Last post was the plans for Thursday's running around Washington, DC to a number of meetings. All that came off, with some interesting twists like cramming 4 people into the back of a cab on two occasions, to avoid hiking long distances in the summer heat. And the fun game of "enter the government building", in which I find that the fancy gov't ID we all had to get still doesn't get you anywhere. Didn't even get me into the Interior Building, and I work for Interior. Let's not even think about the Dept of Energy building, where they refuse to look at the gov't ID and demand your driver's license, from which they scan the picture (hey, there's a picture on the gov't ID...what's wrong with that one? Doesn't it scan?) and make you a clip-on temporary ID. Special. Just for DOE...
Meetings accomplished, I got to National around 4:30 PM, optimistic that I'd get home early. After all, there were shuttle flights at 5, 6, and 7 before my scheduled 8 PM. But alas, the flights were packed and then ran late because of weather holds, to the point that Delta closed the standby list. My "8 PM" took off a little before 9. I think I was home just before midnight.
I was up and out again around 7 AM to drive with the folks next door to the airport (wait, wasn't I just here?) as they left for Cancun, a family trip for s-i-l's family. I drove their van home, grabbed breakfast, then went to physical therapy, home to do some packing, out to WW, then home to finish packing. Cats expressed great displeasure about the re-filling suitcase. Then I hit the road for Moultrie, as the movers I'd been talking to had another south Georgia delivery this weekend and could pick up our stuff on their return trip.
Friday night and Saturday morning I cataloged and packed more of the natural history/environmental books we'd like to donate to some group, to join the 6 boxes of specifically botanical books we had already packed. There was a full book-box of bird books, a partial box on insects (that was a half-shelf worth, and behind that row of books was a husk of a large spider...), and then the miscellany: Golden Guides and better field guides on other topics, general environmental writings, material on developing trails and educational exhibits, and some area-specific guides from trips or when they were working on a specific slide show. I ended up with 10 boxes total, all cataloged in Readerware for better negotiating with potential recipients.
The movers showed up around 3:30 Saturday afternoon with a 3-man crew, did their inventory and packing, and loaded up the truck. Only the homemade ping-pong table didn't go, as they couldn't get it out of the room "upstairs over the garage" (actually over my grandparents' garage, next door to the house I grew up in, and a play area for me, my siblings, and our cousins). I suspect my older brother built that table up there, and I wasn't too surprised that there wasn't an angle that allowed the movers to get it down the narrow, low-ceilinged stairs.
The movers left around 6, and I was not far behind after shutting up the house. Got home around 10 PM to very indignant cats--I'd had a sitter come in the morning, but I had foolishly thought I'd be back by maybe 8 or so.
The movers showed up for the delivery around 10 AM--the same crew chief/driver, but with just one helper, a Russian exchange student. The crew chief said his company (Atlanta Peach Movers) hires foreign exchange students every summer, from a variety of countries. It wasn't clear to me if these are students who just come here for the summer, or if they are in school in the U.S. during the year. From this guy's level of accent, I'm guessing just here for the summer. Nice guy, willing worker, but still learning and not always understanding the instructions he was given. Crew chief, on the other hand, was very competent and pleasant. A Katrina refugee from New Orleans, he said--he was headed back to visit his family this coming week.
Unloading was spread between the two houses. I had them park the truck next door, and I unlocked my patio door (accessible without steps by going up the folks' next door driveway and through my back yard), and the next door front door and basement door. During the packing yesterday they'd marked each piece with a house number and sometimes a location, but as it worked out I had the inventory sheets, and as each item left the truck I'd direct where to put it: Finished basement. Unfinished basement work room. Next door living room (most of their stuff). My dining room. My garage. With the two-man crew, they mostly did one piece at a time--get it out of the truck and to the new location, then the student would remove the wrappings while the chief went to get the next piece. That was all done around noon, I signed all the papers, tipped the crew (including something for the other 2 guys who loaded in Moultrie), and that was done. I now have a 'new' dining table, a game table, 10 chairs that can be used at both tables, and a 'new' chair for my living room. The 10 boxes of books are piled in my living room, hopefully to encourage me to get that letter written about a donation.
After that, it was a pretty relaxing day. The folks next door called from Cancun to wish me a happy birthday, and the kids bemoaned the weather Tropical Storm Alex was causing. I took a short nap, went to Home Depot for some garden stuff and to the grocery store, baked cake-of-the-week (not one I'd choose for my birthday cake), grilled a steak for dinner, and went to Brusters for a kids' hot fudge sundae for my real birthday treat.
Now, what I really need is a weekend. How come tomorrow's Monday?