Wed. July 7, 2021: Home

image courtesy of Sophie Ilvarinen via pixabay.com

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

I am home.

Aren’t those beautiful words?

I spent the holiday weekend on Cape, finishing the clearing out. Most of what was left over ended up in the dumpster, although I salvaged a enough for 7 carloads that went into storage over the various days.

My lovely neighbors down the street helped me pack the dumpster on Saturday and Sunday. They’re very efficient, dumpster geniuses, and we got it all in. Monday, once I finished the storage runs, was about cleaning.

The cleaning took a lot. The basement, where boxes had gotten damp and stained the walls, needed the most work, but I used a bleach mixture and it’s better. It still needs repainting, but hey, it’s been ten years.

As I cleaned, an alarmed face showed up in the streaks. I should have taken a photo of it. It wasn’t exactly Taco Jesus, but it was interesting. (“Taco Jesus” was the name of a play I stage managed way back in the 80’s at the One Act Theatre Company of San Francisco, with Michael McShane in the lead).

There’s still a lot of processing to do, and I will do that, and decide what I’m comfortable publicly sharing. Lots of emotion involved in all of that. But it was easier to do without my mom underfoot and every toss out becoming an argument.

I was also frustrated cleaning, because I’d clean something, and 5 minutes later it looked worse. I had to clean all the baseboards again in the house. I’d cleaned them the day the movers cleared out the furniture. Here it was, less than two weeks later, in an empty house, and they were filthy again. I don’t get it.

I scrubbed and cleaned all day. Of course, the landlord called me at 5 to see how I was doing. I was ready to go just after 6. The key exchange was nice enough, although, even though he’s keeping the security deposit, he wanted to charge extra for these five days of clearing out. No, honey, that’s what the security deposit is for. Plus, I could have just walked away and left him to deal with it; according to MA state law, he couldn’t just toss everything. He would have had to photograph and inventory everything and store it for 60 days until I claimed it. But I did not do that. I came and dealt with it myself. He gave me the water bill – although he’s paying a portion of it, for the water used for the lawn. Again, that could come out of the security deposit. He’s making noise about charging me above the security deposit, if he finds things cost more.

No. The place needs painting. It hasn’t been painted in 10 years. Most of the paint has held up very well. There’s a little wear and tear, and some damage where I removed the Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs we fastened on the walls when we moved in – damage because the hardware store guy sold me an adhesive he promised wouldn’t damage the walls, but, like everything else he told me, that was wrong.  Aside from the staining and some dry wall shrinkage in the basement, and the ding in the wall at the bottom of the stairs caused by the movers, the place is not in bad shape. It needs paint, and it needs a professional scrub. The central vac didn’t have any suction – mostly because the landlord never ordered the special bags it needs (it’s original to the house) and never told me where I could get them. Our vacuum went on the moving truck, so I was using a broom and dustpan, and also using my little hand vac. I Rug Doctored the heck out of the carpets.

What it really needs are bathroom renovations and new windows, but we know that’s not happening coming from them, and I’m not paying for that.

There were plenty of things in the ten years we lived there that the landlord “never got around to.” I’m not paying for those.

Let him jump on the Short Term Rental Greed Train. He’ll find out it’s not as easy as having a year round tenant. When holiday renters are paying top dollar for a property, they don’t want  something that’s original to the house just because it’s Cape Cod – especially since this house is 5 miles from the beach. They want better stuff than they have at home. He can blame me all he wants for not being able to rent out the place by July 4th weekend. But even if we’d gotten out at the end of April, the place wouldn’t be ready.

I was happy to drive out of there without looking back. It was about 6:30 by the time I finally got out of there.

I was practically numb with exhaustion trying to get over the Sagamore Bridge. I’d only had an egg for breakfast and some watermelon for lunch. It took 40 minutes to get over the bridge, and, according to the radio, it kept backing up.

There was another backup around Middleboro, but then it wasn’t too bad.

