Somewhere in America, a floor sander is whirring. It’s removing the top layer of dirt and wax and crud and stain and age from our oak floors, and collecting it in a bag to be disposed of somewhere else. Rick showed up at 8:30 this morning to do the dirty deed (and let me just tell you, this is an awful day to be sanding floors in Baltimore: the humidity we had been avoiding for a month suddenly landed like a sack of cement yesterday) and he was sweating before he got any of the tools out of the van. We closed the door behind him and RAN for the coffee shop.
I’ll back up a little bit here and say that the Cauzzi family is doing well. Jen and I brought barbecue to Todd and Heather, and in between feedings, they were actually able to enjoy some food of their own. Declan and Callie are tiny sleepy little people, mostly zonked out between meals for as long as we were there. Jen and I both got our baby on, however— we traded Declan back and forth for about an hour, and he slept through the whole thing. Great going, you guys. They are beautiful.
The rest of the weekend was a blur of cleaning, moving, packing, shopping, and more cleaning. All our first-floor furniture is on the front porch. We took some time to set up the automatic sprinklers and tend to the gardens (which will be in full bloom the week we’re in Ireland, I’m sure) and square away the cats, who are probably doing laps in sheer terror as the huge metal machine grinds away at the floor above their heads. I took a crowbar and pulled the disgusting ‘wainscoting’ from the living room wall—it was built out from the wall by about 2 inches, covering that much of the oak flooring—and tossed the wood out the window and into the garage.
Sunday we avoided the humidity by heading to the Arundel Mills Mall in search of some clothes to replace the 1995-era rags I still wear. Six hours later, we came back home and finished preparing the house for demolition. Some high points:
- A queen Sleep Number bed with the digital control is considerably less than we thought it would be, which means it’s on our list of Stuff To Buy When We Get Home, right after an air conditioner.
- For the first time in my life, I own a suitcase. Instead of jamming all my crap into a duffel bag (you may laugh, but I made it from here to Italy and back again in a $15 duffel bag) I own a wheeled Samsonite suitcase, in fashionable black. This is progress.
- I may have found the replacement for my Syracuse hat. I bought this aleady beat-up hat used at Saks North Avenue for $.95 in 1991, and it has been the only hat to correctly fit my misshapen alien head since then. It’s been through art school, camping trips, to Italy, Bimini, California, and countless other places; it almost drowned in the Atlantic Ocean until the co-sponsor of our diving trip cried, “WILSON!” and jumped off the boat, swam back, and got it; It went everywhere I did, and it’s showing its age. I tried on a women’s Adidas hat yesterday, and it seemed to fit my head correctly (the brim is not three feet too wide, which makes most hats look like a duck swallowed my scalp) so I bought it.
- We are taking the Italian good-luck frog with us to Ireland. May he watch over us as we drive on the wrong side of the road.
- I have two green bell peppers growing in the greenhouse. The gladiolous in the perennial bed are as tall as the bedframe.
Tonight we are being graciously put up by our neighbors M&S, who (I’m pretty sure) have air conditioning and a queen bed. Hopefully after four days, they will still be speaking to us.