Thursday, September 16, 2010

Moving Days

The title of this post has taken on a grim irony. I wrote it almost 3 weeks ago then let it sit, stalled by a combination of moving, being very busy at work, and my lack of experience transferring usable photos to the Internet.

A couple of days ago, a friend emailed and asked if the killing of a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho affected my plans. My response was, “What killing!?” I had not heard. That’s how busy I’ve been. I hadn’t checked Lesotho blogs in days and obviously hadn’t listened or read deeply enough into the news of the day.  I have read them now. The Peace Corps community in Lesotho is grieving, and I grieve with them. It sounds as if it was one of those senseless random acts of violence that could occur anywhere. The shooting occurred in an apparent robbery attempt, and the police have arrested two men in connection with the crime. Peace Corps is providing counseling and support to the other volunteers.

Has it affected my plans? No. But it reminds me again of the fickleness of fate and the need to make each day count. All the more reason to go.

Now to my previously written post:

September 31--

I spent the last two days with my younger son, Joe, moving. Joe’s a junior at Western Michigan University. On the first day we moved him into his first apartment down in Kalamazoo. The timing was fortuitous, since he was able to take anything he needed from my place to help him get his start. That, supplemented with a few things from his mom’s, and his place lacks for little.

But getting it there! His is one of four apartments in a subdivided house. And it’s on the second floor. Steep stairs. Lots of trips with a full load. By the end of the day, exhaustion.

Over coffee with my friend Ed on Sunday morning I was complaining (or bragging?) about how sore I was.

He said, “I’ll bet you know how many…”

“How many what?”


“Not really.”

He looked at me appraisingly, as if perhaps he’d overestimated me. “I always know how many stairs there are,” he said, and proceeded to rattle off how many stairs and landings in each staircase in his home.

So now I know there is a new way to classify people – those who count stairs and those who don’t. But what does that mean about me? Am I, who prides himself on being observant, really that unobservant? Or am I just unobservant when it comes to stairs? And what does it say about Ed? Is he really that observant? Or is he just a little OCD? Deep questions.

But back to moving. On the next day, Joe helped me move some of my belongings to a storage area. Then it was a process of donating or dumping the rest. My apartment is empty.

I’ve pared my belongings down to not much more than I’ll take to Africa with me. For the rest of my time in the States, I’ll be living and commuting from my vacation home on Lake Michigan, about 45 minutes away.

So one of the three big steps is done. Now I should be able to focus on my job – wrapping up my end of it and handing it over to my successor – and on the details of preparing for departure.

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