Posted by: elraymundo at 7:56 am on Friday, May 30, 2008
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Random

7:40am - Verizon apparently wastes no time turning off accounts. I tried to get online this morning at 6:30 and our connection had already been whacked. So I’m writing this post from the driveway, sitting in our jam-packed Nissan, typing away on my BlackBerry.

The house is completely empty now, except for our laptops, which are sitting on the hearth. The rooms echo loudly, every footstep and sound is amplified. Debra is sleeping next door at Chris and Cindy’s and I’m just now getting a lump in my throat about leaving our house.

I’ve rationalized all the right reasons for moving on and told Debra that we’ll make a house a home in California and blah blah blah, but the fact is that deep down I’m a pretty sentimental person and as I went through the house this morning, picking up the last few items of our stuff, I found myself remembering things about each room. Where the Christmas tree stood, and how we ate at that table and watched TV, and what a pain it was when we tried to hang the irises straight on the wall. Normal everyday stuff like that. And then my throat got all lumpy - and now it’s doing it again as I type.

This house means a lot to me and Debra. It marked a significant achievement in our lives - that we’d both finally made it. And we poured ourselves into it to transform it from house into home and now we’re passing that on to someone else and we’re both sad.

But aaaaaanyway…before I get to maudlin…

I’m going to pack up the laptops and sweep out the garage. Then I’ll wake Debra and we’ll say goodbye to our house. Then - guess we’ll have breakfast and go to closing, which is at 11:00.

Just three more hours.

Lovely. Just Lovely.

Posted by: elraymundo at 9:09 am on Thursday, May 29, 2008
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Lotus Blossom

6:45 - Disassembled my office desk, which we are donating to Annette’s church. Disassembled because assembled it would not fit through the door frame leading into the basement. Moving sucks.

8:47am - Scott, the carpet cleaning guy, arrives for his third visit since we put the house on the market. Why, you might ask? Pray, tell! you might plead.

I shall indulge thee.

Scott is here to try and clean the horrific stain we found on the carpet after the movers took the TV stand out of the basement. It seems that, unbeknownst to us and without our consent, an evil black stain was building an empire under the TV stand on our light colored Berber carpet. No doubt it had sinister plans to creep out from beneath the TV and engulf the entire basement…like The Blob did to that bowling alley.

Good thing this happened when it did. I would hate for it to happen at the last minute. You know, just before we close on the house - like, oh, I don’t know…tomorrow?

9:46am - Scott has minimalized the stain. It didn’t come up entirely, but I think he took the evil out of it.

Moving Day!

Posted by: elraymundo at 10:49 am on Wednesday, May 28, 2008
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Lotus Blossom

9:54am - The movers are here. Neither Debra nor I slept all that well and we both look utterly charming, having rolled about of bed less than twenty minutes ago. Debra is outside with the movers, who are moving the moving van so that I can move the car to McDonald’s for the breakfast burritos and coffee that will restore Debra to life.

10:38am - The driver of the moving van knocked the mailbox off the post when he backed up the van so I could get out of the driveway. The moving van is ginormous - seven football fields long and as wide as the Ganges. Amvets showed up with their truck, too, to pick up some things we are giving to charity. The entire street is now clogged with large vehicles servicing the TeamRaymond household.

10:44am - Christopher, one of the movers, re-attaches the mailbox to the mailbox post. A crisis is averted when Annette calls to tell us that her church will indeed take my office furniture as a charitable donation. Our other options were to give it all to Amvets (whose driver was almost finished loading our give-aways and was ready to roll) or pay to move it to California. A new crisis has arisen, however, in that I have to poop and I am not sure there is any toilet paper anywhere in this house. Stay tuned.

10:51am - Victory.

1:28pm - Just realized that the movers packed the deed to the house. Obviously, this could cause an issue at closing on Friday.

1:36pm - Apparently, not having the deed is not an issue after all. Debra just got off the phone with the title company and they told her they will produce a new deed relative to us and the new owners of the house. Whew! (To her credit, Debra is a genius - she had scanned the deed into her laptop just in case something like this happened.)

