Hell Week


I forgot what a pain in the ass moving actually is.

The process started on Friday the 18th, when I took the day off from work to help with a few last-minute details. The following day a host of friends helped move all the boxes and some of the larger items we had in the garage of the old place into the garage and basement of the new place, which took about five hours. Then the moving van showed up at 9 on Monday the 21st, and by six or seven that night they were gone, and we were in.

The seven day period I took off was hell physically. Up at 6, work until it was dark, sometimes long after it was dark, then grab a few hours of relaxation before collapsing into bed and waking up early the next day to do it all over again. Going back to work felt like going on vacation.

The part I forgot about was not how tedious and cumbersome the packing and moving part is, it was how much the unpacking part sucks. About how spent you become just getting from point A to Point B, only to be faced with taking out and moving everything you packed into their new location in the new home, particularly when one is downsizing and there is more stuff than there is space.

Every day since the 21st, the laborious process of opening the boxes and placing the items in the areas we think we want them has been in full roar. We’ve cleaned out about half of the garage and could probably fit one car in there if we wanted, but the basement still remains a disaster. I lost count of the number of trips to the dump we have made with the SUV filled with broken down cardboard moving boxes.

Slowly but surely we are getting there, but it has been a physical and mental grind because for the last few months we have been either packing, unpacking, cleaning or moving. It has been relentless.

I have pushed myself harder than I can remember since MS raised its ugly head, and I am feeling it. Imagine carrying and moving boxes and other assorted things on one good leg for hours, day after day after day. Often it felt like I was walking on a balance beam, especially near the end of the day. At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, the term Dead Man Walking kept coming up in my mind because at times it felt like that.

My leg feels like it is hanging by a thread. My knee aches most of the time because it doesn’t bend the way it should, and walking is more cumbersome than ever. I persevere, but am hoping I didn’t overdo it, and that with a period of rest (whenever that might happen) I will be able to walk with a profound limp compared to whatever it looks like now. I can’t really describe what that is, but what I can tell you is it probably looks like one leg is a lot shorter than the other. My body noticeably dips lower and to the right with every step I take. I try to keep my knee bent because if I don’t, I hear a lot of grinding bone, and the leg feels like it will bend backwards before snapping in half at the knee. Instead it kind of buckles to one side. Swell.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m a bit concerned, but I made this bed. There really wasn’t a choice.

We are thrilled with the new place. It is wonderful to be on one floor, the shower is massive, with two shower heads, plenty of grab bars, and a place where I can easily sit. There are wood floors throughout so it is easy to slide my feet as long as I am wearing socks. It is clean, comfortable, could easily handle a wheelchair, and represents the culmination of a lot of sweat and gnashing teeth. K did herself proud with this one.

She still spends a lot of her days picking through the garage and culling stuff, and I lend a hand when I get home from work in whatever way I can, but that is when I notice how bad the leg is because I feel like I am on the verge of falling all the time if I’m not careful.

The stress of worrying about moving and all that goes with it is over, thankfully, but one little nagging issue remains unresolved and is becoming more worrisome with each passing day: we still have to sell the old place, and the holiday season is rapidly approaching.

Nonetheless we plod forward, and continue to place or dispose of the rest of the stuff that is in the garage and basement before the first snow flies. Slowly but surely, we’ll get there.

The inside isn’t ready for prime-time exposure, but here are some views from the outside. If it appears there are two stories when I said I love one-floor living, that is because in addition to the basement, the downstairs has a fully furnished apartment for Nidan and K’s Mom, who lives with us.

Once everything is in place I’ll share some pics of the inside, but have no idea when that will  be.







The Day is Finally Here


You may not see another post from me until November, and the reason for that is moving day is FINALLY here. After a little more than a year from the day we broke ground, the house is move-in ready, and the fun starts on Saturday.

That is the day we will be unloading all the boxes that currently fill my garage (remember this picture?)  packing2and fill the garage in the new place. On Sunday we will begin to unload those boxes, and the movers come on Monday to move all the furniture and heavy stuff.  From there the slow and methodical process of getting completely unpacked and settled begins. Hopefully nothing important breaks during the process

It would be nice if we are done and everything is in place by the end of next week, but I doubt it. I am sure it will take longer than seven days to get everything done without any clutter. Then I’ll need to figure out to do with all of those boxes. We aren’t going to keep them all, but it makes sense to save a few for some future use.

Regardless, it will be an evolving process that will take some time, which means there will be little time for this. Don’t be surprised if the next post shows you a little of the new place and the tale of how all this unfolded.

Wish me luck!

My Mistress

Baseball on the Chalk Line of the Infield

Last Sunday I watched the last game of the 2019 season for my beloved Red Sox. It was a meaningless game, and represented the end of a colossally frustrating and  disappointing season. After last year’s historical romp, I knew repeating as champs was a tall order. No team had accomplished the feat since 2000, but the Sox were so overpowering last year, steamrolling all competition that lay in its path, I honestly thought that if any team could break that sting of futility, they could. After all, the team that started the year was virtually the same team that ended last season. Alas, it wasn’t mean to be, and reinforced something that I had learned a long time ago but foolishly assumed wouldn’t apply: one season has nothing to do with the next.

