn't have to worry. Tons of ice and coolers. Boys lined up for the pitching of the carpark tents. Both of them.

We got this. We do.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

thoughts on funerals and hospice and bedsides

My friend got her wish yesterday. Her son came to visit her in the morning and found that she was not at all well and could no longer be at home. He called hospice and transport to get her into the facility. She did not wish to die at home, and she did not wish for her boys to find her dead. She was found alive, she was wrapped up and cuddled, she was transported to hospice. Her son, the one who found her, is by her side and has been there since yesterday morning.

She is there now, and most likely will not last the night.

Several friends went there during the day, and a few reported back that she's truly on her way out. Her two sisters are there and are incredibly agitated with all the traffic. "Coffee hour is over, you had your time. Go away so we can say our goodbyes" is what they said, and according to a friend, they commenced to clearing the room of the last 3 visitors. They chastised their nephew for all his joking about and laughter. At one point my friend Debbie and the son were telling stories and laughing and Marie's heart rate and respiration rose. The sisters got very upset, that they were upsetting her and made them stop. Thing is, Debbie and the son (and I) think she was listening, she could hear, she's not dead yet... and this was making her laugh.

I did not go over this afternoon. It may be a good thing, since I don't want to be part of any family drama or anger, but it also may mean I missed her and saying goodbye to her.

See, I didn't say goodbye. I told her "see you next week..." and that's right now. And at some point during today I should have swung over.

In theory, I still can. I can pretend I do not know that the sisters have banned further visitors tonight. I know her son is staying the night, and maybe they are maybe they aren't. I can call the hospice maybe and see if he's by himself, or if they're there and I'll stay away.

A deep abiding part of me wants to go and be with him, since he told Debbie that right now he feels "utterly alone," even with his family members there. Because they're not doing the death thing the same way he's doing the death thing. They've already commenced to mourning; he hasn't.

We all do the end differently. By the bedstands of someone we deeply love and adore, we process our loss and grief in totally different ways. I think I'm a lot more like my friend's son, and the bedstand is the place to tell stories and laugh and sing and read favorite poetry. Not to put a black veil on and wait for the departure of the mortal soul.

Debbie and I talked a few minutes about what we want when we are in the hospice, if we should be in the hospice. What do we want to have happen around us.

Laughing, you better believe it. Music, tons of it. Perhaps friends with their guitars and some live performances. Inappropriate jokes... yes sirree! Oh yes. And I know funerals are for the living, not the dead person. And sometimes funerals happen that would make the dearly departed FREAK OUT if he or she knew what was going on. I remember when Clayton died, he wanted to be cremated and his ashes sprinkled out over a cliff on Martha's Vineyard. His mother said No Way. "It's my son, I want a place where I can go and visit him." She wanted a headstone and a funeral plot. And I don't know that she's ever come to visit. She certainly doesn't communicate that to us and ask if we'd like to have lunch or something.

His last wishes were not honored, because momma trumped them.

Debbie said she wants a New Orleans Jazz funeral, with trumpets and slide trombones and people marching down the street. No black clothing allowed -- all color, all floral prints, big huge floral print ties on the men. Flowers bring her incredible joy, so she wants all of us to be wearing them.

I told her that I'll hold her family to that and fight them in the octagon if necessary to make sure that her wishes are met.

I don't think I'm going to head over. I'm a little wary of the sisters. I don't want to start a bru-haha by accident. And I don't want her to die tomorrow on 9/11, I'm a little selfish on that because I don't what her associated with the historical events. So... maybe she'll go tonight... maybe not.


Monday, September 09, 2013

And then this happened.

Long story, I'm fine. I will write about it in detail tomorrow.


My commute this morning sucked, as I rear ended a car in front of me and totaled my new to me but very old and wonderfully gifted to me Volvo.

I'm fine. Do not worry. Just... feast your eyes and say "dang, yo."

So, how was your day?

Friday, September 06, 2013

"love is watching someone die"

The entry title comes from a song by Death Cab for Cutie called "What Sarah Said," and it is a special, poignant song to me, full of incredible depth and sadness. The official video is worth watching, if you have the time. And also if you need a good cry. This is a good excuse.

