Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adventures in Moving

I’m in! Not settled yet, but I doubt if I ever will be, unless Tonya comes back down and hangs my pictures. She’s a whiz at that, as well as room arranging and decorating.

Last Saturday, John and Tonya, along with Jim and his helper Boyd, left the Indiana community Jean and I moved into the end of September 2007, with me and all my belongings. That is, THEY moved ME - into the Assisted Living facility we moved from before.

The roads were AWFUL. We traveled east on US 30 toward Fort Wayne, and the farther we went, the worse the road became. We kept going slower and slower.

Finally, at Warsaw (and Winona Lake), we stopped at a gas station to reconnoiter. John and Jim “reconnoitered”, that is. I was determined to NOT interject my comments or suggestions on the ride, highway, snow or other impediment. Before meeting with Jim, though, John said, “I think we’d better head south, out of this snow and bad roads.” I relented, and said, “So do I”.

After discussion, we headed east again on US 30. John was looking for a south-bound state/national road that seemed safe. Remembering that Jean and I had traveled on that road several times 40 or 50 years ago, I said, “Maybe Indiana 9 would be a good bet”. John said, “I was looking for 9. Do you think we’ve passed it yet?” “I don’t remember doing so”, I replied.

We kept going, passing several roads that didn’t seem promising, when suddenly, John’s GPS indicated Route 9 up ahead. “There it is!”

We headed south on 9, after alerting Jim that we would be turning. I remembered that it went through Columbia City, then on south to Huntington - where the Christian Huntington College is located.

As we headed south, the road DID improve - a little bit - but it was obviously the right choice.

John’s GPS kept trying to get us to go on to Fort Wayne and the original plotted course, so it kept saying, “Re-calculating“, then, “Turn left at the next intersection, then turn left”. John recognized what the GPS was doing, and just kept going south.

In the back seat, I got out MY GPS, and watched as we traveled. Suddenly, both of our units said, “Turn left (East) at the next intersection”.

John turned, and Jim followed. Shortly, Jim called and said he needed to work on his windshield wiper, so we stopped along the road. He got it fixed, and we headed east again.

The GPS kept guiding us, and FINALLY it gave up trying to get us back to Fort Wayne, and let us go east, and eventually southeast. We ended up on I 469, then on east to US 27 and 33. When I saw “33”, I smiled and said, “Praise the Lord”. I knew it took us into Ohio, and if we wanted, all the way to Columbus, or better, Bellefontaine. We were safe. I then turned off my GPS.

Before too long, we came to Decatur. Familiar territory to me, since Jean and I had joined my sister and brother-in-law there 50 years ago for a Street Fair. It was lunch time, so we stopped.

Following US 33 from there was a “piece of cake”, as we say. We were directed the way I would have gone, until we reached I 75. The GPS knew a better way from there. We got on it, traveling south to US 36 at Piqua, which made a lot of sense, and probably better than the way I would go.

Years ago, BG, (before GPS), I would have then taken US 36 east to Urbana, then south. Instead, GPS took us east to SR 235 south. OK. That’ll work. Then, instead of taking us south to SR 41 where I would go, it suggested going east on SR 55. “No way”, I thought. Since Jim has regularly lived in this area, he and I both thought going to 41 was the best.

John suggested that Jim follow 235 to 41, then east, and we would take the GPS route of SR 55, and see who arrived first. The 55 route took us to Storms Creek Road, then to US 68, then south to Springfield. Guess who was right - me, or the GPS. Take a guess. The GPS got us here 10 minutes before Jim did.

Now, to unload, unpack and re-locate.

My Apartment at the Grand Court is called a “Studio Apartment”, which means, basically, one room w/ bath, kitchenette, electric range and sink. Very adequate.

It took some doing, however, to properly place my stuff. We ended up storing a lot in the attic provided.

Where to put the bed? Crosswise in the room? Along the wall? Which side? What about the TV and Computer, both to be connected to a cable that came in at only one place in the room. I preferred to have the TV on one side of the room, and the Computer on the other. The Cable installation person, however, said the cable couldn’t go “across” the room.

So, they’re side by side, with the bed perpendicular to the length of the room. By now, it seems to work OK that way.

Here it is, 5 days after arriving, and I’ve STILL got a lot of stuff in boxes, some of it in the attic. Some of that I’ll need to get down eventually.

However, on the whole, I’m VERY comfortable and satisfied! If you’re reading this, you know I got the computer going. And, though I don’t watch much TV these days, it works also, with over 80 channels.

I feel very comfortable here - seems at home, actually - probably since Jean and I lived here 1 ½ years ago. I know many people, and many know me. The Staff is wonderful, and the residents are very cordial.

I’ve had one interesting development: the car I’m using broke down. Here’s the story:

Jim "gave me back" the car we gave to him when we moved in with John and Tonya, for my use here. It's a Ford Thunderbird, maybe 8 or 9 years old. (3/6/09 - I just discovered that it's a 1995 model - 14 years old!)

Yesterday, I had started the car twice already, but in the afternoon, when I tried to start it in the WalMart lot, the starter just wouldn't turn over. I called Jim, and he was in Cincinnati. We figured that there was probably a bad connection at the battery, so I got a screw driver from the trunk (no hammer was available), and tried to get it going.

Jim said WalMart could help. I went in there, and a mechanic came out with a "battery jumper", if that's what you call it. That didn't work either. He went back in and came back with a Pick Up and tried to jump start it. No deal. He concluded the problem was the starter.

I called Jim again, and we decided I had to be towed to a garage. Jim remembered an auto mechanic friend of his who had just opened up a new shop, and felt he would be cheaper than the car dealerships. He set it up with the mechanic, and I called the Towing Service. Jim was still in Cincinnati.

The Tow Truck came and hauled the car to this Mechanic friend of Jim. A cursory look indicated that the battery terminals were VERY corroded. This is probably the same battery Jean and I had when we bought the car 3 or 4 years ago. He wasn’t convinced that the starter was the problem. He said he would call me "tomorrow" to let me know what's what. We left the car with him, and I joined our granddaughter Jodi, and her son, Rylan, for a 4th birthday party for him at the Chuck E. Cheese pizza place.

At about 5PM, I realized that I not only left the car keys with the mechanic, but my house keys as well. I called him to arrange to pick them up. He said he was about to call me, to say that the BATTERY was indeed the problem, and that he could have it all fixed and put together by 6 PM. Praise the Lord.

We celebrated Rylan’s birthday, and at 5:40 I drove Jodi’s car to the Mechanic, paid him for the work on my car (with the cash gotten earlier at the Bank), and drove it back to the party. Later, Jodi’s dad drove her to her car, and I drove home.

In reflecting on this, some things stand out:

1. I had driven the car to WalMart the previous evening, uneventfully.
2. The car had started twice earlier yesterday.
3. Yesterday afternoon, I went in to WalMart to see about a Secretarial Chair to my Computer, but failed to find one, and went to the car to try to start it. Wouldn’t start.
4. Jim was in Cincinnati, so I was on my own - with the Lord, of course.
5. Earlier, I had gone to the Bank and withdrew $200, for any “unexpected” expenditures later in the day.
6. Jim’s insurance doesn’t cover Tow Trucks. (The cash was ESSENTIAL).
7. The Mechanic hadn’t “set up” to handle Credit Cards yet, so, the cash was ESSENTIAL.
8. If this had happened the previous night in the dark, it would have been devastating, including, no cash.

We read in the Bible of Jesus saying, “When I send forth my sheep, I go before them.” John 10:4. He “went before” me, yesterday afternoon, as well as the previous evening. I had no choice but to “follow”.

Praise the Lord.

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