Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wrestling With Excuses

Two weeks? Has it been that long? 

This stuff will be going to Yellowstone with me
There are hundreds of pounds of excuses for my recent lack of geologizingly and travelizingly brilliant blog posts. It appears that I might have ripped my right arm from being comfortably lodged in its shoulder socket while doing stuff I am evidently too old and decrepit to be doing anymore. I have been left a whimpering heap of sorely aching biceps, triceps and deltoid muscles. My back and neck aren’t doing too well, either. 

OK, perhaps “ripping my arm out of its socket” is a bit of an exaggeration. Perhaps I just strained the poor little upper right appendage of my poor little self. 

Still, the pain was and remains excruciatingly constant. “Ouch!” is not all I blurt out whenever my right arm is involved in the smallest exploit such as putting my socks on. 

The good news is that I have become a much better leftie for everyday tricks such as making coffee, brushing my teeth, and shifting the gears on my car’s five speed manual transmission (How does she manage?). 

My Life in Boxes
Most of the detritus of my current life has been in a small nearby storage unit for the past year (more on this later!).  I have been urban camping in my brother’s tiny computer room since my grand return home from Yellowstone this past October. My everyday stuff such as clothes, books, blender, bicycle, dresser set, and a formal mirror from my aunt’s old New York apartment (who knows how that got here?) has been happily spending quality time in his garage. A few other items of mine (coffee table, reading lamps, a nightstand or two) crept into his house when he wasn’t looking. 

The house was being sold and a larger one had been found across town. We needed to relocate pronto. 

Before the movers showed up, though, we started making “trips” to save money (at current gas prices it became a questionable endeavor). I was barely careful – dishes nestled nakedly on the front seat, anyone? A vacuum cleaner was tucked in sideways somewhere. Hoisting and wedging random items into my car was my modus operandi. I packed until every square inch was occupied. Kitchen, bath, living room, and bedroom – it didn’t matter where anything originated. If it fit, it shipped. 

Seeing out the back window is so overrated. 

Back and forth, back and forth, ten miles each way until most of the randomness had been more or less arranged into its new home. All that awaited was the arrival of the heavy movers. 

I reminded myself that I would be doing something similar in three short weeks. I would cram my car with cast iron skillets, flat hat, books, bicycle, pillow, blanket, toothbrush and other assorted necessities of life for my summer of rangering in Yellowstone National Park. 

Oh, my achy breaky self. 

Let the Youngsters Do It
Moving bulky furniture, heavy boxes, and other arguably useless stuff should of course be left to perky, strapping youngsters with good backs and a large truck. For the most part, that is what happened. But in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, there is always “the rest of the story.” 

We cheered when three perky strapping youngsters arrived bright and early last week with seemingly boundless energy and a 30 foot gooseneck trailer. 

For reasons clear only to my brother, an abundance of his personal artifacts were left half–boxed in the old garage, to be retrieved by certain someones on a not too distant date. 

Several hours later we directed the still perky strapping youngsters where to place these and those particular pieces of furniture in the new house. Not surprisingly, a whole bunch of boxes were hoisted, heaved, arranged and piled into their new home in the new garage. We would deal with those later. Much later. Perhaps February 2014. 

Gotta Go Get It
Lurking along the fringes of my consciousness throughout all this upheaval and during the following days was the presence of bro’s abundance of personal artifacts still in the old garage along with an abundance of my own priceless possessions remaining in my dusty storage unit. We would have to go get it all and do a cursory cleaning of the old house. 

By now my back and shoulder were whimpering loudly. I sallied about sock free. 

Deep sigh. Relax it out. Ouch! 

The storage unit was only six miles from the new house, so once again I started making “trips,” packing what I could into my car and unpacking it wherever it fit in the new house. 

However, there were certain substantial items that I realized would never in this lifetime fit into the back of my Subaru. I’m talking about a pine bookcase the size of Mt. Rushmore, a queen–sized sleigh bed frame that would ultimately be wrestled into a room with the approximate dimensions of a four quart crock pot, and a solid wood two–drawer filing cabinet from hell that could do double duty as a bomb shelter in case of nuclear attack. 

My Mt. Rushmore–sized bookcase

How many queen beds can YOU fit into a four–quart crockpot?

The filing cabinet from hell with its regurgitated guts

Have I mentioned the 4000 boxes packed with everything from textbooks to Tupperware to family portraits that haven’t seen wall space since before the season 5 premiere of American Idol? 

Unfortunately those perky strapping youngsters were long gone. It was just me, my bro, and our already aching bods. 

I rented a 16–foot budget truck for a day. We would move “the rest of the story” by ourselves. 

Suffice it to say there was much swearing of oaths to the tune of We are too old and decrepit for this kind of thing and will never in this lifetime ever do this again! We packed up bro’s personal artifacts into the truck, cleaned the house with a lick and a promise, drove 18 miles to the storage unit, and commenced heaving, hoisting, lifting, pushing, rolling and of course cramming the rest of my own priceless possessions into what space was left of those 16 feet of budget truck. 

By the time we got all this sh*t unloaded at the new house I was so sick of looking at my stuff I could scream. Lucky for me I enjoy a good stiff drink. I certainly needed several and knocked them back as fast as I could mix them. 

A Divine Finale

Also lucky for me was a gift certificate I won last November at the St. George Catholic Thrift Store Christmas Fashion Show & Lunch. After adorning my party hat with various festively seasonal table decorations, I tucked that certificate away for a special occasion. 

southern Utah 11-5-11 007
Festive party hat adorned with seasonal table decorations

The certificate was for a free 50–minute massage and buffet lunch at Red Mountain Spa.  It was finally put to good use last Friday.  And no, I didn’t wear the hat. 

After the massage therapist finished pounding the bejeezus out of my shoulder, I glided up to the steam room to set a spell and inhale eucalyptus–infused air.

It was simply divine.


  1. Holy crap. Moving to a new house and back to YNP in one month? You get the Crazy Woman of the Month Award. I've just been writing about our detritus, too. Yikes. See you soon, in my box cluttered apt.

    1. I am pleased and oh so honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award!

  2. I Am SO jealous of the massage!

    After decades of denial I got a MRI last week on my left shoulder and was diagnosed with mild rotator-cuff tendinitis. Then I spent a week moving and aggravating it. Sure not easy to slow us not-really-old-farts down until we just can't move any more.

    I told Mike I'm going to hire a young perky strong guy to do it all next time.

    Good thing I bought a nice fanny pack for work this year.

    1. Hiring perky strapping youngsters is the ONLY way for us not-really-old-farts-but-not-as-young-as-we-used-to-be to get it done!

      I've definitely got to rest this shoulder before I start piling stuff for YELL into my car.

      I love massages and I need another one.