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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Travel Through Space

My head was spinning. Think of having your brains flung round in a centrifuge, and you’ll have an idea about my current state of mind. In fact, I was so stressed that I wasn’t eating. That’s stressed, I’m telling you.

Two and a half weeks ago, Steve got a contract for a consulting gig at the Hanford Nuclear Waste Site in Washing ton State, so two weeks ago we packed up his clothes and golf clubs and sent him off. That gave me two weeks to get my own act together.

Steve wanted some professional books so on Friday I jammed them into a flat rate box and sent them to his office. Tossed in the camera and binoculars, too, since they’re heavy. I called the cleaners and set their last mission to the house.

I checked out the calendar and realized that we had ballet tickets the 22nd. I had to give away the tickets for Alice in Wonderland and Noche Latina, but was I going to skip out on a presentation of Twyla Tharp choreography? I don’t think so. A performance on Wed. meant I could fly out Friday morning. I had standard blood work the previous Wednesday morning and then stopped into the AAA Office to get my own airplane tickets for Friday, Feb. 24. Once I set that date, I could go about cancelling newspapers, trash collection , etc.

Steve checked out apartments and sent pictures. We selected one. He gave me the phone number of the furniture rental company we had chosen, and between their pictures and conversations I had with their incredibly helpful representative, we’ve got the Two Bedroom Package which includes lamps, living room furniture and a table with four chairs.

I threw most of my clothes and some of Steve’s warm weather clothes into two large suitcases. Because I want what I want, I also put in my very small sewing machine. Hey, if he can have his golf clubs, I can have an 11 pound sewing machine! Of course, the overflow had to go somewhere so there’s a bunch of stuff that will arrive courtesy of UPS.

Steve’ books were delivered Tuesday, only no one had it. No one called him to pick them up, I sent him the e-mail confirmation Thursday morning. I’d addressed the package to his company in Suite 301, but the correct address was 302. He told me the address over the phone, so we don’t know whose mistake that was -- just as well. Note that there are two suites per floor in this building, so where could they have gone? In any case, the package was delivered SOMEWHERE, and Steve spent a couple of hours talking to people in every suite in the building, people in the buildings next door and the lady at the post office. No luck.

Wednesday evening my friend and I went to the Kennedy Center café for a light dinner and the ballet. Lovely.

I went on line to check in on Thursday afternoon only to discover that they had mis-issued my tickets for March 24. WHAT? WHAT!!! So the time I was going to use to finish binding a little quilt I was making was spent getting on Friday’s flight.

Steve called to say the furniture was delivered fine, but the Master Bed Room suite wasn’t the one we’d ordered. I flashed off a quick e-mail to my rep, ate up all the left-overs in the house and took out the garbage one last time.  Of course, all this planning and settling is done over a three hour time lag which makes communication all the more interesting. 

My wonderful neighbor Polly took me to the airport Friday morning. She assured me -- based on no knowledge but much good will -- that Steve would have the box when I arrived in Pasco. I was the only person interested in checking in curbside. My huge and heavy (but under 50 pounds) suitcases went sailing off. No one seemed to be flying so I had plenty of time to get through security (NO ONE was in the security point check-through ahead of me!) and have a bite at Starbucks.

My layover was in Denver where I connected with the furniture rental woman who had already corrected their error. I called Steve who was going crazy over which black hole the box had disappeared into. I found a quiet place in the airport lounge and enjoyed the bread and butter, hard boiled eggs, cheese and apple I’d packed and cruised the kiosks.

I had an hour to read at the gate, hopped on the plane and two hours later landed. Steve was all grins, not only to see me but because the office woman had never checked her mailbox. The key to the package delivery box was in it, and his professional books were retrieved.

I dived into the black hole and have emerged on the other side. I’m here! I’m here! I’m here!

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