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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Gray Matters: Getting settled in

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When I first decided to move, I didn't set a specific time. I just said that I wanted to be in Cedar Rapids "before the snow flies." The packers, three very nice, and extremely efficient women from Sioux County, came one day to pack and label everything.

The next day two men arrived with the truck, loaded the boxes and my furniture, and headed off across the state. I left Cherokee County soon after with my daughter, Ann.

We arrived in Cedar Rapids late that afternoon. The next morning I awoke to find snow in the air. How's that for accuracy? I had made it just one day "before the snow flew."

I stayed with Ann that first night, but we were at my place early the next morning to supervise the unloading. The two movers were interesting fellows. The boss was a tall, very thin, black man, with a delightful sense of humor which Ann appreciated more than I did.

Between my impaired hearing and his southern drawl, I didn't always understand what he was saying. We were soon wondering how he was able to lift such heavy objects with such ease. He was living proof that muscles don't necessarily bulk up.

Originally from mild North Carolina, he spent a good bit of the time berating himself for settling in the cold upper mid-west! His young assistant seldom said a word, but he did reveal that he was saving up for college, hopefully next year.

All I can say is that he will arrive on campus in great physical shape. His job beats any body-building scheme of which I am aware.

As for the settling-in. It's partly done, but it will still take me a while to get oriented. I find myself reaching for a light switch that isn't there; opening a cupboard, positioned where I always held my cereal bowls, to find boxes of cereal instead. I expect many of you know, first-hand, what I'm experiencing. In our mobile society, practically everyone has moved more than I.

One friend, whose late husband was a partner in an accounting firm with branches around the world, told me in a phone conversation that she had moved twenty-two times. Only the fact that she lives on the West Coast kept me from summoning her to help me out.

My apartment is very pleasant. A staff member told me yesterday that I have one of the nicest views in the complex. It's out on a broad expanse of grass backed by thick-standing trees, some of the original woods, which are being taken out as development continues.

Washington High School is nearby, so if I choose, I can watch the kids coming and going. Most I see are Black or Latino. It turns out that these kids all come by city bus, and the bus-stop is just beyond my view.

The majority of the Anglo kids come by car, and the parking lot is accessed from the other side. A sort of societal discrimination, you might say!

Oh, Oh...there's a knock on my door. The man to install my blinds is here. When the maintenance fellow called to tell me of his arrival, he said, "I wanted to tell you that "the blind man is here." Then he laughed and said, "That didn't come out right, did it?"

That remark is just one further reason I think I'm going to like it here. You know how I enjoy being around people blessed with good senses of humor.