Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2001

New editor’s life changes in a day

August 9, 2001

Two weeks ago, Laura and I spent a Friday morning signing papers to close on our new home in Baldwin.

Three hours after indenturing myself to the bank for the next 20 years, I was sitting in front of another desk, accepting an offer to become editor of The De Soto Explorer and Eudora News. As I did, an unbidden thought came to me: marriage is one of the few life-altering events that isn't negotiated across a desktop.

The timing of the two events was awkward. I needed to improve my computer skills and address organization matters before starting the new position, but the tasks of moving and initial remodeling totally occupied my consciousness and my time.

After our last move, Laura and I swore the next time we would hire professionals. But as moving day approached, we agreed we were up to the chore one last time. It was, after all, only a move of eight blocks.

We once again enlisted the help of my brother, who has the qualities of strength, humor and patience that make him perfect for the job. A bachelor and a teacher, he also has the free time to help in our summer moves.

Five years ago, the late June weekend we chose to move was hottest in a relatively mild summer. Two years later, our July moving day was an ordeal. But this year set the standard. The heat and humidity made it difficult for me to obey the no-bickering ground rules my brother established on his arrival.

Because of a trip to pick up a rental truck (with the words "air conditioning" incorrectly printed on its doors), we missed last Monday's cooler early morning hours.

It was past noon when we started to load the large objects. It was the part of the move I dreaded, but I figured once the sofa, refrigerator, washing machine and (the horrors) the piano were moved, the rest of the job will be a piece of cake.

With the exception of the piano, the large furniture moved with few problems. I then rediscovered the real task of moving is the seemingly never-ending chore of relocating all the boxes of clothing, books, bedding, silverware, china and all manner of strange things bought because they were on sale. Never once when I was adding to that collection did I think of the misery the purchase would bring some hot and humid mid-summer day.

The move afforded us with an excellent inventory of our folly. To our surprise, Christmas decorations alone filled a pickup bed. Having loaded them in trash bags, I know Laura owns more than eight gallons of shoes. My shoes checked in at a respectable three gallons.

The move was finally finished last Wednesday and by Saturday our new home was becoming livable. At that time, I began to think of my professional transition.

I expect headaches the first week, but I'm confident that transition will not be as exhausting as the move to my new home. I inherit a strong staff and have a knowledgeable immediate superior.

I might attempt to lug a 1,000-pound piano through narrow doors with fellow amateurs, but I wouldn't try to produce a paper without the help of professionals. The heat from angry readers would be far more unbearable than what we experienced last week

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