Friends labeled our planned family relocation from South Carolina to Arizona an “adventure,” the first sign of a jinx. We soon wondered if we’d sold our souls to the Devil.
I repainted the interior to save money and developed a paint allergy thus spending the savings on doctors. The dog developed an anal gland infection. Surgery and a few hundred dollars later, she wagged her tale with minimal effort.
Termites appeared in the garage, and the exterminator said I had no termite bond. Through clenched teeth I asked what the heck he’d been exterminating for 10 years. During the treatment they found broken plumbing. Out came the bathroom floor. Couldn’t match the 15-year-old tile so I bought something similar. The contractor found a way to use fewer tiles, so I returned the excess for a refund. With check in hand minus a 20-percent stocking fee, I found the original tile on sale.
The front picture window cracked. The new window required Super-Mom to paint again. By now I had special brushes, comfortable spots on my ladder, and precise ways to handle a bucket and rag. “What else can happen?” I asked. Twelve bushes died in the front yard from a blight.
My son’s high school graduation loomed on the horizon. His Government teacher questioned whether a passing grade was probable. The girlfriend’s dad called me, upset that his daughter had sneaked out and visited my son in the middle of the night with me sound asleep in the other end of the house. The mortgage broker screwed up paperwork on the new house and we fired him. It was the week from Hades.
The teacher came to her senses with a C. We told the dad to lock up his daughter, and we found a new loan. We dared take a breath.
As a federal agent and a gun collector, Hubby deemed his firearms pure gold, so he had a carpenter build a gun-totin’ box for the Ford F-150 pickup. It was an amazing piece of craftsmanship. The guns filled that box to the top.
“What about the liquor,” I asked. “Toss it? Give it away to the neighbors?”
“Never throw away liquor,” says Hubby. “I’ll pack it in with the guns. Give me more towels.”
What about the animals? “No problem,” says Hubby. “The dogs ride with us, the cats with the boys in the other truck, and the hedgehog on the floor. We’ll get tranquilizers.”
“Can I have one, too?” I asked
Last day. Movers walked in and out of the house. The boys and I sat outside on a blanket checking things off the list.
“I need cuttings from my plants for the new yard. Be right back.” Snip and that was done.
A few hugs from neighbors, and we turned to go. “We’re missing a cat, Mom.” An hour later we snag the animal, pop a pill in him, and set him in the cage. At 5 p.m. we hit the road. The dogs whined, the cats meowed, and the hedgehog didn’t give a damn. I began to itch.
Somewhere in Mississippi we learned the loan closing was iffy and the clippings I had cut were poison ivy.
By Texas the closing was delayed. “Can you hear me now?” became our mantra as we tried to bring the deal together.
Each locale involved scouting for a motel most accessible without being spotted as pet owners. The prerequisite was a first floor end-room near an entrance with parking away from cameras. In Tucson, we handed the animals in through a window. In the middle of the night the cats waged war in their cage. We laughed till we cried as the fur flew. Hubby begged me not to swallow a cat pill.
We pulled up to our new house on Friday the 13th. The furniture arrived unscathed, but Hubby freaked as we opened the gun box. A rainstorm in Dallas and a broken bottle of Wild Turkey seeped moisture throughout the arsenal. Panic reigned as we scrubbed firearms until the wee hours of the morning. The boxes could wait.
I finally unpacked my things, put the boys in college, and sent Hubby to work. The quiet was bliss. Seated before my computer in my new study, I basked in the knowledge that I could write unencumbered. Where to start? Ah, yes. “The Hedgehog Chronicles” worked nicely