"I'm thinking of what Sarah said. That love is watching someone die. So who's going to watch you die?"  Whom do you love enough to sit, over time, over days, weeks, months or years, and watch them die?

In essence, we're all watching each other not just live but actually die.

And in truth, I'm watching someone die.

My friend Marie, the former committee member for our Boy Scout Troop, was diagnosed with cancer a few years back. And yes, Cancer sucks.

She has fought it good and hard for quite some time. She lost her husband unexpectedly in December 2011. He struggled with lung diseases and COPD, and his loss was a big blow to her and her ability to fight.

She rebounded quite a bit, she had surgeries, chemo, surgeries, stints, chemo and all sorts of things. Last year things got bad, and this spring her doctors ordered her to go on a family vacation with her sister and kids and everyone, and go enjoy herself.

The family went on a cruise in early July. She had a wonderful time, ended up back in the hospital for a little bit, and then released back home.

I didn't realize that she was basically told around then that she had the three months to live. I knew it was terminal, and I knew that the end was near, and that hospice was involved at home. But... that basically brings us to "now" in the three month span.

We were going through our own horrible turmoil, with looking for a place to live. On the last day of school in June we had to go to the superintendent's office, and Marie works in the same building, so we stopped in and visited. She looked fantastic really. Working, happy, smiling, laughing. Getting things done. It was so wonderful to see her, and she gave us so much love and hope with our situation and the fight we were in.

Once the packing process started, after she was home from the cruise and out of the hospital, I talked to her on the phone a couple of times. I knew she was home, I wanted to go visit. I made a few meals for her and her sons. I never seemed to connect with her being there at the house, just the boys. The youngest one recently got Eagle in our troop, and is a really funny kid. He's about 19, and I like him an awful lot. So we had a lot to talk about and I tried to really communicate to him that he could always turn to me and to Doug if he was feeling upset, frustrated, angry. We'll be there for him.

19 year old boys don't pay that much mind, really.

And then the moving started. We moved the next town over from where we were living, and the road to get there goes right by her house... so 10, 15, 20 times in a week I was driving past her house and saying "dang it. I gotta stop and see Marie."

"Doug, please remind me to give her a call later, okay?"
"I'll try, but we're kind of busy."
"I don't want us to be too busy. I want us to make time for her. I don't want to be selfish and focused only on us, when she's dying."
"It is okay for you to be selfish."
"No it is not."
"Do you want to stop in now? I'll pull in the driveway and we can go visit now. If that will make you feel better."
(looking at myself covered with dust and dirt and crap and probably infected with the hantavirus from all the mouse poop in our old house...) "No, I'm not in good condition to stop in and just visit like that."

One day we drove by and there were seriously 10 cars in the driveway. I groaned. "Oh no. Look how many people are there, Doug..." I wondered if she had passed away on us. I emailed a friend and found out that she was still alive and at the house and everything was going as okay as could be expected. Breathing a sigh of relief, I knew I had a touch more time.

Finally, this past Tuesday I talked to her son and told him to let her know I'd come by in the afternoon. I had a doctor's appointment, and would swing by on the way home. I got there and she was dressed nice and groomed all pretty and waiting for me. I felt like a filthy grubby schlub in comparison to her, and smiled and hugged her.

"Thank you for not dying on me," I told her. "I have been so busy with moving and packing that every day I was beating myself up for not getting over here to see you."

She laughed and said she was waiting to see me. She was so happy to see me. And I was so happy to see her.

We talked about so many things, and she totally lit up when we talked about the Boy Scout Troop and how the guys were doing. She wanted to hear all about Geoff's summer camp experience, and the new Sea Scout program. I told her about Schooner Fest and she just beamed with joy.

I asked about her cruise, since I hadn't seen her since the end of June, so she filled me in on all the details. The food and the music and how she didn't care for the rocking of the boat. It would have been nicer to do all these things on solid ground, but it was wonderful to be together as a family.