I had disgustedly reached the conclusion that they weren’t going to even make the playoffs back in late July. They had been playing out the string since then, but I still watched and attended their games anyway. Game 162 was no exception because E-Rod had the chance to win his 20th game, something no Red Sox lefty had done since back in the 1950’s, and they were playing Baltimore, one of the worst teams in baseball.

Like the rest of the season, he didn’t accomplish the goal as the team squandered a lead late in the game after he was no longer pitching, but they still won in satisfying fashion in their last at bat. As I turned off the television, I felt the sadness and void that typically occurs when a season ends with unfulfilled expectations. This year was worst than most because the reality didn’t even come close to what was anticipated, and I began to wonder why I take this game and this team to heart so much. It didn’t take long to figure it out.

While K is the love of my life, my soulmate, confidant and partner, baseball, and the Red Sox in particular, is my mistress.

This makes me a dinosaur, a card carrying relic of the last generation that remains passionate about the game. I’m a misfit in today’s world of short attention spans and instant gratification. This epiphany got me wondering what it is about the game that has me as hooked on it as an addict is to their drug of choice.

Perhaps it is because it harkens back to a simpler time. I started following and playing the game when I was 8. Back then nobody worried about their kids coming or going. In fact, it was better to be gone from the house because if you hung around too much our parents would find work for us to do. We’d ride our bikes anywhere and everywhere, sometimes for miles, to find a field to play on. We’d be gone most of the day during the summers, all afternoon during the spring and fall when school was in session, and nobody thought twice or worried about our safety.

Baseball was the king of sports back then, and when the Little League season wasn’t in session we’d play anywhere the was an open field. We’d pace the distance between the bases and from the pitchers mound to home plate, amend the ground rules based on how many players we had, and lose ourselves in the game and the camaraderie of being among one’s buddies.

My passion never wavered through high school, American Legion, and college, where I continued to play, or afterwards when my playing days were over. That was an accomplishment, because my mistress was a cruel bitch. Today’s generation of Red Sox fans are spoiled by their success during this century, because for the first four decades  of my baseball fanaticism, the Red Sox perfected the art of crushing one’s soul in the most heartbreaking and macabre fashion.

For years and years I had to suffer from the verbal abuse that Yankee fans liberally, gleefully and sadistically heaped upon us. They were indisputably the historical baseball kings, and often dominated the sport between 1976 and 2003, often at our expense. Any sane person would have said “fuck this,” and either found another team to root for or focus on the NFL and forget about baseball.

Ah, but she is an enticing minx, a voluptuous beauty who frequently allowed me to reach third base but never let me go all the way. The journey she took me on was wonderfully spellbinding  and pleasurable, but the ending was always the same: a 37 year case of blue balls.

But I kept coming back for more, thinking next year would be the year. My faith and patience was finally rewarded in 2004, and three more times since then. So I can at least cross that off the bucket list.

Baseball is my mistress because I love what most people hate about the sport. Each game is a drama that unfolds over nine innings. No game is the same, and each team has an equal opportunity to win because there isn’t a time clock. It’s a thinking man’s game, and a team sport based on individual accomplishment. The game is also incredibly hard because if you fail only 70% of the time, you’re considered an all-time great.

The regular season is also a mentally and physically grinding six month marathon that has a number of ups and downs. Each game possesses the possibility of seeing something you never saw before virtually every single day. To me, it represents the heartbeat of the best time of the year and has a history unlike any sport in existence, which makes it timeless.

I hate what is happening to the sport, with playoffs games ending around midnight, and the strategy I grew up with giving way to home runs, strikeouts, analytics and interminably long games. I want to scream at the batters to get their ass into the batters box without touching themselves and readjusting every piece of equipment they wear, and for pitcher to throw the damn ball instead of holding it for what seems like forever. But I still think it is the best game mankind has ever conceived.

The end of a season ushers in a bleak time of the year, especially here in New England. The weather turns cold, it’s dark and dreary most of the time, and everything outside shrivels and dies. When pitchers and catchers report to spring training in February, you rejoice in the hope and promise of the possibilities of a new season, and when the season actually starts, it ushers in the best time of the year. What is not to like about that?

I’m staring down the barrel of 174 days (but who’s counting) before the 2020 season starts. I’ll watch the playoffs, and actually enjoy them more because I’m not invested in any team, so who wins or loses isn’t important. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ll be rooting for anyone who play against the Yankees. As long as they don’t capture the crown, and I don’t believe they will, I will be a very happy guy.

It is going to be a fascinating off season for the Sox, and will probably have more drama than the season that just ended. Tough decisions on who they can afford to keep and who to trade or let go, that will impact not only next season but their future competitiveness, are going to be made, and I will be fully invested in them. I’ll applaud some, hate and curse others, and read every morsel I can find behind the story behind them all. The decision makers will alternate between being inspired geniuses and utter buffoons, and I will be along for every step of this roller coaster ride. I may hate what the end result is, but I will still go to my ten games next year and faithfully follow them, living and dying with the results of each game. Hopefully the outcome will be better than it was this year.

For now, I hope the NFL will give me something to follow through January. There is also UConn basketball, but those are mere appetizers for the sport I truly love. My mistress wormed her way into the fiber of my being a long time ago.  I crave her caress, utterly helpless to resist her spell. Even though she is often fickle, abusive and selfish, I can’t wait to resume our torrid affair come March.

It hurts so good!










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