Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

Moving George and Isabel

John's parents are moving from a house they've been in for more than 45 years into a community for seniors called Emerald Heights in Redmond. They'd been researching the move for the last couple of years, and decided just a few months ago. They'd put their names in for Emerald Heights, and they were called with an opening and decided to take it.

Since then, they've prepped for the move by doing all that they could to get rid of everything they didn't need. All four sons have flown in at one time or another to help deal with everything, and all four sons have taken things as well. In that time, George and Isabel managed to reduce furniture, memorabilia, and just plain stuff to what could fit into a two-bedroom apartment. It's a beautiful apartment, new, with marble counter tops, lovely finish and paint, huge bedrooms, and gorgeously appointed bathrooms. The kitchen is small but perfectly usable.

The facility itself is impeccable from what I've been able to see. There's a pool, exercise room, library with an Internet capable machine, coffee shop, crafts/art room, a model railroad that dominates a huge chunk of the garden, beautifully appointed gardens, paths all around the facility, guards, helpers, front desk folks, and a diningroom that serves all three meals. The residents get one meal a day, but they can choose when to take it.

We've eaten there twice. *laughs* Had to have George's traditional pancakes on Sunday, though.

Thursday, when I went to visit Kristian, they finished up a lot of packing, which I helped with later in the day. On Friday morning David arrived with Mary and their big pickup. George and John went to get the UHaul and we started loading up the pickup with all the boxes we'd packed the previous days. Nearly all the boxes fit, which was pretty impressive to me, though we piled them pretty high and had to use the bed frames for side supports. A mattress kept everything down on top, and it all got good and tied down with ropes.

The furniture all went into the UHaul. Most everything got staged in the garage, which made it a lot easier to decide what had to go in when. Being able to see everything at once made a big difference in how decisions were made. And everyone hauled, carried, and stacked. Mary and John were the experts on getting things into place, to fit the most in the least amount of space.

Multiple beds, several desks, dressers, drawers, buffet, and bookshelves: it all fit. Jet got to do a lot of pretty heavy work as we had a hand truck that allowed him to handle and move more weight than he could on his own, usually, and he was pretty proud of being able to do what he could do. It was fun to watch him get more confident and see how he settled when he realized he was doing "the important" jobs along with the adults. David threw him up into the rafters to get saved cardboard, old sleeping bags, and moving blankets from up there down to the floor, and Jet happily tossed things down and was in absolutely no danger of falling himself. It's really fun to watch him grow up and into his capabilities and having his uncles and grandparents give him as much as he really can handle instead of being too cautious.

I really loved the grin on his face as he pushed up big chunks of furniture.

We managed to load up the UHaul, the pick up, our van, and their car well before lunch time. We caravaned over to Emerald Heights, figured out where to unload and where to park, and then started just hauling everything into the apartment. It was a quick game of "where do we put this?" Especially once we found all the push carts and started bringing entire cartloads of items to the apartment. The boxes were harder than the furniture, as we had to figure out what was in them to decide where to put them, but we managed.

Lunch came in brown paper boxes a little before noon, and we all stopped to eat them: a sandwich, chips, a bottle of water, a banana, and a couple of cookies were quite the feast. The rain held off for the whole time we were moving things, which was wonderful, and everything got to stay good and dry as we shuttled back and forth as fast as we could.

Only some of the big furniture was beyond my ability to lift, so there was plenty to do. *laughs* I even hauled big boxes of computer equipment, and did quite a lot of the furniture as well, but I wasn't working with quite the intensity of John and David. Mary did an amazing job, and Isabel and George were good at directing us where everything needed to go, so it all went really quickly. Jet was fun to work with, too, as he did it as tirelessly as the adults.

When we were all unloaded, David and Mary went back to the house with John and Jet and I. John and David loaded up the washer and dryer, and an old sofa couch that had to go to Goodwill. There were piles of things in the garage for all the boys, and David took his stuff along with Paul's stuff, as it all had to go south with us when we headed for Oregon. John got his stuff, and a few things from the house. There was more stuff left behind, but the very last of that would be dealt with on Saturday.

