My editor at the Charlotte Observer called the other day. She said she knew I must be busy because she checked my blog and nothing new had been posted since Jan. 27. Yep. Burning the candles at both ends lately. Just not the blog candle. This is going to be one of those rare personal posts…
For starters, we relocated from the Piedmont of North Carolina to the western mountains a few days after Science Online 2011. This move was harder than any other move I’ve made. It came at the tail-end of a month of travel — literally a month — where I was home for maybe six out of 31 days. So the move itself was jarring. I was frazzled before we even taped the first box shut. The house we now live in was a mess. It required days of cleaning. Last night, when we tried to change the air filter we discovered it had not been moved in a very, very, long time. Maybe it had been changed once upon a time… but not within at least the past two years. It was so bloated with dust and filth that we had to forcibly tear it out of the HVAC unit. After the cleaning, it required days of painting. Seems the previous tenants owned three dogs (and never vacummed) and had painted right over dog hair on several of the walls. They also painted over light-switch plates and curtain rod holders and felt that turquoise and smokey purple were admirable wall colors.
Next there was the box elder beetle problem. Seems the previous tenant didn’t mind the 1/2-inch gap between the kitchen door and the exterior threshhold, but a resident population of box elder beetles that are hibernating beneath our wooden lapboard siding discovered this portal to warmth. Many crawled into the house, probably convinced by the electric heater that spring had arrived. So until we got the door repaired, my morning routine consisted of waking up (dressing in the bathroom because we had no window coverings in any of the rooms, they just yawned open to the street), and picking beetles up off the floor while the coffee brewed.