"And who is going on your cruise with your family?" she asked me.

And here is a lesson for everyone. Right now.

A while back, when Doug's grandmother was dying, we talked about "actively dying" and how the body and brain all do weird things. Especially the brain. Brain chemistry changes, memories shift and change. And sometimes personalities change. Beautiful, kind people turn into ornery bastards. People who maintained a secular or atheist life suddenly cry for Jesus. Not as a death bed conversion, but because their brains are doing wonky things (okay, yeah maybe a little bit of that good old Holy Spirit thing happens but... you know. Maybe not).

So I knew not to argue with her that we were not going on a cruise. I knew to say "Oh, I don't think we're going this year. Money's tight with the move and everything... so we're gonna skip it."

She thought that was a good idea, and then we talked about the new apartment.

It was an easy transition... because I knew how to play it. She doesn't know I'm not going on a cruise. She was talking about her cruise and then her brain just said "oh, She's going on a cruise too, right so yeah let's ask okay purple monkey dishwasher shiny things."

Actively dying.

Please always remember this, dear reader, when you know someone in hospice, or someone dying, that sometime they will say goofy things to you. Don't fight with them. Go with it, sometimes ask them for some clarification, and maybe they'll realize what they're saying and correct themselves but if they don't...

no harm, no foul.

We had a wonderful two hour time. We talked about what happens when she dies, how she doesn't want to die in the house because she doesn't want the boys to see her like that and think of the house as the place where their mom died. We talked about all sorts of arrangements. We talked about whether or not she wanted a hospital bed or her own bed. She was a touch angry at hospice because they won't let her go INTO hospice, but they're keeping her at the house. She said that it is because she isn't in pain. If she was in pain, and her pain was not manageable, she'd be admitted to hospice. She wants to be there, not at home. I told her to take things as they come, she might just get her wish. I told her that I was so relieved she wasn't in pain. Pain sucks! Her only real symptoms are exhaustion and nausea. She doesn't eat, she's gone from a size 2x to about a size 6 (no kidding). She's basically wasting away. Her squinty smiling eyes are now huge giant big beautiful eyes, all because her face has ... gone. For lack of a better word.

Her hospice nurse came for a check-in, and was there while we were talking. We talked as if she wasn't there. And the nurse just sat and smiled at our laughter and gibberish. She told me "you can come visit all my patients if you can make them laugh like this."

Nope, sorry lady. Just this one.

So, I'm watching someone die. All the committee members and the moms in the Troop are talking about MassJam weekend, and making sure her son can go on the trip if he wants to. We're talking about doing shifts and spending time with her so she isn't alone, so the son can go be with his dudes and have some fun. We want him to have that, and to be honest, some of us need that time with her.

I'm watching someone die. And I'm putting a strong and brave, assured and confident face on it. I'm laughing, I'm trying to make her laugh. Inside I know we're all terrified and crying though. But... Love is watching someone die. And I do love Marie. Very much.

Today is her 64th birthday. Most likely her last. And yeah. That's some heavy shit right there.

I'm watching someone die.

morning, laundry, coffee, quiet

My son left for school on his bike this morning at 5:45 to get to the gym by 6am so he can work out. Even though he isn't on the football team, he's been going once or twice a week to work out. "Bro, do you even lift?" is a thing 16 year old boys say to each other so he's looking to make with the lifting a bit. Doug left exceptionally early to go to an 8am meeting at work. The dogs woke me up at 7 and I thought it was 8. No one had taken them out yet... I guess when you're in a hurry to go lift and a hurry to go sit in a two hour meeting you don't take time for the dogs.

This morning is exceptionally chilly. We closed all the windows last night, and I'm sitting here on the couch feeling how cold it is through the glass behind me, thinking about how cold it is going to be in here this winter.

Taking the dogs out, Doug had mowed the lawn yesterday and the dew was heavy on the grass. I didn't realize exactly how cold it was, and the cut grass coated in dew stuck to my feet, my toes, and it was a stunning experience. Oh, so cold! Not used to this! Do Not Want!

