Resettlement Chronicles VII: Properly Couched

Well, that didn’t go as I planned. The Internet was piped in, and I stopped posting; which I wasn’t supposed to be doing until I had Internet access because I don’t like to post from my phone. Turns out I don’t like posting from my phone when I have Internet service.

When we moved, we left behind two huge, beastly love seats. We hated them for years, and I was durned if I was going to move them into a truck, and then into a house where I would just hate on them some more. That left us as domesticates who were not properly couched into our new domicile. So, I built one out of some 2-bys and 1/4″ plywood. I don’t like the noise of power tools, so it took me two days with my saws and hand planes. What lovely sound the plane makes as it peels of a 1/1000 of an inch of wood: Shhhhhhhhhht! And it feels like glass if you’ve properly sharpened the iron. The wood is so smooth that you have to sand it to make it rough enough to take a finish.

The couch is not finished yet. The batting, foam, and upholstery still needs to be permanently applied. That will have to wait until I return. (Obviously I’m posting because I’m not at home with Internet access.) But the carcass is finished, and we have the foam laid on top, so it is in use as we speak. I like to build things. It’s so much more peaceful than managing people.

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Resettlement Chronicles VI: Timing Flies When You’re Having Fun

Author’s Note: Comment moderation is turned back off as while we remain dead to the city, we are yet now alive to the web.

Town living has awakened in me a bloodlust for bugs that is neither slaked by time, nor lessened by distance. Legions of flies have been crumpled by my deceptively light and cheery glamdring , and legions more writhe upon pasted strips. In the evening and under the eaves, with a lance of poisoned liquid I smote down two wasps’ nests ruins upon the ground.

At the second engagement, one foolhardy wasp  dared to meet me in single combat. Blinded by rage and Spectracide Wasp and Hornet Killer, he charged me. So fierce was his flight and so great his confidence that he foreswore his own lance and we literally went head to head. Piercing my windmilling arms of defense, he slipped under the bill of my Boston Red Sox helm, and rammed himself face first into my forehead. Upon impact, I let loose the warmaiden’s cry and pummeled myself in the face; dislodging both my headgear and my pride in the process.

But that bug is deader’n a doorknob now.

Resettlement Chronicles V: Dark and Bitter, Like My Women

We did, in fact, double the congregation of the little church we shall be attending. They meet in the fellowship building prior to services, and we chatted with the half dozen septuagenarians and octogenarians for a bit before church. I’ve never been offered coffee so many times in fifteen minutes. Finally I relented, and followed an old fellow into the kitchen.

“How do you take it?”, he asked.

“Black as you can, sir.”

“Now that’s the only way.”, he approved.

As I mentioned there is no choir. The CD started and the father began singing the processional hymn, “America the Beautiful”. The old folks let him ride solo until we Caldos joined.

Tina, my oldest, can really belt them out. That’s why we moved here. So she let ’em have it good and strong; a hymn like hot black coffee in the morning. Then the old folks approved, and joined us.

Resettlement Chronicles IV: The Old Made New

The other day I wrote about hearing a train. There have only been 4 so far, and only one at night. Even better: The siren score currently sits at zero. Trains are a mighty fine change of pace.

We’re attending a new church tomorrow. I hear we six shall nearly double their congregation. There is no choir, nor organ. I shall miss them.

By a stroke of providence it is pastored by a former curate of our last church. We liked him very much, and were encouraged by his presence here to make the move. It has been at least four years since we last saw him, and at that time had no intention of ever being within his parish. In fact we meant to be move the other direction. We have mused that he was sent to blaze our path.

Resettlement Chronicles III: I The Relative Importance of Time and Space

Last night we stood out in the street in front of our house and watched the fireworks. Our street is directly in line with the “city” park where this town held its Fourth of July festivities. I suppose town park sounds strange, but city is a strange descriptor for where we live now.

One thing that I’ve discovered is that I do have a natural sleeping pattern: Sleep at midnight and awake at 6:30am. Internet access has obscured this fact for years.

I had come to believe that I had two modes of rest because when I’m on the road for work I’m usually in bed by 10pm, and then up by 5am. At home though, my sleep has always been erratic; bed at 2:30am up at 8am; bed at 3:00am up at 7am; bed at 11pm up at 6:30am…nothing like a pattern.

I had convinced myself that I needed time to unwind after the kids and wife went to bed, and I think that was true years ago; truer anyway. My family stressed me out with an perpetually discontent wife and kids…

Kids are idiots. They’re beautiful and amazing blah, blah, blah. They’re also inconsiderate fools who contribute nothing and want everything. And those are the good ones. If you ignore this truth about children then you’ll miss out on some important lessons about yourself and others, the nature of reaping and sowing, the mystery of the how and when of the joys of work, and the fullness of love and responsibility.

In other words: If at all possible you should homeschool your children. And watch your Internet usage.

Resettlement Chronicles II: Between Crickets and AC

Author’s note: Comments are still set to moderation, but I can spit them through easier than I believed with the WordPress app.

One of the new joys here is a front porch with a swing. Last house didn’t have a porch. Can’t have a porch swing without one of those.

The neighbor came out to meet us last night. I was surprised because his house looks like hell. In fact I thought he didn’t actually live there; a forgotten fixer-upper. Crappy houses usually hold crappy neighbors, or none. But he’s a tradesman; young, fit, bearded, and tattoo’d. His clean-cut but tousled hair and smirking eyes are exactly the worrisome sort to hire as a poolboy. I liked him.

He came out with his son and introduced himself. We shook hands and then he went to go get the rest of his family; a wife and two more girls. I did likewise. He said, “You want to see the inside? I’ve been working on it.”

Beautiful. The floors and ceilings were wood. Walls had been knocked down and more rooms added. The kitchen is monstrous, and the stove is in an island over which a stainless steel hood hovers. He had $50,000 in granite counters, island, trim, and windowsills that he’d got in trade for some work he’d done. He said he’d been working on it for three years. Along the way he’d sold his truck and his band equipment to help pay for it all. He’s the rock’n’roll hunky handyman proto- millionaire, and a pleasant neighbor.

Last night Mrs. Caldo and I were watching a movie on that ancient tech: DVD. We had paused it, and I was in the kitchen. Suddenly I heard a loud, strange noise, and I thought she had started Lethal Weapon back up.

“Hey!” I yelled. She walked in. She replied in staccato.

“No. Way.”

I went outside, lit a cigarette and sat on the swing. I could hear the rumbling of the cars in between the blasts of train’s warning.