I’m sitting in Starbucks in Denham Springs – the one on Lockhart Crossing. I went to Ms. Holden’s kindergarten right behind here when I was a kid. I can’t remember if anything was on this corner when I grew up, but there’s a Starbucks now. I wouldn’t have known what a Starbucks was back then. In fact, I don’t know if I’d ever even heard of a latte or mocha back then. Coffee was black or made with lots of milk and called coffee milk. Community Coffee was the only brand around. I remember Mama turning her nose up at Folger’s. I was so surprised when I moved to Pittsburgh and there wasn’t any Community Coffee in the stores. Those yanks drank Folger’s like it was good or something. I was astounded. I was just as surprised that I couldn’t find Po-Boys. They had something called hoagies but they were nowhere near as tasty. I felt sorry for those poor folks. They didn’t know how to live.
I haven’t really had a good morning. I arrived in Baton Rouge at my brother’s house about 9 PM last night. The cats were screaming in terror, and Ashok was jumping around with excitement about being there. My niece and nephew and Sammy and Sharon and their cat and 3 dogs all ran out to greet us. I tried to let the cats out to go to the bathroom, and Bella immediately ran away. I guess it was just too much excitement all at once. The kids started chasing her, and that, of course, was the exact wrong thing to do. Bryce said, “I hope you find Bella, Aunt Sharon. But, if you don’t, she was a really sweet cat.” I laughed. “Actually,” I said, “She wasn’t sweet at all.” Anyway, I stayed up until 11 PM on my first night with a headlamp on my head terrorizing my brother’s neighborhood looking for my cat. I didn’t find hide nor hair of her and decided to call off the search for the morning. I woke up worried at 4 AM. I could just imagine the first event of my relocation being the loss of my Siamese cat. I walked outside, and there she sat, hissing at me as if I did something wrong…little twit.
I’m not even going to tell you about my ordeal at the post office trying to get a post office box because it’s absolutely impossible to believe, but, suffice it to say that I am not happy with the flexibility of the United States Postal Service. I can see why FedEx is so successful. I did have a nice lunch with a friend even though said friend couldn’t give me an address for the restaurant. He kept giving me cross streets. It’s hard to put cross streets in a GPS, and I didn’t know which one of these busy streets the restaurant was actually located. I kept asking for an address, and he wouldn’t give me one. I was trying very hard to not lose my cool because I’d just avoiding blowing up the post office. I’d had about all I could handle. I promised I’d b*tchslap him when I saw him, and he was thoroughly confused. I am from here, but I haven’t been here in 30 years for any amount of time. The street names ring a bell but they have absolutely no meaning especially when nothing looks the same anyway.
The good news is I’m supposed to get an offer on my house tonight. I cannot wait to get that albatross off my back. Of course, with my impatient self, I want the house to sell more quickly than 10 days. That seems like a lifetime when you move at the speed of light like I do. Let’s get with the program. That house should be closing next week if it’s going according to my accustomed schedule. I’m looking at my friend’s condo today to see if we can share space while he’s working out of town. I hope it works out. If it doesn’t, I’ll be back to square one. It would serve me right to sell my house before I find a place to put my stuff and lay my head.
I have been second-guessing my decision a little. The customer service here seems a bit horrid, but I guess I am talking about the post office. It’s in the upper 80s, but the humidity makes it feel like it’s 100 degrees. The traffic is already getting to me. Of course, I have to remember that the first 6 months of any move is the “lost” stage. I spend at least as much time lost as I do on the right track. I have learned to get into a mode where I appreciate being lost so I can discover new areas. But, right now, I’m still trying to get things done, and it’s just aggravating me. My attitude needs to change. I’ll get with the program. But, I think in my mind, too, I should know this place…. but I don’t. The place I know is 30 something years old and looks nothing like this.
The perks are the same as I found a few weeks ago when I lost my keys. I’ve already had one friend come to my rescue and put my cats in a quiet, secluded space in her house for a couple of weeks until I can get settled. They need to be in a quiet space. That’s not going to happen at my brother’s house. My friend Bobbi Jo is already calling me about the local running club runs and inviting me to those. My sister and brother are taking care of my dog, and I’m swapping dog sitting duties with them. And, my friend with the condo has okayed the residency of all of my pets if they all get along. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders. People are just so helpful.
I hope to tie down my house contract in the next 24 hours. I plan to head out into the woods by the Amite River for a camping trip with my college buddies. Apparently, some seafood, a hog and some other creatures will be sacrificing their lives for our enjoyment. My friend was apologizing that there will be spotty cell phone service. I don’t care. If my house thing is done, I’m throwing that f*cker in the car and forgetting about it. I need to unplug. My new job is about to start. In fact, they’ve already been talking to me today about pre-work. I’m going to be busy moving my stuff, finding a house and learning a new job in the midst of this damn southern Louisiana heat. What I know from experiences in the past is that the physical move is just the beginning of the adjustment. It gets really stressful later in building a life in a new town. I’m ready, and I’m excited. But, I first need to put my toes in the water of the Amite River, take off my makeup, and slap some mosquitoes so that I can be ready for what’s coming. I doubt you’ll hear from me for a few days. I may write tomorrow, but maybe I won’t. At any rate, I’m enjoying my hiatus, and I’m here, Baton Rouge. I hope we like each other.