On A Break From Vacationing

The New House

Well, we made it back to Richmond late last night and were safely back at our jobs today. What was supposed to be a relaxing trip to Tennessee to help sort through some of Angela’s old things turned out to be a full on moving experience! We got most all of her parents’ things from the old house to the new one, though. This was in no small part due to the help of friends and family who came over to lend a lot of help. Jason Johnson and Kevin O’Mara earned more thanks than all of us could ever give them by showing up on very short notice and working very hard without complaint to move a lot of furniture. My mom and younger brother also spared some of their respective days off to come and lend a hand. Just knowing that you have people in your life that will help out like that really makes you realize how lucky you are. I know you heard it so much you probably thought it was a skipping record, but I just want to put in writing for all the internet to know: thank you all so much for your help. It meant so much to me, Angela, and my in-laws for you to put in hours of labor for us.

I learned something new about my wife that I honestly either didn’t know or just hadn’t been able to grasp what it meant until now. She owned more stuffed animals than a carnival ball toss booth. She wasn’t the kind of girl in college that kept them out on her bed during the day or anything, thank goodness. No, they had been hidden like Al Capone’s loot in the back of a never opened and thoroughly filled closet since she was a little girl. Upon rounding the corner one morning while carrying boxes, I saw what honestly made my draw drop: shelves from floor to ceiling of stuffed animals. There were Care Bears, My Little Pony, Cabbage Patch Dolls and Pound Puppies. She even had a stuffed Pac Man (although apparently my wife had completely forgotten the waka-waka Pac Man sound effect as she clearly demonstrated to me…). It was amazing. Sadly, no real photographic evidence was made of just how much stuff was stuffed on those shelves since there was too much sweating and cursing going on at the moment to make me want to find the camera. However, it was really an amazing sight.

While I had really hoped to get a lot more done at the new house in the way of lighting, fixtures, and arranging, most of the time in Cookeville was spent just hauling stuff. Dave and I did manage to get at least one ceiling fan installed in a guest bedroom (which will be known as the Angela suite for now on), but not without some trouble. We quickly got the old light fixture down and the new one up in it’s place, but in my haste I didn’t do a very good job of providing a solid wiring connection. In the process of getting the fan in place, one or both of the wires came loose and the fan of course then couldn’t work on an open circuit. Grumbling, Dave and I took it down and I got a good, sound connection at both wires. Hoping to be sure that this was just my poor wiring skills and not some sort of more difficult problem with wiring elsewhere or the fan itself, I decided to test the fan before actually getting everything put back together. There’s a reason that step is left out of the instructions. While the fan was hanging by the temporary hook which allows for some working room to connect wires, I flipped the switch. Well, an un-weighted fan gets to top speed very quickly and the mass of the fan motor pull the hook off of the ceiling mount in an instant. The motor weighed enough to pull itself free of even my now very substantial wire splice and came speeding straight down onto the bed below. While a very old mattress, there was plenty of bounce to pop the motor back up into the air and off of the bed onto the (very) hardwood floor below. The fan was moving a fairly good clip and the delicate brass metal and plastic relays stood little chance of surviving impact. In front of my brother and mom and in the span of about a second I went from triumphant electrical problem solver to a rather embarrassed brother, son, husband, and engineer. After a fairly short silence, Dave’s roaring laughter made us all feel a little bit better about just how hilarious what we had just watched was.

We quickly went over to Lowe’s and bought an identical fan and had the second up and working in less than ten minutes after getting back to the house. The lesson here: just wire it right in the first place and don’t try and test things in what are obviously stupid ways. Wait, that’s not even a lesson; that’s just plain common sense. Something that I would really regret having misplaced that afternoon were it not for just how really entertaining it was to watch that fan motor take flight.

The bad news after this trip, other than just how tired and sore Angela and I both are, was that we didn’t get to see my big brother or my Dad and his wife, Susan, at all. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t time for us to get to do a lot of the things we really wanted to during this trip because what had to be done took a lot of time. Anyway, we’ll have all that much more to enjoy come the Christmas holiday season and it sure was good to have the Dyers moved. I know their going to enjoy their new home and we’ll enjoy getting to visit.