Wednesday, May 22
My brother met me at 7:55, and we arrived at the U-Haul place a few minutes after eight. The proprietor was happy about this, being as previous customers said they'd be there in the first half hour, and showed up hours later. John (of John's Garage) showed me everything I needed to know to drive the truck, and set the mirrors for me, since they were non-powered. Then John (my brother) followed me to the storage facility, where we unloaded my unit in a little over an hour.
My brother then followed me back to the house, which was helpful because he backed the truck into our driveway. After that, he took off, after graciously refusing a twenty for his work. It took me another couple of hours to get all the remaining things into the truck, since they weren't all packed at that time; plus, I ate lunch. At 1:20, I rolled the truck out of Northport. The toughest part of the trip, at least the part I'd be accomplishing on this day, was the first. Getting the truck through New York City, with its highway use restrictions, putting it in the right toll lane, and traffic on the Cross Bronx Expressway. Once I cleared the city, it was smooth sailing, until I had to put fuel in the truck. Whenever I fill up my car, I take note of the dollar limit per swipe at the pump, knowing I'll never run up against it unless gas prices rise dramatically. With the U-Haul I did hit that limit, and didn't come close to filling the truck's tank. After that, I just kept going into Pennsylvania, with the intent of making a stop for dinner and then going until the truck needed gas again. Both those things happened late in the evening. I stopped in Barkeyville, PA, for most likely both the first and last time in my life, checked into the Motel 6 there, and bedded down for the night.
Thursday, May 23
Just before lunchtime on Wednesday, I got a call from the property manager of my new apartment complex; she said she had a business meeting in Toledo, and wouldn't be back in Findlay until 3:00. Knowing this allowed me to get a late start, leaving around 10:00. I made two stops - one for lunch, and another for a brief rest on Interstate 71. At that point, I saw this lovely paper:
Ah, the kids. I got to Findlay about 2:20, and fortunately for me, the office was open. I signed the lease, paid the balance of rent and security deposit, and took the keys. Just after three, I walked into this:
It took me ninety minutes to unload the truck, but that was the easy part. Unpacking was the more substantial part of the operation. I threw myself into it fully, because I didn't have Internet and TV set up in the place. Dinner that evening consisted of a can of tomato soup and some saltines, which I had brought with me from New York. I didn't expect to be going out again that evening, especially considering my mode of transportation was a U-Haul truck. And yet, I did make a run up to Wal-Mart that night. The assembly of furniture was the primary goal of the evening; the various articles had been sitting in the storage unit for years. Luckily, I hadn't disassembled them to the point where I couldn't put the back together easily. At the end of that night, the living room looked like this:
Friday, May 24
After more furniture assembly and unpacking in the morning, I returned the U-Haul around noon. Not bringing it back after hours the previous night turned out to be a wise move, as I brought it back with less fuel than it had to have. When I took it out to get gas, I briefly got lost. After I surrendered the truck's keys, I walked through town to pick up the rental car I'd have for the next day. The rest of the day was spent getting things in place and going through papers. I saw some things that had been hidden for a long time, among them things related to previous residence in Connecticut and New Hampshire, and a keychain-sized card for the Borders Rewards club. By the end of Friday, I had gotten the apartment to a condition resembling habitability:
Saturday, May 25
I needed a rental car for Saturday morning's drive from Findlay to the Detroit Metro International Airport, from which I flew to New York to retrieve my own car. Two snags happened here. The first was that the attendant checking cars in outside couldn't process my car, meaning I had to check in at the counter. There were two attendants, both occupied, and two customers ahead of me. I was, though silently, quite perturbed, knowing I'd probably be in that line at least fifteen minutes - and was. I was thankful I built an extra half hour into my plans, in addition to the normal sixty minutes of lead time required to clear security. I made the flight, but was quite hungry when the first leg touched down in Philadelphia. I barely had time to grab lunch at the terminal at PHL before getting on the same plane for the turbulent second leg to LGA. As Mom drove back out to Long Island, I kept myself posted on the NCAA lacrosse semifinal between Cornell and Duke. The game was close at the half. We arrived home early in the third quarter, just in time to see Duke take control of the contest. Thankfully, Cornell had the will to fight back and close the deficit to one late in the game, but couldn't make it all the way back. It was a sad ending to the career of Rob Pannell; the Tewaaraton trophy he won the following week is cold comfort.
Sunday, May 26
This was a restful day. I had lunch with Ryan, followed by a trip to Ikea to get a bookcase that matched the one I already have. I visited my father one last time, and dealt with the second snag from Saturday - I'd left the suction mount from my GPS unit on the windshield of the rental car, and needed to buy a replacement. The evening was spent getting the car packed and ready.
Monday, May 27
Leaving mid-morning on Memorial Day was an outstanding idea on my part; the normally atrocious traffic in the Bronx was non-existent that morning. There was exactly one stop for gas and lunch, but other than that, my butt was in the driver's seat and my foot was on the pedal throughout. Including the stops, I covered the six hundred plus miles in less than nine and a half hours.
Everything went smoothly with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the AT&T U-verse setup. So too was it with my orientation with Cooper at the start of last week. As would be the case with any new job, I feel lost a lot of the time around equipment I barely understand. But I'm sticking with it, and gradually coming up to speed. I'll certainly feel even better about it toward the end of this week, when Cooper deposits money into my bank account for the first time. The job got even a bit more real this afternoon, when my mailbox contained a prospectus from Principal. I've had the past couple of days off, but it's back to the grind tomorrow, and back to the learning process.