leaving the land of blinking yellow left arrows

Anyone who has visited North Carolina was probably initially surprised by the left turn yield arrow. You are sitting at a red light waiting in the left turn lane, watching the red arrow, then a yellow blinking left arrow appears on the signal. You are wondering what to do when someone behind you beeps their horn, impatiently waiting for you to complete your left turn through a gap in oncoming traffic. I’ve never seen these anywhere but in North Carolina, but apparently their use is growing elsewhere.

All this is relevant because my son Dan spent his last days as a North Carolinian this week. This past week I drove down to Raleigh, rented a trailer, helped him load the stuff from his apartment (third floor walk-up – too many stairs!), and drove the trailer back to Ohio. He is staying at our house until he finds a place with one or two friends of his (hopefully soon), and he starts his new job on Monday.

Dan moved down to Raleigh nearly two years ago with a job but quickly had to find something else. He started working for a fast food chain and quickly became one of their go-to shift leaders; they were talking about training him to be a trainer for other new shift leaders. However he was at the same time becoming disillusioned with the demands of the job – time requirements, low pay, poor scheduling – and decided he didn’t believe in the corporate philosophy anymore. Over the last couple of months he made the decision to leave, but he had reached another decision point if he would stay in NC.

He was working a lot of odd hours on a typical fast-food schedule; despite being a shift leader he wasn’t being paid very much; he was barely meeting his expenses, and sometime not doing so, and therefore was starting to run up a balance on his credit card; he hardly ever got to see his friends in town, and when he did he couldn’t afford to do things with them. He had hopes of saving up enough money to move out of his then-current living situation and find a place of his own, and possibly even afford a small house someday, but he could see that would not be possible in Raleigh, one of the more expensive cities in the South. He doesn’t have a college degree and doesn’t really want to have tens of thousands of dollars of student loans to pay off, and I can’t say I blame him.

In short I believe he was running out of money, he decided to leave his job, and saw no real future for himself if he continued to stay in NC. He just wasn’t happy there anymore, and he decided to make a change. He told us his plan to return to Ohio on a pre-Christmas trip to visit, explaining his decision, and I think it makes sense for him. He still has his friends here, he is starting a good-paying job with benefits, and he will be able to save some money living here. He still plans on visiting his friends in NC at least once a year when the comic convention comes to town, and will still keep in touch with everyone online.

I hope he doesn’t see his time away as a failure or as wasted time; I don’t think it was. He gained independence, he grew as a person, and he figured things out on his own. I’m glad he is back just because I worried that something would go wrong and it would be a whole day’s drive to go help him; now he will be just a short drive across town. He can visit just for dinner if he chooses, or stay home and be independent when he chooses.

unboxed

Amidst the dwindling stacks of boxes and the slow organization of things, life is approaching normalcy here at New Fish Manor in northeastern Ohio. Internet is up, we are eating prepared food on actual plates, the cats are getting adjusted, and most of the furniture is in its place.

Unlike the previous moving day where we did everything with extended family, this time we hired movers and a truck for the big stuff and the majority of the boxes. It went pretty smoothly, nothing seems to be broken, and the cost was fair compared to having everyone being injured for a week afterward.

The garage is not empty yet, and I have a storage locker full of boxes and containers that needs to be emptied. There will be another garage sale in the future, I’m sure.

This is a weird old house. I will have to describe it in more detail at some point. But the lawn is luxurious. A thick green carpet of Kentucky Bluegrass and Bentgrass keep the weeds and clumps at bay. It mows like a dream. The previous owner must have put down weed and feed chemical, because it grows like crazy and there is not a dandelion in sight. I need to step up my lawn game.

My anxiety levels have come way down since the move is behind us. I kept myself from going manic, I got enough sleep, and I didn’t need the Ativan. Small victories. I worry so much about all the little things that could go wrong, and I forget to think about everything that goes right because of good planning, good decisions, and a little luck.

split level

There is often a split in my personality, the person I am in public, and the person I am in my private space which includes this blog. This post has nothing to do with this concept.

We have been renting since we sold our house last year, but we purchased a split-level house in the suburbs. We just signed papers today, and we will be moving in about two weeks. That means I will be very busy doing all the big and little chores that go into moving our residence. Real life must take precedence for now, and I will not be blogging for a while. For all 2.3 readers here, don’t worry, I’ll be back eventually.

Just to give you an idea what we bought into: it has a blue tub, sink, and toilet in the main bathroom. Blue.

beast of burden

I’ll never be your beast of burden
My back is broad but it’s a hurting

I’ve walked for miles my feet are hurting
— Rolling Stones

Our house, in the middle of our street

Our house it has a crowd
There’s always something happening
And it’s usually quite loud
— Madness


We moved on to the next chapter in life. Our house is sold; we left it with little sentimentality (except for Nicole, who cried a couple of times). I don’t really worry about stuff like houses and cars and household junk, although photos and music are important to me. Besides, home is where the cats are, and they adjusted very quickly, even the blind cat.

The move went fine, even though it was tiring and painful. We schlepped everything into the moving van, then schlepped everything upstairs at the rental house. The goat family helped us for most of the day. Anne’s dad helped us also; at 74 he is strongest of all of us. Among the crew we had bad knees, bad backs, gall stones, ADHD, and bipolar. Maybe that should be the tagline for a moving company: Two Bipolar Men And A Truck, We move your emotional baggage.

The process of selling was very stressful for me, and I expected an emotional letdown afterward. That doesn’t seem to have happened, just a big sigh and a feeling of relief that it is all over and the money is in the bank account. Life has pretty much become a new normal, with new scenery. I still have my problems with anxiety and bipolar depression, but otherwise things are okay.

Now I need a car upgrade.