That evening we ate in the diningroom, and it was wonderful to not have to cook and not have to clean up and also not have to go to the extra effort of going somewhere else to buy food. Jet loved the Captain's Plate, which had fried fish, scallops, clam strips, and shrimp, and John, George, and I had that as well. Isabel had a nice steak.

I found out, after dinner, that Darkprism had gotten the last of the copy edits from the publisher, and they wanted them back Saturday evening. Isabel also found out, the hard way, that their phone and Internet wasn't up, and probably wasn't going to be up until sometime after Monday. I called Prism, and set up a time to work with her, and found out from Isabel that the empty house's Internet connection was still up. John helped me organize all the stuff I would need, including a direct connect for the laptop.

So first thing Saturday morning, I woke up at 6:45, got all my stuff into the van, drove down to Victor's and got coffee and a cinnamon twist, feeling like time had twined back to the late 1990's, and drove the twenty minute drive to the empty house. It was raining in great swathes of water, and I stepped into a six foot puddle in the driveway as I got there; but I managed to keep everything dry as I unloaded it into the house. As I was getting the last of the stuff, I saw my scrunched silk jacket in the back of the van, so I put it on for warmth as the heat wasn't on in the house.

Once in, I got everything out onto the wood floor. I got the DSL modem hooked up, plugged it into the laptop, and the power went on, the DSL went on, and the ethernet connection worked just fine; however, the damned Internet light wouldn't go on. I powered things up and down. Then swapped out the phone cord. Then swapped from the lower phone jack to the upper phone jack and that fixed it. I was on the Internet.

I had my headset, and had to install the Gchat utilities and did that pretty easily. Tested the setup, and when it all worked, I called randwolf and set up lunch with him, as I hadn't been able to get to him via email for the last few days. I was glad I actually was able to reach him as he'd sent me his phone number via email. Then, at 8:30, I made myself visible for Prism. Sitting on the floor, with a wall as a backrest, I worked the next two hours with Prism, and got the last of the edits done. I answered some questions for the marketing folks there, and sent them to Prism. She collated and sent everything off, and I was left in an empty, cold house.

I found out one of my sister-in-laws was at George and Isabel's new place, so I just shut everything down and left it before heading back to Emerald Heights just to talk with folks for half an hour. They all thought about heading to lunch with me, but at the last minute decided on a different path, so I went by myself to lunch with randwolf, and he had to talk me into the restaurant. *laughs* The Square Lotus in Factoria was actually quite good, and we enjoyed some nice Vietnamese food while talking about life, vacations, and writing.

I really enjoyed my Pho, and got a lovely treat of slow cooked tendon along with the rare beef slices I usually have on the beef-based soup and rice noodles. The platters of vegetables were really nice, the bean sprouts were white and perfect, the Thai basil fragrant and unbruised, and the lime was good and tart. I loved that.

It was good to talk with randwolf about how he's now doing after his last year. It was also really great having him say, point-blank, "You're publishable. I don't know if your particular story idea is publishable, but you are." And he offered to show whatever novel I do come up with to his contacts. Given that his wife is a writer, it's likely it'll be useful.

After that I met up with folks at the house, and helped load up a couple of carloads of stuff, pick raspberries, and just get though a few mental log jams by just putting things into cars that could hold them. There were plants, things forgotten, fragile things like a 100+ year old sampler, and the buckets of raspberries. *laughs*

We headed back to Emerald Heights together, and when we got there, everyone rested a bit, and John sent me off to Toshi's in Redmond for dinner. Sadly, they were closed, but with several other such eateries within a stone's throw, I found the one in the QFC parking lot two blocks away and got dinner there instead. Along with pots of potent chili sauce, I hauled two chicken teriyaki, one beef, and one short rib dinners all into the van, and headed back. We ate like kings, and there was still plenty leftover for another meal or three.

