Mid-Life Crisis Trip

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Entry 14: Farewells are made

July 8, 2006 Saturday

So, here's the summary of where we're at now:


We're still in Seattle


But we have jobs and an apartment in Salem (Oregon)


We're starting to pack up all our stuff (again)

We ended up having to rent the apartment in Salem for the month of July. For some reason, Mr. Nice Landlord wasn't willing to let it sit vacant for three weeks until we were ready to move in. So, technically, we're living in two States at once (we're bi-State-ual!).

Since we have two places, we've decided to move to Salem in two trips. The first trip, we'll take down a truckload of stuff we think we can pretty much live without for a while (such as the 15 boxes of books and an old typewriter case full of ethernet cables). Then we'll make the "real" move the last week of July.

Also, once all our stuff is packed and in boxes in our current apartment, there's not really any room for us. So by moving our stuff in two parts, we avoid having to stay in a hotel.

Our experience with e-Bay is that it's great for selling underwear and magazines (see Entry 1 of the Mid-Life Crisis Trip Log). So when we came face-to-face with a stack of MAD Magazines, we immediately thought, "Jeez, how we gonna sell these?"

After spending a couple of hours figuring out how many we had (149) and taking pictures and doing a write-up about them, we put them up on e-Bay, hoping for the best. What we got was insane—within an hour somebody had used the "Buy it now" feature to buy the entire lot for $150! (Which made us think maybe we set the price too low, but then we remembered that we'd be lucky to get $25 for them at Half-Price Books, so we felt about seven times better.)

Because we'd just moved in April (and our cuts are almost healed), we still have all the boxes we used. In fact, cheapskate that Robert is, some of these are the same boxes we used to move back in 2000. And in 1997. There are boxes that have seven or eight different labels on them ("Kitchen" / "Books" / "Critical!" / "Cat Toys").

To avoid more than the usual amount of moving confusion, we decide to print labels to stick on these boxes this time. Even Robert concedes that they should be honorably retired after this move (especially the ones that are held together only by packing tape).

Fourth of July! And more packing...

But in the evening, we head over to Laura's Dad's place. He's got a penthouse apartment overlooking Lake Union—an ideal spot to watch the fireworks.

We also arrange to stay there whenever we visit Seattle (Parents take note: Even when you're 80 years old, your kids can still move in with you).

And we help corrupt our nephew (who turned 21 on July 4) by giving him a bottle of champagne and heckling him into having his first legal bottle of beer. (Another Note to Parents: this is always exactly the same as the first bottle of beer. As far as you know.)

Robert gets a nice break from packing by heading off to the dentist (which gives you an idea of how much we enjoy packing...).

He now officially has a screw in his head and a tooth attached to that screw. (It's an implant and it's pretty freaky to see an X-Ray of your head with what looks like a light bulb screwed into your jaw.)

He also gets a nice farewell card from the dental staff (who particularly enjoy the fact that Robert just watches TV while he's in the chair, while they screw teeth into his head).

Robert even got to take home a cast of his teeth (needed to make his screw-in tooth), which Laura just loves as Robert follows her around the apartment making them "talk" in a squeaky voice.

Some folks from our church (Holy Cross Redmond) put on a farewell party back in June—an unusually sunny Sunday. We forgot to write about it back then because—well, because we're idiots sometimes and we forget stuff. But because there're all these farewells going on this week, we thought we'd mention it.

It was great fun, lots of food and yakking at people and finding out that some people we knew were no longer illegal immigrants and good beers. Whew! Takes a lot of stamina to go away!

Although we won't miss any of the stuff we've gotten rid of, we will miss the people we have worked and played and prayed with over the almost 20 years we have been members there. But we expect our year away will pass quickly. And Laura is working the women's Cursillo weekend at St Margaret's in the fall, so she'll be here for team meetings and visits.

Friday sees another round of farewells—this time from a client!

One of the things about being a contractor is that you never really "leave" a company. You just come to the end of a project and move on to the next thing. Sometimes companies go out of business (because they ignore what we tell them to do). Sometimes they hire somebody to do the work we've done.

This is the only time in 21 years that we've had an actual "going-away" party from a client (and if we'd known that, we'd have left years ago! nyuk nyuk).

We've been doing work for OMAX Corp for the last 13 years (since they were a baby), and we'd still be doing it if we hadn't had this whole mid-life crisis thing. [If you're the kind of person who Googles everything, we should point out that this OMAX is NOT the OMAX that makes the, um, personal female thingy. This OMAX makes abrasive waterjet machines. NOT the other thing.]

They ordered a cake with our wizard logo on it (taken from our web site—www.wiztext.com) and had glitter and streamers everywhere. We got a couple of going-away cards signed by folks at the company.

And in the most telling sign that it was a "real" going away party, somebody we didn't know (and who didn't know us) came in and had pizza and chatted and everything! (It's not real unless a complete stranger is there.)

Of course, the downside of this is that Robert has no excuse not to be packing. Except that the nice folks at OMAX gave him a computer game to play...

That's it for this week. Coming up: we pack half our stuff into a moving truck and drive down to Salem and unpack it and then scratch our heads: "How we get back home?"

Robert & Laura
Mid-Life Crisis Trip Log