While enjoying a perfectly lovely lunch at Bluewater this past Thursday with Katie, Sherry and my friend Wayne, I placed my Motorola Razr Phone on the table. It was warm out and the scenery was beautiful as it always is on Wrightsville Beach, however, while we were dining, something happened: Condensation was the culprit. The sad truth is that my Razr got soaked from the drops of water that slipped off our iced tea glasses and onto the table, pooling around my cell phone. Corrosion occurred and that's never a good thing. My phone was rendered dysfunctional. Don't you just hate it when that happens?
What I hated even more is that this necessitated a trip to Alltel which can take longer than time spent in a dentist's chair leisurely enduring a root canal.
My recent visit on Friday took three hours. Not fun. That said, it was cheaper than a root canal.
Naturally, I had to decide on a new phone and I am now the proud owner of a Blackberry Pearl. I'll pause at this point for you to be suitably impressed.
You should be finished by now. I'm trying not to let it change me too much, but it's pretty heady. At some point, I even plan on understanding the applications and what this phone can and cannot do. Any phone that comes with software and it's own USB cable definitely has my attention and maybe even a modicum of my respect. I am not intimidated though - I'd never give it the pleasure of seeing me sweat - I cooly eye it in a kind of "you think you're so smart?" sort of way. With a little applied logic and a few mumbled obscenities, I generally figure things out. It's good to have a system.
Unfortunately, Alltel couldn't transfer my stored contacts to my spiffy new ultra cool blackberry. The next best option was that the young man who took care of me, I'll call him "Larry", as that is what his name tag suggested, would e-mail my contacts to me. True to his word, Larry did e-mail me, however I am sad to report that my contacts were not attached. Where my plethora of contacts are is anybody's guess. My alltel rep took my broken former cell phone and I left without it believing I would see my contacts in an e-mail. I am not happy about this, as you might imagine. Larry, if you're reading this, I'm still waiting. I'm becoming impatient.
I am not, admittedly, a person who enjoys spending a great amount of time on the phone, but I do have a circle of friends that I enjoy keeping up with and I have no idea what their cell phone numbers are. I assign names to my contacts and never took the time to remember their numbers. DUH!
So here is my request. If you are someone that I enjoy a friendship with and we have talked in the past year, I would appreciate it if you would e-mail me your phone number so that I can store it in my new phone. I had a rather large cell phone contact list and I have cordial relations with 99% of my formerly stored contacts. You know who you are.
The other 1% (and you know who you are) were stored in there as well so that I could avoid taking calls from the handful of people I don't really have any interest in talking with and it makes it easier to ignore the call if I know who it is that's calling me. I lost those numbers and "warnings" as well, but if you're reading this and feel you are probably in that 1% portion of stored contacts that I avoid answering - no need to send me your phone number. By the way, if you are in that 1% selection, why in the world are you even reading this anyway? It might be something for you to think about.
Now, on a more positive note, my 'preferred contact list' includes good friends such as Sally, Amy, Rick E., Tim, Steve K., Michel, Mike F., Sharon, Billie, Tom F., Kathleen C., Tom and Myra, Susan and Don B., Alistair N., Ruth J., Jimi Z., Jason M., Mary Ann M., Erik R., Bruce B., Nina G., David C., Cheyenne W., Bobbi L., Glen E., David R., Fast Eddie B., Jules L., Mitch N., and a few more that aren't springing to mind at the moment. If you are on this list, PLEASE e-mail me your cell phone number so I can get you back in your proper "stored" position. I would say call me, but I have a real aversion to answering my phone when I'm unsure who is calling me, but I am finding it necessary at this time and frankly I do it with great trepidation because there are some people who I don't really want to get stuck on the phone with for an hour or so and I don't say that to be unkind, it's just the truth. Of course, I have the essentials - my parents, Katie, Justin, Pizza Hut Delivery, Papa John's, CVS, Dr. B., and Salon Beyond Basics.
Note to Michel in France - when you called Thursday, (in addition to driving, drinking tea and being newly reblonded but you have ridden enough with me to understand that), I was completely unable to answer the call because, while I could hear that someone was ringing in, I couldn't push my own answer button. It was frustrating because I could see it was you calling, but I just couldn't answer the call! Call me back this week so I can store your number and catch up!
I am happy to report that my air conditioning is a cool running machine and I am so grateful to Tom for dropping in last Saturday Night and making some logical suggestions and also to Jason for spending most of last Sunday charging it with freon and working so hard to repair it. It is a great thing to have fine friends and I am richly blessed in that department.
Now, as to the swimming pool, it is still a work in progress, but I believe progress is being made. Pool Specialists came out and are trying to affect a repair of a leak in one of my returns. We're waiting to see if their remedy worked. It's swimming season and I'm in need of some aqua therapy!
We enjoyed a wonderful week with Katie in town. Right after I arrived home from work on Monday, Katie and Justin's dad, Tim, pulled in the driveway and, soon after, Justin walked in. It was great having everyone in my kitchen and catching up.
Monday Evening, Justin prepared dinner for his Dad and Katie in his new apartment and they had a wonderful time being together. When these kids grow up, it's a special treat to get everyone in the same town at the same time and this was a golden opportunity. Tim looked great - I hadn't seen him in something like four years.
After the kids and Tim headed for Justin's apartment, I was able to make my home group Monday Evening and I had a warm and wonderful time reconnecting with my homies and finding out what everyone has been up to. I enjoyed sitting next to my buddy Steve even if he did poke me to introduce myself as a visitor, given how long it had been since I'd visited Rule 62. It was a very special meeting. But then again, I've never been to one that wasn't.
