Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beginning a new chapter ...

(Editor's Note: With apology to our readers: the following item was to have been published on May 1st.)

We are settled at last in the new digs at ground level, and wish we'd done all this much sooner.  The only boxes left are those containing material for the shredder, so we are finally able to relax and get on with our lives as before the disruption.  I am comfortable in the kitchen once again, cooking and baking as I please, when I please.    

Buck and I had only one disagreement during the move, and it was because of this:

This behemoth belonged to Buck's father who purchased it in 1955.  Yes.  That's not a typo. 1955. It's a remarkably sturdy RCA color set that performed flawlessly during all the ensuing years, never in all that time requiring a repairman's services.  Did I just hear someone say "They don't build 'em like that anymore"?  But then, much like Hal's dying gasps in "2001 A Space Odyssey", the picture lost clarity even with the aid of cable tv and hi-def.  I wanted to chuck it, but Buck's strong sentimental attachment to it and sharing moments watching the Red Sox or the Celtics with his Dad proved the winning argument.  The set now sits in a corner of the bedroom, adding a unique decorative touch and covered with a protective sheet. 

I keep all my favorite authors' works grouped together on the shelf. It's so much easier to quickly lay my hand on any Hemingway, say, or a much-loved Austin.  Much to my dismay, every book lost its shelf mate during the move from the top floor of this building to this exact configuration at ground level.  As I've written (see "Upstairs Downstairs", April 3, 2013), it was a most arduous task which consumed all of March and April, and no less demanding than if we'd planned a move to Anchorage.  Let me explain how my carefully arranged library became a topsy-turvy, upside down, helter-skelter toss pot:

The movers were three burly sorts who began the work at 8 AM on the morning of March 16th.  They scooped armfuls of books, carried them hastily down three flights, deposited the books in the middle of the floor, ran back up the stairs, and repeated the process until both walls of books were transferred.  Then they took down the shelves, the brackets and the strips which held the shelves. They flung themselves up and down all morning with these items plus the large "entertainment center" consisting of drawers brimming to capacity with cds, dvds, vcrs, some vinyl, the flat screen tv and cable box trailing wires and connective devices. 

At approximately 5 PM, they summoned me downstairs to view their handy work.  Strips, brackets, shelves, drawers and books all back in place.  I was quite overwhelmed to gaze upon the wonder of it all.  Only a day or so later did I discover their efficient and speedy method of transporting the books had scattered my authors to the far corners.

I was surprised to find Dickens wedged between Doris Lessing and Alice Munro, Alan Bennett cozily nestled beside Betty Friedan, and John Updike on top of Eudora Welty (picture that if you can).  Some authors probably should remain intimately enjoined: I like the idea of Charles Mingus and Norman Mailer side by side because of their well-known pugilistic tendencies, and Saul Bellow and books about Frank Sinatra are also a good match, with their muscular, swaggering ways with words.  "My kinda town, Chicago is ..." 

As soon as I am able, photographs of the new place will be published here because Architectural Digest hasn't yet returned our calls. 

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