In Which Our Heroine Takes Care of Her Corner of the World As Best She Can

11 September 2003

Gradually the number of things we have to deal with on this mortgage is getting winnowed down. Perhaps a bit more gradually than I'd like. The postal service still hasn't delivered the letter they were supposed to. Makes me wonder if they're hoarding rejection letters as well. Or acceptances or checks. That might be worse.

Anyway, some of the stuff got taken care of, and I have specific plans for taking care of the rest of it, and I called for quotes on homeowners' insurance, and I made hotel reservations in Wendover, NV, and Fort Collins, CO. (The third night's stop, of course, will be the parental home in Omaha.) I am a housebuying fiend, people. I even did their little "first time homebuyers, read this!" thingy that treated me as if I was five years old. I am checking the boxes, crossing the t's, dotting the i's. And waiting for other people to get their act together.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden linked to this post about the anniversary of the terrorist attacks today. I think it's good.

And one of the headlines in the Merc is, "President argues for expansion of police powers."


I started another story, "Even Without Deceit," which may or may not be magical realism. If it takes a sharp left turn into fantasy, I will let it. It will not be the end of the world if I don't have a magical realism story to submit to Polyphony. And if I wind up with something that someone might call magical realism if they looked at it cross-eyed, and I haven't explained, then hurrah hurrah, off it goes to get a genuine magical realism rejection. Otherwise, it can take a sharp left turn into fantasy, and I will let it, because I am amiable and easy-going, relaxed in temperament, permissive.

With this one story, this one time.

Short stories are good for me to work on while moving. I need a bit of instant gratification right now. Projects I can finish right away, instead of working on one aspect and then another and then another. I still have some work I'm going to do on novels. But a little more of a short story focus is good. (Especially since I am resolutely keeping my brain from doing the story-a-day thing for any of these weeks. Bad brain. No biscuit.)

I'm still reading Zandru's Forge -- didn't take a lot of time out for that yesterday. Still cleaning things a bit at a time and using up supplies a bit at a time. For lunch today, I had Campbell's tomato rice soup. When I was a kid, we had three fallback soups that were pretty much always in the cupboard: tomato, tomato rice, and bean with bacon. (If I was so unfortunate as to get the bacon, I would sneak it into Daddy's soup mug or push it to the side or something.) So in my head, these are things the pantry needs. Gotta have at least one can of those kinds of Campbell's soups. Mark and Timprov eat different kinds of soup, and lots more of it than I do; I usually have leftovers for lunch. I find that I almost never make myself canned soup, actually, and when I do, it's invariably plain tomato. Still, it just seems like what ought to be there, because it always was. So I've had this tomato rice soup can for...awhile. A good while. Many months. It was perfectly good still, but it would have been ridiculous to move it to Minnesota with us.

It may also be ridiculous to buy a can of bean with bacon and a can of tomato rice when we get there, but I'll probably do it anyway. (Eventually, I also want soup mugs. My parents' soup mugs rocked. Three out of four of them still rock.) My hindbrain is half-convinced that the reason I haven't had a lot of canned soup for lunch is that I live in California, where it never has that snap to the air that makes you glad to get in from errands and have a cup of soup in the middle of the day. And Mark will be working from home after Thanksgiving, so he'll be around to eat leftovers more often, too. So maybe I'll have more soup.

(It's also that if I'm in the middle of something, I'd rather heat leftovers or have a bowl of cereal for lunch than stand at the stove stirring soup. But my workspace will be considerably farther removed from my office space in the new place than it is here.)

Hmmm. Hmmmmmmmm. I am contemplating furniture, is what. It seems to me that we will have plenty of opportunities for placing new furniture, should we find said new furniture. I also think our current tea cart may find new life as an office supply repository. Since the awesome pantry can hold the spices and the croutons and the cocoa and all the things the tea cart currently holds, and since I would be more than glad to take the spare office supplies out of their current home in the bottom of the armoire and/or on the floor behind the TV. Which means -- hey! -- my paints could also have a home besides Kari's wine basket, and we could put in the wine basket Kari made me...are you ready for this?

Oh, good. I had feared that the apartment maintenance people would not find a reason to make noise today. My fears were for naught! Either they're pounding something together, or the neighbors are clog-dancing. Fabulous.

Hey, you know what? Next month at this time, the neighbors can clog-dance up a storm, and I don't have to care. We will live in a house, and a month from today, we'll be in the house -- Mark will be home for the weekend -- it'll be good. Clog away, neighbors! We don't mind! Good fences make good neighbors, but several feet of air makes a halfway decent fence for these purposes.

Scott said that when we started packing in earnest, that would make it all more real to him. And then he laughed at himself and said that he bet it was already pretty real to us. Well, yep. There is a massive box o' boxes in my living room, and a few boxes already taken from it and packed, and a stack of folders with various types of paperwork in front of the TV. But most of all, I can picture where my neighbors will be. I can picture which of their houses I'll be able to see from which of our windows in what season. I have been instructed in which of them have dogs for me to pet. I know of the nearest Byerly's.


And I've gotten over most of my fears that the mortgage stuff wasn't going to show up at all -- as far as I know, we're waiting on one letter. Which was mailed a week ago today from somewhere in this state. So it should show up. And the information in it is known. It says, "Hello, mortgage people! These are happy timely bill-paying types. Please give them a beautiful house with a huge pantry and a room they can paint blue. Thank you. Sincerely, the people they keep giving money to." (This is a paraphrase.) I won't entirely relax about it until literally everything is taken care of. But it's all going to be okay. Really really really.

Anybody who wants to remind me of that, however, is more than welcome.

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