Tuesday Evening, Tim graciously invited me to join him and the kids for dinner at The Oceanic. Katie and I met them at the restaurant around 7:00 (I had already scheduled a trim and re-blonding and it's hard to get appointments!) and we had a really nice evening. It was most generous and kind of Tim to include me as the last time we'd all had dinner was quite a few years ago and under completely different circumstances. The meal was great but the company was even more fun and of course, we took photos before we left the restaurant. It's so strange to imagine these kids are all grown up. Though we have parented from two distant cities as Katie and Justin were growing up, Tim and I both affirmed that we had been blessed and were quite pleased with who Katie and Justin have grown into being. We relived some sweet memories, laughed a great deal and I couldn't have been more proud and even more grateful that we are all close and care about each other as we do. That is a priceless blessing for sure. Such a "GOD" thing. Powerful!
On Wednesday, Tim returned to West Virginia, where he is working hard in preparation of opening up a Direct Buy Store in Cross Lanes. It's a HUGE project and an exciting time for him and, as it turns out, it's going to be an exciting time for Katie and Justin. I was shocked to find out that Tim had extended an invitation to Justin to join him in this new venture. It looks as if Justin will not be lingering long in his new apartment because his father is going to buy him out of his lease and move both he and Stephanie to Charleston to work with him. Not to be left out, it would seem as if Katie is going to work remotely from NYC for her Dad as well. So I guess you could deduce that I was out with one seasoned entrepreneur and two budding aspirants on Tuesday at dinner.
I'm telling you, it was a big news week!
Naturally, this is going to be a big adjustment for everyone, but it's a crazy fantastic opportunity for Justin and Katie. It is going to be the first time that my son has moved away on his own big time. Gulp! My gosh, I'm going to miss him like crazy, as are his grandparents, but there is no way he could or should turn down a chance like this. I guess I might have to actually make a trip north to Charleston at some point in the future and, to be honest, I've never missed West Virginia for two-seconds, but now I'll have family there and I guess I'll be buying some Dramamine at some point for those twisty roads in order to visit my son. He's worth it.
Thursday was hectic. Sherry very kindly gave me the day off so that Katie and I could cram as much time as possible on her last day here. We had lunch at Bluewater with Sherry and our new friend Wayne (a native of "that" state), and then we went shopping and hung out until it was time to drive to Fayetteville late Thursday Night for Katie to make her 1:00 AM train that would deliver her back to Manhattan and John. As you can imagine, I was dreading the goodbyes.
Fortunately, Wayne kindly offered to drive us to the train station and, because of the late hour of departure, I was happy to accept his invitation. Wayne made a great chauffeur but unfortunately, he didn't get lost and we did arrive at the Amtrack Station in Fayetteville in plenty of time for Katie to make her connection. It was hard to say goodbye. It always is, but Wayne was great at keeping the mood light so it wasn't a tear fest by any stretch of the imagination. I behaved but I hugged her quite a few times. Hey, we had a delightful week together and she's happy, healthy and doing so well and her life is now in Manhattan with John and their two cats. I am just so proud of her even if she did have to grow up and move away from home and get all independent on me. It happens.
Except for a small detour around Clinton on the way home, Wayne expertly navigated us back home and I arrived back in Wilmington a little before 4:00 AM. With Justin now moved out, this house has expanded and grown obscenely quiet. Cassie welcomed me back inside and I made my way to bed. Katie sent me some funny text messages on her trip north (my phone could receive text messages even in its altered state). I smiled with every one she sent. And after a couple of minutes, I just wanted to cry again because I missed her so terribly. I still do. Indeed I do.
Friday Morning Katie arrived back in NYC and I sat at my desk and relived the week and wondered how it is that time flies so fast when she's home yet seems to crawl between visits with this sprite of mine. I don't know how that works, but it's painfully true and unfortunately reliable. Oh well, they come, they grow and then they go. It's life. It's good stuff (yeah, right). Life goes on for all of us and the sun still shines.
I went into work for a while yesterday and then hit Barnes and Noble because a book or two are the recommended treatment for the post-Katie blues. After that, my friend kindly treated me to dinner at The Bridge Tender and it was scrumptious. After dinner we went outside and sat by the ICW and traded West Virginia stories. In fact, we closed the restaurant! I got home about 2:00 AM - still stuffed but otherwise in good shape.
So that's all the news that's fit to print! I miss Katie and I'm already in preparation to miss Justin in a couple of months. I like to get ahead of schedule on a few things and realizing my baby is going to be way way out of town will be a challenge for me. However, what a comfort it is to know he's going to be working alongside his father, learning so much and getting to know Tim even better. He'll be well taken care of and in very good hands and of this I have no doubt.
Transitions are happening everywhere and I feel like I'm caught up in this wild vortex, but these are positive changes although I reserve the right for a little maternal sadness now and then. I'm sure we'll survive these relocations and have new stories to share when we do get together about life, adventures and living our collective lives in different cities, yet inextricably intertwined by the love that binds us all.
Note to self: I need a sailboat...this house is really too quiet. My kids have either flown the coop or are in the process of filing flight plans. It's time to take to the sea.
I've just got to find a boat with a ship-shape guy.
(Karen - yes, you Karen G. - I'm assigning this project to you. I'll expect full and detailed reports on your much anticipated and expected progress :-)