Wednesday, January 5, 2011
jetlag hangover to the rhythm of "love hangover"
With the container packed and picked up we proceed to get the house in order and ready to be vacated. I finish out Monday through Wednesday at work and start finalizing the garage close out. The garage has always been my Achilles tendon, as I do hoard construction materials. On Thursday Cindy and I attack the last of the house clearing, we sort the remaining items into three piles, that which we will keep in the garage until the house sells and we ship it separately, that which will be up for sale in a garage sale then donated if not sold, and that to be thrown out. Throughout the day Thursday we make quite a dent in the house, on Friday we continue finishing the clearing of the house, then we take a quick trip to Orange County to Cindy’s mom’s house to drop off our bed set for her brother to store. We stay the night, and then we return the following day. Cindy and I manage to finish the house clearing and cleaning, lock up the place and bid goodbye to the house that has been our home for the last ten years. We leave Topanga, reflecting on our time there as we wend our way down the canyon to the Pacific and head south to Cindy’s mom’s house. Gary and Susan have a feast awaiting us; fresh Catalina lobster, they were huge and I wouldn’t have wanted to be the one fighting them to get them out of the trap. We then drove to her dad’s home and shared the traditional Christmas eve with his family. The next morning we awoke and greeted Christmas with Susan’s traditional breakfast casserole. I’m not generally a breakfast person, but I always have two rather indulgent servings of this casserole. We share Christmas afternoon with Susan and Gary’s family, and prepare for the followings days flight.
We depart Los Angeles on Dec 26th, the 3:05 afternoon flight to Paris, and we left the two cars with Cindy’s folks. We loaded the three animals into their cages and checked in, then took the animals outside for an hour on the L.A.X. concrete walkway. When it was time for us to get to the gate we walked the dogs to their cages and carried in Ziggy our cat already in his carrier. Caleigh and Cindy both slept thru the flight, I as usual stayed awake to ensure that the plane didn’t fall from the sky.
The flight goes smoothly, if you can refer to a 10 and a half hour flight as smooth. We arrive at Paris CDG and disembark, walk the two miles to our particular luggage turnstile and await our luggage, Cindy notices a sign saying oversized and pick up baggage and meanders over to investigate. When she returns ten minutes later, it is decided that I will await there for our pets. Cindy and Caleigh will gather our luggage and meet me at the pet pick up area. So I wander over to the special unloading space, all the time fearing that our cat will be delivered imploded and frozen due to a faulty pressurization system in their cargo hold. I reach the area and spy one of our carriers. “Fuck” I murmur its Holly’s carrier, just my luck that she would be the only survivor. Holly is my wife’s dog. Both our dogs were abandoned dogs, Skye, Caleigh’s dog; is incredible, Holly not so much. But the sight is funny, here’s Holly in her cage seeing me and dancing in place inside her carrier, her tail wagging faster than a humming birds wing, the fact that the cage is not hovering is incredible. As I get there and pet the little Corgi-wannabe, I see Ziggy’s cage come out of the luggage conveyor, so I pick his cage up gingerly, looking inside I see him hunched in the back of his container, ears flattened back against his head with a glare that was daring me to stick my hand in side and comfort him, knowing full well I would be retracting a shredded hand. Finally Skye’s cage is delivered, Skye’s inside looking as if to say, “Hey that was fun, can I do it again”? I load the three pets on a luggage carrier and we make our way to the Car rental area. After my 20 minutes in line, and while Cindy is walking the circus, I approach the counter. Long story short, they didn’t have our car, so they upgraded us from a goofy Citroen Picasso to a VW Passat wagon. We load up the car with everything except the two dog carriers; there is no way that those were fitting into the car. So I walk them a couple hundred feet over to one of the rental kiosks and offer them to one of the men on duty, he shrugs and nods. Well we get settled in the car and drive off, as we pass the guy with the two dog carriers I notice that three other guys are milling around the soon to be auctioned off gifts.
We make it about five hours south of Paris, with Cindy and I taking turns driving, when thankfully everyone agrees it would be best to pull over and stay at a hotel for the night, and after our second stop we find a place that will accept our animals as guests. After ferrying all creatures great and not so great into our adjoining rooms. Cindy and Caleigh stay in one room, with the dogs, and I stay in the other with the cat, who leaves me within the hour to join the cool room. Some hints are clearer than others.
“Hank, get up…….Hank we gotta go.” It’s my Cindy waking me up from a bizarre nightmare, to continue to the new farm and our new life together. I guess with all the stress we have been putting ourselves through, it manifested itself in a vivid dream that I remembered clearly, ever so clearly. I won’t go into the parts that were really disturbing, like when the doctor wished he had examined me six months age so that he could have told me I only had six months to live. I’ve always thought of my inner psyche as a slightly warped roulette wheel, but realized that it was now complete and that the missing item that had been making it wobble was present. The slight case of OCD, and minor sprinkling of dyslexia, and need for sarcastic input was balanced with the addition of nocturnal hypochondria manifestations. But it was a nice nightmare to awaken from, and so I got up and went to the bathroom and started brushing my teeth. I thought it would be a neat chapter for the blog, and how to structure it.
I finally feel as though I am emerging from the cloudy mists of jet lag, my senses are clearing, my thoughts are more succinct and I am finally seeing light, either that or I’m driving on the wrong side of the road again. It is Thursday, we left last Sunday Los Angeles time, and today we start again on our farmhouse. Cindy and I had flown over for a week last September, and had completed a week of clearing and cleaning once the property was finally ours. I am looking forward to acid washing the remaining 95% of the Kitchen floor, kind of gives me a blank canvas from which to work, well a blank threadbare, rotted framed canvas, but a blank one just the same, but worse.
Yesterday, Cindy and I along with Caleigh and her friend Skye drove the rented VW Passat wagon to Bergerac; you know the city where Cyrano DeBergerac wasn’t really from. We went to the mall, to look at prices of different appliances, and stopped by Orange, one of Frances telecom companies. We were going there to compare prices for plans for Telephone, Internet and T.V. but as we waded into all the information we set up an account, it would have been a nightmare but we had our own 14 year old fluent French speaking friend of Caleigh’s there. I am well aware of child labor laws, but no one was looking and it would have wound up costing 400 euro’s a month for a plan we would have signed up for, we left with a 50 euro a month plan for House phone, 3 cell phones, T.V. and internet / Wi-Fi. (This is pronounced Wee-Fee over here.)