11 August 2008 – The Chuck

dsc00118.JPGdsc00119.JPGThis has been a tough month. This morning, our oldest pulled out of our driveway with a U-Haul heading for Kansas City to work for Cerner Corporation.

She sold the townhouse she’s been living in for the last 4-years. She only spent one night with us before she left. She hired some local muscle to pack the truck after packing everything into boxes. Mom helped a lot. I helped a little.

I’m filled with mixed emotions. We hate to see her live so far from us, but we are happy she has found a job with a large company, good opportunities there. You know how Dad’s can get. Darn Dads.

We went with her to pick up the truck. It’s a 26 footer, the largest one they offer. The U-Haul manager explained a few basic things about driving a big truck. Then I spent about 5 minutes, or was it 3, telling her everything I knew about driving oversized vehicles. From the moment we pulled out, she drove better than I used to drive a M-35 in Korea. Must be because it was an automatic. Yeah, that’s it.

All her shoes and everything else fit inside.

Cindy is driving her Scion with the cats. Oh yeah, let me tell you a cat story. First I have to tell you how she got the two cats.

The first one she rescued from the middle of the street near Shriners Hospital about 3 1/2 years ago. It was maybe 4-weeks old and felt like a collection of bones inside a fur pouch. She thought it might still be breathing, so she took it to the vet. They told her, “If we manage to save it, it is probably going to be blind. Do you really want to do this? Do you really want a blind cat?”

She said, “He doesn’t have anyone. So, yes.”

They said, “Well give us a bunch of money . . . “ and the rest is history. She named him Louie, because he always turned left when he was a kitten. He was blind in the right eye for quite a while. He still has a pretty big blind spot on the right side, but gets along fine now.

The second cat, was also a stray. It was maybe 5 weeks old and looked like a snowball with legs and a stubby tail. Covered with fleas and a couple of ticks fighting over what blood was left in it. So filled with worms, nobody thought it would live. But with the right vet and enough money, it is still with her. She named her Nim after a character in the second novel of my yet unpublished series.

Nim is a bit resistant to change. As the townhouse emptied, she felt the pressure. When everything was out of the house, except the big basket of goodies Jennifer had put out for the new owners to find …. we couldn’t find Nim.

Jen searched the house while I looked around the outside. Then Jen looked around the outside, while I looked in every cabinet, beside the fridge, stove, washer and dryer … every shelf in every closet, in the tub, in the toilet, under the sink, in the heater/blower closet … couldn’t find Nim. Darn cat.

We searched the storage-area on the patio. I walked the drainage ditch outside some more. It was dark. LA is hot. Too bad I don’t like to sweat in the LA heat at night–if I did–it would have been fun. Then I reopened the back of the U-Haul. Could she be in one of the boxes?

I listened, and listened again. Nothing. Shook a few boxes. Then Jen started telling me which ones looked like they might have a cat in it — I opened a few, we had to find the cat.

After a while I remembered something Sun Tzu said in the Art of War, “Become the tea-pot.” Or was that Bruce Lee? Either way, I asked my self, “Self, where would I hide if I were Nim and wanted no one, especially me, to find me.”

I went back inside and looked behind the dryer. Nothing. Then behind the washer. Nothing … no wait. It’s dark in there, but there was a whiter spot on the light-colored tile under the hoses … I hissed and goofy Nim looked up at me. One blue eye, and eye green. Darn cat. But Jen loves her. Its her cat.

So she has both her cats and all her stuff.

I’m going to load a couple of pictures with this letter. Not sure how many of you had met her before. She was busy with grad-school or work most of the time we’ve been living here.

Cindy is going to be with her for two-weeks to help her settle in. So that leaves me mostly alone at home. What to do?

I built a fort in the den with some old ammo-boxes and a parachute. Set up some reloading equipment, smoked a cigar while I watched 300, Patriot, and Dr. Strangelove. Checking out my green-laser sights on my AR-15 when I remembered it was almost the 11th of August.

Holy-cow, one of the Band of Brothers might beat me to the posting!

I rushed back to my office–spilling some popcorn along the way when I tripped over an ammo box, but that’s okay. I’ll get it in a week or so. Or Smokey will get it when we’re playing frisbee later.

Just kidding. Smokey doesn’t fetch. Darn dog. But I love him anyway. He’s my dog.

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