Saturday, May 26, 2012

Going Home Again - Part Two

Now Playing -  Stuff That Works by Guy Clark
Life -  
 Man, it was odd driving back into Pocatello after two years. Poky is one of those quintessentially Western places that was started back in the wild days, boomed with the railroad, stayed expanding for a while, saw a few hiccups of growth with a college and few other amenities and started a gradually declining retirement in the recent past. Regardless of how long we've been gone, the town looks essentially the same. Maybe a few new stores in old buildings or a few less stores in others, but nothing too dramatic. Linz and I were both born and raised there and driving into the valley it was a little bittersweet.

The first day we were pretty exhausted, all we really did was say goodbye to my aunt and mom and lug our suitcases into the basement of my in-laws; Rich and Sue. We would be taking control of their basement for the duration.

The next day, we were up bright and early to pick up my brother from his job and go get doughnuts for breakfast. We went to a newer place called "The Doughnut  - Home of the original spudnut" It's run by a talented cook that used to run a restaurant in a different part of town that featured African foods, oddly. (He's also the owner of the house two down from the one we own and lived in in Poky and had no recognition of us when he saw us)

Great doughnuts though. Fluffy but filling without too much thick glazing and sweetness like they have out here in the East. We chatted with the family for a bit, played with my mom's new pup, a rescued 5 year old Puggle (Pug Beagle) named Morrie then turned our attention to the big task of the day - the locked shed out back. The one with all of our clothes, toys, books, decor, kitchen stuff and assorted detritus from 5 years of living in the house before we rented it to my mom and brother.

We feared the worst when we cracked the doors. Rain leaking, snow damage, sun warping, mice, cats, chupacabras. Happily, apart from some very slight water damage on the tops of two boxes below some apparently very slight drips, everything was  in the same condition from when we left it two and a half years ago. One of the benefits of living in a nice, dry, airy climate, I suppose.

But it didn't mean our work was done. We still had to open every box and make some hard choices. Though we have a long term plan, not more than a small portion of the stuff was coming back with us to Maine and some of it should never have been packed in the first place. (We packed in a bit of a hurry initially and were unsure how long some of it would be packed for.)

Going through everything we'd left behind and had been missing for that long was a lot harder than we'd thought. Some was easy - Box of old spices? Trash! Pants too big for me now that I'd kept for when I was skinny enough when I left? Trash!

Some was very hard, mostly because I desperately miss my books and art supplies. I miss our library and room of DVDs. To say nothing of the three totes of assorted Legos. I ended up breaking down and packing my beloved and much missed sculpting tools that I hadn't been able to adequately replace out here and a few choice items like a Lego set and a few of my good knives.

A lot went into the Yard Sale Pile too, especially a good sized chunk of paperback books - fantasy by authors I used to like and hadn't read for three years before we moved (Piers Anthony) and fiction that I'd since bought in hardback. I also took a few photos of authors that I plan to download digital copies out here because I miss their novels.

At the same time we were rummaging around in the shed, my mom was doing the same to shed #2, which was primarily stocked with items planned for a yard sale last time  we were sorting and packing. It was a long day, but successful. Filled a dumpster, got a huge stack of stuff to sell and a large pile of stuff to continue missing.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Going Home Again Part One

Now Playing -  Hold You In My Arms by Ray LaMontagne
Life -  
Smothered Mushroom and Jack Enchilada from The Red Iguana
 Since we moved out to Maine, we'd only been back to our home town of Pocatello, Idaho one time, and that was just to buy a car, load it with essentials and pets and drive back to Maine. That was about two years ago, so we finally decided the time was right to head back to Big Potato Country and see our friends and family left behind.

We also left a large portion of our worldly possessions in assorted storage locations throughout the city and we needed to check up on them - make sure they were still safe, go through them for a few essentials we were missing and have a yard sale to get rid of a few we could live without.

Did I mention the Mexican food? We planned to eat a lot of REAL Mexican food, the one thing that above all else, Maine is lacking.

It was not a vacation at all, unfortunately, but we're glad we went. Flying out was about as much fun as you can expect from 10 hours of flying with the worst seats in the plane that was also the longest leg. I spent the time reading a novel about an EMP pulse that knocked out all electricity in the US, sending planes plummeting to their destruction. (ONE SECOND AFTER by William Forstchen) and trying not to overflow too dramatically into my seatmate's personal space. Economy class flight is not that pleasant for a 280 pound man. On our way out the first time, we were lucky enough to fly Jet Blue, a carrier that does a good job of making the flight pleasant. Delta, not so much. Watery cup of soda and .2 ounces of peanuts aside, the planes had no amenities worth mentioning, though the attendants were very nice and friendly. I really do wonder if the cans of soda they offer are heated or if the ice is a quick melt variety to get that perfect level of watery bleah between the cart and your hand. (I have heard high elevations affect taste buds so that could be part of it, maybe it affects carbonation and melting too?)

I tried to wave to North Dakota on the way, but I think some bald man in Kansas ended up being the recipient, alas.

My mom and aunt picked us up in Salt Lake City, Utah (Or, as some clever new shirts abbreviate it - SL,UT) Linz had picked out a small restaurant a few minutes from the airport - Red Iguana. IN a tiny building, behind a door covered in stickers for bands and causes (I wish I'd brought a Sasquatch to add) was some very excellent food. Some traditional and some funky, we really enjoyed the place.

I had forgotten how much I missed seeing mountains filling the background of our lives until stepping out of the restaurant and looking up at the crags surrounding the Salt Lake City Valley. Gorgeous.

Full of Mexican and packing our first of many leftover boxes of the trip, we piled into my mom's bright yellow Ford and headed to Idaho, three hours to the North.