Learning the Facts of Life
the hard way
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December 24, 2004

After the little ceremony, it was just a matter of finishing my outprocessing, getting all of my things ready to be shipped or stored, and nothing else. On December 21 and 22, the moving company showed up, and for hours at a time, cleaned out my furniture and most of my other belongings, while the watchdog Gizmo, sat on their laps, licked their faces, and begged to be petted. Some watch dog. I even reminded him,"Gizmo--strangers are carrying our stuff away--do something!" My boss, Don Alexander let Ken and I borrow a folding chair and a television from 21-23 December.

Later that day, with my only communication to the outside world being a phone, Mom called and said there was a snowstorm in Evansville, and it was a big one. I've heard it called a 100-year storm. Evansville set an all-time record of 19.3 inches, the most snow ever in a single day. Interstate 64 was closed for three days, leaving hundreds stranded and forcing Indiana to call out the National Guard to assist. Interstate 64 was also the road I took from Virginia to Indiana, so I was stuck.

Ken left on the 23rd, and was nice enough to take my old, larger, heavier computer to my mother's house (he drove within 20 miles of her on his way back to O'Fallon, IL).

Christmas Eve was spent cleaning. I passed a few trunk-loads of things to the Goodwill with Gizmo in the trunk--I couldn't restrain him while I was unloading the car, so I left him in there for five minutes. He was okay. Then I phoned Mom and told her I would leave on Christmas Day, snow or not. If I ran into bad weather, I'd head south and try to go around it, but frankly, two days in an empty house would push me over the insanity barrier.

I was emotionally delicate--angry, scared and sad at the same time. Angry because I'd lost my faith in people, sad because I had no where to call home, and scared because I was afraid I'd find a hole and rot away, or be hurt so badly by another friend that I'd do myself in. But on December 24th, I was safe from that.

I phoned my neighbor, Heather P., and told her the house was empty,

Bachelor Pad>>>

Racial Harmony>>>

Turn your head and cough>>>

and Gizmo was depressed because he didn't know what was going on. She had plans with her family that night, and offered to let me use her house for a few hours, and help myself to her DVD's and dogs. I accepted, and Gizmo had one last romp with Winston (boy-white), Frazier (boy-black) and Elsa (gigantic female dog). Elsa made me nervous because of her size, but she was quite fond of getting in my face and just looking at me from about an inch away. It was a very nice, and very appreciated gesture from Heather. Gizmo tried some unmentionable mating acts on Frazier, but it was all fun for the rest of us. Below, we see Gizmo and Frazier playing...uhhh...looks like the doggy version of telephone.

Sadly, Elsa and Frazier passed away in 2006. Elsa does her best Richard Nixon impression>>>

Deliverance, canine style>>>