I managed to get to Sturbridge by 9-ish, to my favorite inn, The Publick House. I stumbled in, begging for a room in the lodge, the section that has all the goofy toile wallpaper and the little balconies.

The lodge was sold out to a special group.

I was ready to cry. I was too tired to go any farther.

But, I’m a regular guest there, sort of. I’m in their system. So they offered me a room in Tillyear House, at a big discount, which only made it about $20 more than staying in the lodge.

I said yes.

It was a lovely room. Enormous, with two queen beds with soft mattress toppers, a huge bathroom with a tiled shower, a reading/writing area, and giant TV.

First thing I did was take a shower, slather on their wonderful bath products, and feel like a human being again.

Of course, I had no real food. I had leftover chips and cookies, and the remnants of the wine I’d bought to wind down in the evenings when I camped in the empty house. So I had chips and wine, and watched Food Network and HGTV for an hour or so, until I was tired enough to fall asleep.

I slept. I woke up around 5, the latest I’ve slept in months. I lounged in bed until about 6:30, then got dressed. I’m so sick of cargo pants I can’t stand them anymore (they made the most sense during the move). Fortunately, I’d thrown some other clothes into my bag, so I put those on. I’d thrown one of my Ipsy bags in my purse, so I even had a little makeup, so I didn’t look like death warmed over.

Hopped next door to the bakery to get my complimentary breakfast of coffee, blueberry muffins, coffeecake squares. Took it back to my room, ate, wrote in my journal. Enjoyed having finished the house.

I was tired enough to want to go back to bed, but I got my act together and was back on the road by 9. The woman at the desk and I had a lovely talk, and she encouraged me to come back for my birthday weekend in March. If the weather’s not bad, I just might book myself in there for a weekend of reading, writing, and spa time, in Tillyear house. Much as I love the funky little lodge, it was nice to indulge in one of the fancier rooms.

Traffic wasn’t too bad, although once I left the Pike at Lee, the last hour to home took a little longer because there was more traffic than at 7 AM when I usually breezed through. But I got home around 11:30. Mom and cats happy to see me.

It took awhile to unload the car, because it was full of weird bits and pieces from the clearing out. I took breaks in between, due to the humidity. But I got it all done. Then I fell asleep on the couch for a few hours.

Got up, made dinner, and went to bed early.

The cats woke me a little before 5 this morning, demanding breakfast. Tessa marched out of her bastion near the front porch, all the way down the long hall to the kitchen, demanding to speak to the manager, because breakfast was late, and That Will Not Do.

A client contacted me yesterday about a possible steady writing gig. I was too incoherent to respond, but I will do so today, and we’ll see if that works out. I will start up again with the script coverage work today, and also let my book review editor know I’m ready for the next book.

There’s a lot of unpacking to do; we will do so slowly, and figure out where we want things. Shift and re-shift things around a bit. We need to do a good grocery shop.

Hopefully, I can re-read some of my own writing later in the day; I want to get back to my first 1K of the day early on in the next few days.

I need to ease in, instead of jump in, due to exhaustion. I have to prioritize the paying work, because I’ve lost three weeks’ of work due to the move and clearing out. Bills are already starting to come in, and I want to make sure everything is paid on time.

I have to process the emotions of the move, and of the friction between the life I thought I wanted on Cape Cod and the reality of life on Cape Cod. That will take time. I have to create new, sustainable routines for life here, and explore my new area.

While I need to work steadily to earn a living, I also want a balance. I need rest, and I want to enjoy my life. I am going to be much more cautious about getting involved with any local groups or organizations here – it will take me some time to recover from the burnout from the organizations on Cape Cod. I don’t care about being a good sport or fitting in anymore – I’m going to figure out how to craft the life I want, and people can either accept those boundaries or fuck right off.

I’m beyond tired, but I’m also relieved that the move is done, and I’m looking forward to building a positive next act here in the Berkshires.

Thank you so much to all of you who cheerleaded (cheerled?) and contributed to the GoFundMe, and, in general, supported me through a difficult time. I am filled with gratitude.