And, finally, greetings from Florida. I left Cincinnati on the 13th around 6:30 am and drove straight to Statesboro, GA, where I met up with a colleague and spent the night at his house. He works at Georgia Southern University, which has a very beautiful campus. It was fun to finally meet his wife and son, whom I’ve heard a lot about.
The next morning I headed south to Tampa. I got to our new home around 1:00 and met our real estate agent. She had the place open and lit up and, because we did a mail-away closing, I didn’t have to go sign anymore paperwork. So, I just went ahead and took occupancy of the house. A friend of the previous owner (who is the sociologist I’m replacing at the University of Tampa – weird story that one) stopped by shortly after that to deliver some keys and explain which light switch does what – there are dozens of them, so that was helpful. After a quick thank you, our agent left and I was alone in our new home. Given how small our previous place was, this place feels like a palace.
I drove down with just what I could fit in my car (along with our bikes), so I didn’t have a whole lot to move in, but getting everything situated, cleaned, and organized has taken several days. It also took a day to get the internet set up, and since I hadn’t checked my email for several days, I’ve been very behind.
Kindly, the previous owner left some furniture behind. It may not be the nicest stuff (okay, it definitely isn’t the nicest furniture, but it’s livable until we have the money to replace it), but it has been sufficient to make this a livable experience. She left a couch, a table and chairs, and even a desk (along with a few other knick knacks). I’ve made the best of it, cleaning everything carefully and slowly getting things organized. I’m now feeling like I’ve made enough headway that I can steal a few hours to actually do some work each day (I’m using some of that time to blog; oh well).
There’s a lot more to do, especially in the yard, which needs a ton of work. But here are some pictures to see what the place looks like now. Like I said, it’s a work in progress. I’ll be moving the rest of our stuff down in about a week, so there will be a little more stuff here then. Until then, it’s basically me and my computer.
I met one of our neighbors. He’s a pretty cool guy. He invited me to a lunch they were having yesterday for Father’s Day. It was kind of awkward slinking into a family gathering, but they were all very inviting and kind. He was taking pity on me as I’m basically living an ascetic life with minimal comforts (actually, I’m doing fine – I brought a lot of our cookware, so I’m eating well). The big thing that’s missing is, of course, Debi. But so it goes.
I came down knowing there was no bed for me here. I brought a pad and sleeping bag, which I tried to sleep on the first night, but didn’t have much luck. They work on grass out in the woods, but not on tile. So, the first night was awful. I scrambled to try to find a bed for the second night, but to no avail, so I ended up trying the couch. That was better than the floor, but not by much. Finally, we found a bed on Craig’s List – a queen for $90. I went in the afternoon to look at it and it looked fine, so I then had to figure out how to get it back to our house. There was no way I was going to transport it with my Civic. I finally realized you can rent trucks from Home Depot. By the time I got to Home Depot to rent the truck ($19.99 per hour) and worked it out with the seller, it was 8:30 pm. The guy in the tool rental area said it was too late to rent the truck as they close that area at 9:00. I begged and pleaded and he finally, graciously and kindly, allowed me to go ahead with the rental as long as I promised to have it back, refilled and in good condition, by 9:30. The guy was actually very nice; the type of person who gives you hope and confidence in humanity. He jokingly said that I’d have to bribe him with two hot apple pies from McDonald’s. I finally got the truck around 8:45 and sped away to get the bed. I made the entire trip, with a stop at McDonald’s, in 45 minutes! Hallelujah! I have a bed! It’s not the nicest bed in the world, but it is so much more comfortable than the floor. When I returned the truck, the guy at Home Depot and I talked for another 20 minutes or so. He really was a cool guy; and he liked the hot apple pies.
Anyway, that’s the news on the move so far. I’m hoping to pick up some nicer desks soon, along with a lawn mower, ladder, and compost bin to get started on the yard. Lot’s to do. I’ve also got a bunch of books to review – probably 5 or 6, with more to come. I’m going to try to start reviewing them today or tomorrow.