Dolly Settles In

This article was actually written in 2008, lost in a computer crash, and resurrected when I found it again on a web site – complete with my photos.  So I saved the photos and text back to my hard drive and will post the story here as a Wayback Whensday post.  Especially since Dolly recently passed away and we are focusing on remembering the good times we all shared.  And yes, I am now doing a weekly back-up of my hard drives!

This weekend we have been officially moving into the new house.  I began facilitating this move on Friday by bringing over a couple truck loads of boxes of stuff from our storage room and stashing it in the big closet that will serve at our storage room in the new place.

We have been mindful of the advice often offered which says that if you have boxes of stuff from your last move that have never been opened, you should just throw them out and not move them again. But, while we have not (often) opened most of these boxes, we know what’s in them and don’t want to toss (most of) what’s in them.

I have several boxes of books. Most of these we will, again, not have space to put out and enjoy so I will photograph them and sell them on Amazon. Same for the boxes of computer games that I no longer have time to play. There are also several boxes of video tapes. These we will definitely keep. I’m building a big entertainment center with drawers to house our collection of movies and music CDs.

Once I had enough space cleared out of the old storage room, I set up a table and moved the desktop computer into that space from the counter in the kitchen where it has lived for the past 5 years. The old storage room will become my workshop office.

I’ve run computer network cabling and phone lines in there for this purpose. I also moved the laptop computer over to the new house and connected it to the other end of the network cabling – 250 feet of Ethernet cable run through a buried ½” diameter plastic conduit between the trailer and the new house. This conduit also carries our phone line.

Naturally any time I dismantle a fully functional network – even just two computers – and move things around it all goes kaflewie and I have to start all over in getting them to talk to one another and share their resources. It took most of the day, but I got it done in between loads of boxes. Mike could have done it in ten minutes I’m sure.

Dolly, dog, supervisingOn Saturday Marie and I, under Dolly’s close supervision, moved all of the bedroom furniture and the most needed kitchen tools and equipment. Not the stove or refrigerator – new ones came with the house so we will be donating the old ones to some social service organization to help those in need.

I got all of my clothes moved and stored away in my closet. I took advantage of the opportunity to arrange them by function and color. I know, I know, I’m just obsessive-compulsive.

Marie got a start on her clothes – just the essential stuff for now. And we moved the TV and video deck – we’d be needing those in the evening to watch the Busch race at Nashville that was taping at Mom’s while we got things moved.

Everything we watch is pre-recorded, we refuse to subscribe to cable or dish, and we’re not sure that an antenna would get us much here in the mountains. But that’s OK, we spend very little time sitting in front of the TV anyway a few hours a week maybe, and that mostly on weekends, for the races.

We have actually been moving some things, a few at a time – a little each evening, for the past week or so. But because we’re not supposed to move in until the pre-occupancy inspection is done and the list filled out and mailed in, we have been holding off on moving anything major. But that’s all been done now.

Our goal in all this has been to avoid the situation of dumping dozens of boxes in the new house then spending the next two weeks unpacking and putting away – all the while living around those piles of boxes. So as we take the boxes over, we unpack and put the stuff away. Then take the boxes back and pack more stuff into them for another run.

By the end of the day we were feeling a bit more settled. Marie fixed her traditional “Race Day” pizza for dinner, we built a fire in the fireplace and snuggled in to watch the race.

Zadie has taken all of this moving in stride. She hops up our wobbly, makeshift front steps of stacked cinder blocks on a pallet without a second thought and strolls inside like she owns the place. Long ago she decided that the Master Bedroom with its nice cushy carpet would be HER room.

Dolly on the other hand has pointedly stayed out of the new house – even off of the porch. It may be that she doesn’t trust the steps. I can’t blame her for that, we don’t either. They serve the purpose for now, but once we get through bringing in truck loads of stuff we will need to make installing a proper set of steps a priority.

Yesterday Dolly got very upset as we started moving the furniture from one place to the other. But the clincher was when we transferred the contents of the pantry and fridge. Dolly was obviously saying, “Zadie, Zadie, they’re taking the food, they’re TAKING THE FOOOOOD!” Then she went and planted herself on the loveseat that had been given over to the dogs (naw… they’re not spoiled) and DARED us to take that!

When we had moved all we were going to move and started the evening’s festivities, Marie put the pizza in to bake. When Dolly smelled the pizza cooking she stood out front staring at the front door. It took the two of us, but we managed to coax (more like carry) Dolly up on the porch. She stayed for a moment or two and dove off the front edge.

Later she came back and was looking through the storm door. I opened it for her and she dove off the front edge of the porch.

A while later she was back and I got her to come inside the door. She would go no farther than the pieces of scrap carpeting we have laid down to protect the wood floor while we’re moving stuff.

When we started in on the pizza and watching the race, she scooted over far enough to take the ‘pizza bones’ I offered her. dolly, dog, fireplace, sleeping After the food was gone I sat down on the blankets that Marie had put out for the girls (NO dogs allowed on the new sofa!) and got Dolly to join me.

The fire was burning warmly, the blankets were soft and snuggly. Some of them were from their snuggle bed at the other house and smelled familiar. Even though laundered regularly, they know. She soon settled in.

After the race was over, we gave Dolly the grand tour, showing her where the doggy dining room was, how the cedar chest was again in front of a window with a good view of the yard so she can drape herself over it to keep watch in all weather (she likes doing that), and so on.

She was reluctant – as though she expected to be shoved into a closet and locked up or something.

When we went to bed Zadie happily settled in on a pile of blankets beside our bed. Dolly elected to sleep on the remaining blankets in front of the fire place.

The next morning Dolly was eager to get outside. After church Marie did some laundry then built a fire and was getting ready to lay down on the sofa for a nap. As soon as Dolly saw (or maybe smelled) smoke coming from the chimney she was at the door wanting in. Dolly, dog, fireplaceMarie hadn’t even finished getting the fire started and Dolly was claiming her spot, “Yeah, I’m liking this!”

I think she’s settling in.

The girls still like snoozing in the sun on the porch of the trailer, and they can continue to do so since I will be spending my days there using it as my new workshop, but the loveseat will have to go.

Sorry girls.

Dolly and the Night Spirits