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Archive for August, 2008

Silver Linings

It’s been a bitch for the past several days — days unexpectedly spent in NY to visit my favorite Great-Uncle, who had a stroke on Tuesday and is not expected to live. I am so grateful that I got to the hospital in time to see him again while he could still recognize me. Still – the general situation and several days spent in a hospital room and among grieving family members takes its toll, and it’s another stretch of time I am not at home with both my kids. I am leaving tomorrow but — sadly — will likely be back soon for a funeral. So to cheer myself I decided to recall the good things about this weekend that would not have happened but for this sad visit.

I got a Mommy-Daughter weekend with A – she begged to come with me and was an absolute JOY to have around and a total trooper, sitting in the hospital for hours, (re)meeting cousins she hasn’t seen in years, etc. Not a single peep about being bored, the long drive, etc.

I got a few days with a several cousins and great aunts I haven’t seen in 5-20 years.

I got to watch A and my mom have an absolute ball as they spent today cooking up a storm and watching cooking shows.

I shared a bottle of 1998 Saint Emilion Grand Crue Reserve with my mom.

I remembered what fun a ferry ride is:

I got a day where I have absolutely *nothing* to do but put my feet up, read a book and sip wine.

I drove with the top down.

I got to talk to my Adopted Godmother (my real one is a complete Freak who I haven’t seen since I was 10).

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Ketchup

Thought I would try and catch up a bit now that things are settling down a little around here. The latest is that the relocation company ran out of excuses and accepted the buy-out offer on Thursday — with 6 hours to spare until the offer expired (and there was much rejoicing!!)

Part of the relo package was that they would buy the old house for a certain price but the offer expired on 7/31. By that date we had to get a bunch of inspections and get any needed repairs. We have been going around and around with them about related issues for months. Obviously it all looks like it will work out (though I won’t rest completely easy until the $ is in our account) but it got bad enough that when this is all over I plan to take up one particular issue (among many) with the Attorney General in the state where the company is headquartered. We found out 3 few weeks ago that the relo company recently filed for Chapter 11 which is likely part of the problem. We had our lawyer involved to get his read on possible breach of contract issues and D’s company had to intervene once as well on our behalf. We’re not the only ones having trouble – there are lots of people at D’s company having issues as bad or worse than us. It was very stressful as the worst-case scenario would have had us holding mortgages on both houses plus a $70k loan at 12% interest. Thankfully, all the paperwork is now signed and all that remains is the actual wire transfer of $$ which should happen within 10 days.

The new house is mostly unpacked but there is a lot we can’t put away easily until the new addition is built (a great room, garage and expansion of our bedroom). We need to get a lot of storage solution type things, too. We have a lot of yard work to do — stuff we can’t easily do ourselves because it requires serious machinery, so that’s on tap relatively soon. We did the first round a few weeks ago – a lot of tree trimming and fertilizing and getting acres of yard mowed (we don’t have a ride on mower yet so it isn’t practical to do it ourselves). We filed the building permits for the expansion today and now we can get financing since the old house is sold.

The kids are adjusting beautifully and really seem to like it here. Overall, NH is much more suited to A’s natural likes and inclinations (she’s a very outdoorsy kid) which is nice. D’s job is going well but he was very disappointed when his boss left for another opportunity a few weeks ago. I have started to work in my Boston office a few times and that seems to be going well. It will be hard not to be here 2 nights a week but I am trying to put the best face on it as possible. I have already been back to DC once and I have 2 more trip planned so that makes my separation from my friends easier. We have a family trip back to Maryland planned for Labor Day weekend and also for the weekend before Thanksgiving. A bunch of close friends — including my brother and sister in law — kept me relatively sane while I was home alone with the kids, packing/selling the house and pretending to work full time. I could not have emerged more or less in once piece without them. This has not been an easy 6 months for a variety of reasons and having them all for moral support and to lean on and ask favors of was fabulous. I learned an awful lot about myself and who I can really count on and who I just thought I could. I don’t know how everything will turn out — who ever does? — but I am a better person for it in the end.

My dad had neck surgery on Tuesday which seems to have gone well. He came home today and sounds almost like his old self, though I am sure it will be a long recovery (what do you expect when they crack seven vertebrae open and mess around?) He didn’t do so well with the anesthesia and morphine but is doing better each day. I plan to go to Florida over the next few weeks to see him and help out my step-mother.

We are getting used to some small annoyances like not having trash pick up and therefore having to go to the transfer station to dump trash and recyclables, and the bazillion bugs in NH; and nice things like less humidity, not needing air conditioning, far fewer crowds, better camps, the gorgeous surroundings, and being able to walk to the farmers’ market and having abundant access to cheap, local food, which is very important to me (some of you may like this site… http://100milediet.org/) There is a lot about small-town living that I love already. I’m sure these are things that will annoy the crap out of me someday, too, but all in good time. Talk to me when Winter comes… 😉

And last but not least – we are *stupidly* excited that our best friends have moved back from Belguim!

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