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Moving week and she/it happens

  • Wednesday, August 14, 2013

There are always issues with moving, aren’t there? I filled myself with coffee, encouragement and positive attitudes in the mornings, but between the torrential rain showers and 40-minute calls to service technicians to cut this on or this off, all my goodness and mercy oozed out by lunchtime.

The clamor of the week had me leaving notes everywhere and I still missed the birthdays of two friends.

The data usage on our phones was almost over the limit, so Don and I were conversing as speed talkers. We had no internet and limited phone service. The earliest install date for internet was 12 days out.

Then, the car decided to die. It was truly a fair-weather car, moody as all get out. The wiper motor on the passenger side quit working months ago. It failed slowly, causing the timing of the sweep to be off, which had the blades literally fighting in mid air during a torrential rain while I was crossing the Daniel Island bridge. Wiper motors cost $200. So, I quit driving in the rain.

Shortly afterwards, it would only change gear speeds on cool days. Car menopause. Finally, at any given moment, it would max out in first gear at a top speed of 20 mph.

At this point, let’s just say that I didn’t affectionately call her the “old girl” anymore. As if she/it sensed it, she gave up the ghost on the hottest day of the year, humidity levels were at 140 percent. I had a carload of things to take to new place in the move. It was the beginning of evening traffic on Highway 17 North. She/it hiccupped, her way of saying she wasn’t going to drive. I pulled into the Laser car wash and let it cool off. I decided to use the oval car wash drive as a speed test before pulling out, like a seasoned short tract driver I punched it and took a few left turns. After a few laps, it caught second gear and I pulled out onto the highway and then with a slew of traffic behind me and in the middle lane of Highway 17: Nothing. She/it and I limped into a retail parking lot. I waited for a tow truck with my leg stuck out the door, fanning myself with an unopened bill.

I kept feeling like I had forgotten to do something else. I pondered my various lists while I pulled the under wire out of my bra that has decided to poke through at this inopportune moment as well.

Don picked me up before the tow truck came. I was just about ripe by this time. Hotter than Hannah, if you will. I could hardly wait for a shower. When we walked in the door, Don cut on the faucet to rinse out something. I heard the spit of air and I remembered what I hadn’t done: Transfer the water to our name when we moved. I made a few desperate calls at 5 p.m. to see what I could do. Nothing, but wait until tomorrow unless we had a plumbers tool. Well, we didn’t know what that was, but we were outside on the ground removing a man hole cover to see if we had anything to resemble it. Nope. I had two back tanks of clean toilet water that I could boil for a bird bath, and ice cubes for tomorrow morning’s coffee. Don’t eat a soft ripened South Carolina peach. I needed another bird bath.

I get Eric on the line, same guy from last night. What are the odds? “Eric, what’s the ETA on the field worker this morning?” Eric told me that it could be anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. I called back at lunch and got Eric again. Really? “Mrs. Brabham, we will have someone there as soon as they are in the area,” he said kindly. “Thanks Eric,” I reply sheepishly.

At 2 p.m. I called back. Yes, that’s right. Eric again. I tried to disguise my voice, obviously a fail because Eric says “Hello Mrs. Brabham,” while laughing. “Eric, all of my ice has melted. I know, I know, but I’m just saying don’t you have a CB radio (Lord help me, CB radio? I can’t take it back now) so you could call him?” I plead. “It won’t be long now. Hold on.” he says. One hour later, all the faucets spat and hissed and I was counting the minutes to a shower and was ready to cook. With a clean kitchen, shower and full stomach I pull the cork from a bottle of wine. There are days when I allow the wine to breathe, and there are days that I consider the pop of the cork breath enough.

Piddlin’ can be anything from bush-hogging a field to snapping a bushel basket of green beans on the front porch. Visit Renae Brabham’s website at www.renaebrabham.com.

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