Choosing Flavors
After a little time to digest, we went on a small road trip, just to see what Redmond now looks like, and wandered about to 124th and across to the west and ended up at Theno's Dairy, which is pretty much as it's always been, though now sans the dairy. All they now do is make and serve their own ice cream. John got a white licorice just for old time's sake. I debated between black raspberry and cantaloupe, but went with the more delicate cantaloupe as Isabel got the black raspberry so I could have a taste. *laughs* Jet got chocolate, and George found the German chocolate with coconut in it. We all enjoyed our cones out on the deck, and the rain stopped for our enjoyment. It was neat to see the sunset going down over the 60-acres soccer fields where John and I used to play.

Back home, and sleep, and this morning, I got up late because I could and didn't have the usual demon riding me about work that had to be done. Sadly, I did get the post-project depression that I usually get, as there isn't anything more to be done other than a last perusal of the .pdf from the Word doc we've been working on since last April. *blinks mildly at that* Nearly a year and a half, and we'll have a book.

So I woke up late, enjoyed my pancakes late, and then got happily dragged off to Snoqualmie Falls. John said that we should go while it wasn't raining, but for most of the ride to the falls it was raining pretty steadily and we didn't turn back. *laughs* Of course, as soon as we got to Fall City, the rain stopped, the sky lightened, and we found the last spot in the lot that has the easy access to and from the road. We got out, walked toward the Falls, and all I could see was the thick mists rising over the water and coating the sidewalks that everyone was heading toward.

We started with the lowest of the observation points, and it was swathed in cool water hanging in the air. It might have rained while we were standing there, but it felt no different than all the airborne water that floated all about us, drifting as it had from the Falls themselves. The water of the West was evident there too, as I've never seen Snoqualmie Falls so flush. All four cascades were going, and the biggest was huge, and the outlet from the power plant was also churning white.

Snoqualmie Falls used to be "turned off" at night. All the water was used for power generation, and the local tribes, whom regard the Falls as holy ground, felt it was sacrilege. So the compromise was to use all the water to generate power at night, when it was used more often, and to leave the Falls "on" during the day.

There used to be a path that could be walked to the base of the Falls that went by the power plant, but when we went down the street that used to go to that path, there was a big chain link fence and big signs saying that the path was closed until 2013. The head of the path up at the visitors' center had big signs up on it saying that they were renovating the trail down there and not to go on it until they were done. So we didn't, but it was fun remembering the way there used to be. *laughs*

The funny thing was that when we walked up the path, toward the Restaurant at the head of the falls, the mists all cleared away and we could see everything very clearly! I was impressed with the view from there, and we could see the cloud swirling over the bowl that the feet of the Falls had created.

From the Falls we went back through the old neighborhood where we had a house in the woods up on the Plateau between Issaquah and Redmond and got to see all the changes, the new neighborhoods and all the new development that was up there. That was pretty scary in some ways.

We got back in time for lunch, and I was able to write a bunch of this on my netbook while everyone else played Monopoly and then went swimming. *laughs* I also read a big chunk of Hunter's A Pale Horse Coming. It's astonishingly lyrical for all its violence, and nearly mythical in the whole structure of the tale. It's an amazing piece of work, and I'll probably do a much better review on Good Reads than here, but... whew.

At 5:30 we left for the Gaynors' and got drinks along the way; and now I'm stealing their bandwidth to post this and get the pictures up... *laughs* I'll do more about the visit later, as I kind of want to enjoy being with them now.

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  • Sometimes Things Suck

    Uhm. Yeah. I fall prey to the impulse to mostly write then things are good, not when things are bad, or when things I decided don’t quite turn out…

  • See You In Four Months

    Yesterday, at 4 am, we all got up and took Jet to DIA to deliver him to American Airlines and send him on his way. There are three things I really…

  • Turning Around

    That's the easiest show and tell of the turn around. That and that my sleep went from averaging 6 hours a night to averaging a bit under 8.…