I realized that my entire summer got pissed away this year, I had little or no recreational fun. My feet were not tan, nowhere near as tan as years past. I didn't get to the beach once. I felt a sudden sadness at the fact that my favorite season was here. Just like that.

I retreated into the house thinking I had 20 minutes to get ready for work, then realizing that it was an hour earlier than I'd first thought. I took a shower to warm up my feet. I loaded the washing machine (again... so much laundry) and now am enjoying coffee while relaxing and reading my blogs and facebook news feed.

This is really the first time since about late July that I feel kind of relaxed and calm. I have a ton to do, but I feel like things are manageable, and it is a good feeling. That was a rough season to get through there, that month and a half or so... Happy to be sitting here smelling the clean laundry and listening to my snoring dogs.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


Well, last night we finished sweeping and mopping the old place. This morning Geoff is in Gloucester, Jess is sleeping, Doug is the deacon in charge of fellowship at church and I am sitting in the office at a desk that is too small for my body and for our computer set up (the desk/table that we usually use is in pieces next to me, waiting for Doug to have time to reassemble it...) I am not using my laptop this morning because for some reason the i and o keys are not working. I've taken the keys off the keyboard, I have cleaned the components underneath the keys... nothing. Next step is call my friend Gerry to see if he can give me a hand.

I have the place to myself, well, me and three dogs who are up my butt like hemorrhoids because they're still mightily freaked out about this whole scene.

And I am sitting here laughing because I locked all the doors at the old house last night, and have no idea whatsoever where the keys are to those doors. Oh well. Well, I have an idea... it's all about boxes though and the art of unpacking.

My friend Judy said that three weeks before you pack everything is meticulously organized, boxes labeled; 2 weeks in the boxes might say what room they're destined for; week before everything is randomly chucked into boxes; moving day -- trash bags. Yup. That's exactly what happened here. So we'll start with our trash bags and work our way backwards to the carefully packed and labeled boxes. And the keys will be in one of those meticulously labeled boxes. I bet you.

My sister was here for three days helping us, which was such a blessing. Friends from church helped there and here, which was a blessing. People brought us meals, which was a blessing. I didn't break down and cry once, which was a blessing. The dishwasher works here, which is a blessing. My son made dinner last night while Doug and I were at the old house, and even though he used all the mozzarella when he should have used a third of it, that was a blessing. Carrie arranged for someone to give us a used 1996 volvo, for free, which has been the greatest blessing we could have hoped for... and...

The washing machine arrives Thursday, and that will be the biggest blessing of them all.

I found out some more about my landlord and the former tenant... I guess that after the former tenant decided they were not renewing their lease, and the landlord advertised the apartment, showed the apartment, rented the apartment... the dude changed his mind about moving.  The landlord told him "no dice, dude, sorry."

So the previous tenant was not exactly happy, or compliant, about moving. 

I'd informed my landlord about the exchange between my husband and the dude in regards to the dumpster, and all the shit he left behind in the garage. My landlord was apologetic and filled me in on their less than perfect parting. Interesting. Lots of behind the scenes drama while we were planning our move.

There are weird things about this house that I am not used to. I'm wondering when the echoing noise will stop. Maybe when we unpack?

The plumbing in the upstairs bathroom (next to my bed) is very loud and when Geoff gets up at 5am for school the shower wakes me with its screaming.

There is a weird strip of flooring in the living room that is perpetually ...damp? It is kind of weird. I'm wondering if it will become un-damp when the humidity clears up?

Every door threshold has a thing across it that is raised up a bit, like a speed bump. I don't know what it is called, but I hit the bottom of my foot on it EVERY TIME I go in and out of a room.

My bathroom has hardwood floors. I've never lived in a house with a bathroom with hardwood floors. I'm perpetually worried about the floorboards getting wet, the toilet overflowing, the tub having the shower curtain not tucked in just right...

I'm off to Gloucester to meet up with Geoff and his friend Kevin to pick them up post-Schooner race. I hope they had "Plain Sailing Weather" as Frank Turner says...