Saturday, July 14, 2007

Catching up

How to sum up the past week and a half? Overwhelming activity, travel, financial transactions and even a bit of danger.

I'm only now catching up chronicling the final leg of our journey -- St. Louis to Tuscaloosa. We finally have Internet access through a cable modem, and I'm going to be setting up new e-mail accounts for the family this weekend. Our new home no longer looks like a warehouse, and I've cooked five meals straight in our kitchen. So I guess we're settling in,

On July 4, we were in St. Louis, where Rachel, Don (Jennifer's dad) and I saw "Transformers." I thought the movie was better than expected up to a point. Shia LaBeouf and John Turturro were very funny (Turturro really belonged in another film), but the big blow-out battle at the end left me a little cold -- I couldn't tell one robot from another. Rachel liked it a lot. That night, we went to the entertaining north St. Louis County fireworks at a nearby park; we were perched on a hill from which we could see the downtown fireworks as well.

At 4:30 a.m. Thursday, Jennifer and I got in the car and headed south to Tuscaloosa for our 3 p.m. closing on our home. We found out that the closing in Reno went off July 3 without a hitch, so we were officially homeless. We drove through the dawn into Missouri's famous Bootheel. driving on I-55 along the Mississippi River. In Memphis, Jennifer's mother called to remind us we had forgotten to leave her a key to the Odyssey; Don and Dixie were going to drive the minivan to Memphis on Friday with the kids to visit Jennifer's aunt. Fortunately, we were driving by the airport, and we were able to FedEx a key to them in time to arrive Friday morning. One problem solved.

In Memphis, we headed south on a four-lane state highway (soon to be the I-22 corridor, signs kept telling us) through northern Mississippi and into Alabama. This area, the gentle foothills of the Appalachians, offered a pleasant drive. I wish we had had time to stop in Tupelo to see Elvis' birthplace, but we can do that on another trip. Just inside the Alabama border, we turned south on a two-lane highway, stopping for a break at Barbara's gas station and take-0ut (cheap greasy burgers and barbecue) and then moved through the forests north of Tuscaloosa.

We made it into Northport (Tuscaloosa's northern neighbor) at about 1 p.m., well ahead of our appointment. We decided to grab some lunch at a Krystal, which features sliders like White Castle. There we were greeted by an older woman who, apparently confused because an ambulance had just gone by, drove through the red light into the intersection and hit the left rear of our Accord. So we found ourselves sitting in the Krystal parking lot with the rear bumper of our car exposed. Fortunately, the car was drivable, so Jennifer and the other driver exchanged insurance information (I had been driving), talked to a police officer and then headed off on our errands. We were told that traffic lights in Tuscaloosa apparently are more guidelines than hard-and-fast rules, and people wait up to 30 seconds before going into intersections on green lights to let the traffic clear.

Anyway, we were on time to our closing. The women from the title company in Birmingham (long story) showed up, and we signed a bunch of documents. Of course, they didn't have my name on the warranty deed (sigh), but they send an amended version the next day. Then Jennifer and I headed to our new home, 1621 Teal Circle. After making sure it was still there, we went to dinner with the Sloans, a wonderful couple (the husband is a journalism professor at 'Bama), who then took us in to their beautiful home in Northport while we awaited the furniture.

More to come.

1 comment:

Forrest Hartman said...

I know this isn't a news story but good lead.

I had to read the whole thing to get to the "danger" part so I could read it aloud in the newsroom.

Hope all is well.