5:28pm - After hauling a bunch of flattened boxes out of the crawl space, sweaty and gross and nasty, I think, “Hmmm…a nice cold Newcastle Brown Ale would sure be tasty right now.” I open the fridge, remove a cold bottle and then realize that the movers have packed all the bottle openers. And Newcastle is not a twist-top.

5:43pm - After searching the house and failing to find anything that can open my Newcastle, I sink into despair.

6:57pm - Purchased $1.99 bottle opener at Rite-Aid.

7:05pm - Victory. Faith restored.

7:41pm - The lawn sprinklers came on and sprayed down the movers. I don’t think they’re too grumpy about it. Then again, they haven’t seemed very happy all day long and there is a language barrier - so how would I know?

8:35pm - Ordered a pizza from Pap John’s. Large, extra cheese, pineapple, ham & black olive. Walking to the car to drive over and pick up the pizza I see the movers working in the dark, still loading the truck.

“Jose, would you guys like a pizza?”

“Yes, that would be great.” We settled on a large veggie and I drove to Pap John’s to pick up the order.

8:57pm - Walking up the driveway with two pizzas, I say to Jose, “Tengo la comida. You guys want to come in and eat?”

“No,” said Jose, “we’ll eat out here. We’re still trying to get everything into the truck.” IT’s dark.There are no lights. I look into the truck. It’s packed, deck to ceiling, with our stuff. I look at the driveway. There is a LOT of stuff our stuff in the driveway.

This is not a good sign.

I set the pizza on a box and go inside our nearly empty house and listen to the echoes.

10:38pm - The movers finally fill the truck, load all the leftover packing material and boxes, sign the paperwork and leave. Debra slumps against the kitchen counter and I say hello to the skeeter eater who flew in sometime during the day (the doors have been wide open for thirteen hours) and who has taken up residence against the ceiling over the spot where the Moroccan mirror used to hang.

Six Bucks!!!

Posted by: elraymundo at 9:04 am on Tuesday, May 27, 2008
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Lotus Blossom

Ok, gas prices may have topped $4.00, but $6.05 at Dunkin’ Donuts for a cup of coffee and four donuts???

Debra and I are in Virginia this week to close on the house. The movers come today to pack us up. Chaos will doubtless ensue.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

9:45am - The movers are here. Yay!

11:00am - Debra is waffling.

“Are you sure we shouldn’t just put everything in storage and rent a furnished place?”

“We already rented an unfurnished place.”

“We can cancel it.”

“The movers leave for California tomorrow. When do you propose to find the furnished place?”

“I don’t know.”

“Listen, we have a good plan - we should stay with it. Making last minute changes like this are what leads to catastrophe.”


1:53pm - Debra just came upstairs, where I am working, and told me it’s really starting to look like we are moving. Then she asked me to project manage some lunch, so I guess I’ll do that now.

5:27pm - Finished my workday. Debra has been wrapping her seashells in tissues for the last hour or so and carefully packing them. The movers are still here…it looks like they have a couple more hours of work ahead of them. I am sooooooo glad we did not have to do all this packing ourselves.

11:29pm - The packing is done and the movers have gone. We made it to Buffalo Wing Factory in Sterling for hot wings and Newcastle before they closed. Well, after they closed, actually. A manager told me they were open until 11:00 when I called at 9:30 when, in actuality, they closed at 10:00. So when we arrived at 9:57 and were told the kitchen had closed for the night…well, fortunately the manager ‘fessed up and told us he had told us the wrong closing time and that he himself would prepare our order - which he did - and we ate our wings and drank our nut brown ale and listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and CCR and The Cars while the closing crew Bisseled and gave the manager hell for messing up. And then we drove home and now it’s time for bed. The mover will come again tomorrow to load the truck at 9:30am and start the long drive to California.


Posted by: elraymundo at 12:43 am on Monday, May 12, 2008
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Lotus Blossom

Neither Debra nor I realized that today was our wedding anniversary. I guess that indicates how chaotic things have been lately.

I know I owe everyone a conclusion  to the road trip and a lot of updates on what we’ve been up to out here. I promise, I’m working on it. We’ve just both been crazy busy non-stop since we arrived! But all is well!