Monday, June 29, 2009

Checking in

Whew! This moving and building business makes you busier than you think you'll be. We broke ground on the property today--actually, guys were there at 8 o'clock this morning taking down some trees in preparation for leveling the building site. (That's what the picture is about.) We were there to ceremonially watch and photograph the first lick of work to be done, then we had an appointment with the kitchen contractor to talk about some design details we had previously not thought of (this rental house has reminded me of one thing I can't deal with in a standard kitchen: deep cabinets with stationary shelves under counters that make me scrunch this tall body down to its hands and knees looking for things. For another $1000 we added some drawers and pull-out shelves. We'll save that much in back pain meds.), then we went about getting our cars registered here. Must have a state safety inspection first, and the only place that does inspections for cars from miles around requires an appointment. Each inspection takes a half hour and we could only get appointments an hour apart. So that shoots the day for everything else. We still have to go to Elizabeth City, the nearest sizeable town, to see about a cell phone for Steve. That'll have to wait until tomorrow. Etc., etc. etc. I used to say, "that's life in the big city." Now it's, "that's life in the country."

I've entered a brave new world on the internet, as well. I'm coming to you via a broadband aircard that allows me only so much space per month and then I'll have to pay extra. Suddenly concepts like kilobtyes, gigs and megas have direct application to my life and I'm watching my usage like a hawk. I have no idea how much space posting pictures will take up, nor music, nor even sitting here on the blogger site. My posts will be fewer and further between at least this week, because we are traveling Wednesday to Cincinnati to visit our friends Michele and John for the July 4 holiday. After that, I'll just have to see what's doable.

The stars here are as visible as Mother Nature intended, and we've been getting what I can only call a phantasmagorical display from lightning bugs as they congregate in the trees surrounding this property. It's the biggest mass of twinkling light I've ever seen, and it only grows more intense as the night progresses. The goats next door came to greet us the day we moved in. Know what? Up close, they smell like goat cheese!

That's why we moved here.

it's so great to feel my fingers on the keyboard again! I hope to be back soon.


Peewit said...


welcome back to the blogosphere. I clicked on the link to your blog only by accident as I wasn't expecting you back so soon! So it was a pleasent surpise to see the post. You must be very excited that work has started. From experience of our smaller building projects nothing will go smoothly but I'm sure you'll get there and it will be worth it.

(And I wish I'd invested in some morepull out shelves especially where i keep the baking trays and saucepans!)

Dennis said...

Congratulations on your new start!

Hope all goes well.

Ralph said...

Hey there, Peewit! It's a good thing this house has the kitchen shelves I don't like or I'd never have thought about the issue! I juste took the drawers in the old house for granted and forgot about them when we first designed the new one.

Ralph said...

Dennis! Haven't heard from you in ages, though I do know you check in from time to time. Thanks for the good words. I'll keep you posted on progress, as usual!

Kat said...

It's about time we got an update! Chronicle everything!

Give my love to Michelle and John and Steve.

I'm so excited for you!!!!!!!!!!

Ralph said...

Hey, Kat! I thought I'd better do a notice of Facebook or nobody would know I was back!

I will send your greetings to M&J, and of course to Steve.

This is something of a red letter day: for the first time in over 40 years I heard from Minkah, the kid I was head over heels about in Ghana and because of whom I nearly early-terminated. A friend of his saw a message I'd left on the Kumasi High School alumni site years ago looking for him and got him in touch with me. After all this waiting and silence he sends me about 5 lines telling me how happy he is to find me and asking about my family. Not a speck of personal news, although he does say he will be writing often. Typical Ghana circumspection. If he plans on writing often I assume it will include something about his funny. It's like "welcome to Africa" all over again.

nan said...

Great to hear from you, Ralph! I hope the bandwith issues won't limit your posting! I think that most of your blog is stored on Blogger, so you shouldn't have too many worries! Enjoy your trip to Ohio over the 4th, and I'll hope for more regular posting later in the summer. Ciao!

Mim said...

Good to hear you are settling in. Love the drawers instead of pesky shelves.
Hope the new style of blogging doesn't limit your posting too much. Happy 4th.

Cuidado said...

I absolutely loved your post. Good humour and it's nice to see someone moving to the country and firstly noticing the difference in the night sky. Thats why I stay here. Welcome to life in the country. There's nothing like it.

Ralph said...

Thank you, dear Cuidado. I'm saving up a couple of new pics to show next week. Unbelievable progress already!

Anonymous said...

You're the only person I know who acts like there is no recession. Sounds like fun. Maybe I'll try it. Have a happy 4th and welcome back to blogosphere. !!

Ravel said...

Ralphie! You're baaaaaack!
Have fun despite all the work (I know what I'm talking about).


I too have been quietly following each day - from cleaning out the fridge to sliding drawers - a busy and exciting time for you! I love the details of it all. Spent time last week visiting family in McLean (briefly considered driving over to check on your old property in real life!). On a hot night there was a spectacular firefly extravaganza - we don't seem them in the PNW.