2,867 Miles

california route  from Google Maps

We are moving to Irvine, California. It is a lovely city 2,867 driving miles from here. So says Google.

It is an easy route. That hasn’t always been the case.

Across the GWB, then Interstate 80. We’ll cross New Jersey then Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, before getting on Interstate 76 in Nebraska.

That’s 1,673 miles down. There’s still 1194 to go!

I-76 heads toward Denver where we’ll pick up I-70. Then under the Continental Divide in the Eisenhower Tunnel.

Past the Rockies the population gets very sparse. Between Green River and Salina, Utah, I-70 sets the record for longest distance on any Interstate between gas stations–110 miles! We’ll drive through an area known for its dinosaur finds, many exposed.

No one comes here by accident. Everyone’s just passing through. It’s places like this where you realize the Mountain West is mostly empty.

Next up I-15. I’ve driven this part before. Unusually ‘twisty’ for an Interstate. Mountain passes, then down in elevation and through the desert, past Las Vegas, all the way to Los Angeles. This part of the trip contains some of the ugliest land known to man!

Our new home is around 40 miles south, in Orange County.

It’s tough to say how many days, but my early guess is Tuesday departure, Sundayish arrival.

This will be an electronically aided drive. We’ll have a computer with cell service to the Internet, plus my cell phone. Helaine’s car has a few outlets. Batteries alone won’t be enough.

I even bought a cable to allow my phone to play into her car’s “AUX” channel. Pandora or virtually any radio station in the world… where there’s cell service.

We’d both like to log our progress. I’ll figure a way to digitally record that. Probably won’t post it real time, because it’s creepy enough with AT&T knowing where I am every moment of the day.

I plan on blogging during the trip, with photos and video. You are encouraged to read.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Google also calculates the driving time to SoCal: “In current traffic 43 hours.”

We Are All Tired!

DSC_2182I’m not sure it’s possible to express how tired I am… how tired we are. It’s 9:25 PM. Helaine went to bed around 8!

Doppler, who spent the day being praised and petted by strangers, is bushed too. She is currently in a state of suspended animation on the sofa to my right.

Tag sale day. Yikes!

DSC_2194The sale was to begin at 9:00 AM. My wake-up was at 4:40 AM when Helaine discovered the lawn sprinklers had fired. Uh oh.

Luckily, few things were hit or hurt. Still, who expects to be awakened for that? I went back to bed after assessing the situation with Helaine, but that kind of sleep is not the same.

Helaine, joined by next door neighbor Margie and friend (and Bentley’s mommy) Cheryl, were out before the official start time. The early bird predictions many of you made were for naught. There were a few before 9:00 AM, but no onslaught.

DSC_2198The first sale went to across-the-street neighbor, Joe.

I ambled out a few minutes after nine, cup of coffee in hand, as if I was an observer. That attitude quickly faded. From then until well after noon there was a steady rush of pickers.

DSC_2202We sold a lot, not everything. Much is being donated to a variety of charities. The rest hit the dumpster.

Helaine and I found that part therapeutic. It’s part of letting go. Twenty three years in this house. We have to let go!

Helaine rented fifteen industrial strength tables for the tag sale items. She’s very smart. Of course, it also meant 15 tables to knock down and carry at the end of the day.

DSC_2205Actually, most of what I remember from today has to do with carrying. That’s why I’m so physically spent.

It was great to meet those of you who came to say hello. I was touched by your kind words and how you remembered specific times I was part of your life.

People came with dogs. We love dogs. A majority of the dogs were small. Many resembled Doppler!

Every tag sale is different. This one was to save things we like, but can no longer use, and find them new homes. The money (as our prices reflected) was secondary.

In that regard… in all regards, the sale was a major success.

Our garage has been purged. Another step on-the-way to Tuesday’s move.

Thanks to Tom Powers for all the photos.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

From the no good deed goes unpunished file…

With a few days left before we drive off into the sunset, Helaine decided a tag sale was in order. As I’ve found out, we’ve accrued a boatload of stuff!

By 6:00 PM everything was out on the driveway, neatly displayed on the 15 tables Helaine rented.

Then came the text message. Rain on the radar! Seriously, Mother Nature? I thought we were friends.

Within a few minutes EVERYTHING was back in the garage.

We did get a little rain. Not much. It didn’t make any difference. Any rain was too much.

It’s all back outside now. We’re ready for our 9:00 AM kickoff.

My back will never be the same.

I Won’t Miss Snow


It’s pouring tonight! We’re in the midst of a rainy stretch in the Northeast. Connecticut is as green and lush as it ever gets.

Look out our back windows. Jungle!

It’s just a pain to deal with.

Friday morning is our normal trash pick-up. We’re ‘super users’ this week. Helaine and I carried trash out in the back of her SUV. Doppler came and supervised.

We’ve got a dumpster too. Don’t ask.

Many of you think we are moving where there’s no weather. Not so. There’s just less weather and it’s not as extreme.

Southern California has very noticeable dry and wet seasons. Summers are dry. It gets hot inland, mild closer to the coast. The Pacific’s reach inland is much greater than Long Island Sound’s influence here.

It seldom gets humid.

Winter is rainy season. Depending on how that goes, you get mud slides and/or brush fires.

People in California build in dangerous places, like on canyon walls, because they’re unbelievably beautiful. Homes that make you gasp. Fire danger is factored into your life.

I was never a lover of snow. Remember, while you were checking to see if work or school was closed, I was working. I drove in every storm. I’m a very good snow driver, though I have never been more scared than driving after the October snowstorm.

Beyond that, we haven’t mastered the science of snow. Yes, I can predict it’s coming, but there’s little skill with snowfall amounts. Forecasts are more accurate than ever before. Not enough.

It bothered me greatly I couldn’t be more accurate with snow amounts. If I could have worked longer, or studied more, I would have. It’s just beyond the current grasp of atmospheric science.

I won’t miss snow.

We Took Out An Ad On Craigslist

The house looks like a bomb went off! Stuff is everywhere. We quickly realized an interim step in packing is, “Holy crap what a mess!”

Parts of tonight’s dinner were served on Barbie paper plates. Does that give you an idea?

We’re moving with no furniture. Most is staying with the house.

What to do with the rest? We have a veritable lost and found after 23 years in this place.

Helaine has organized a tag sale for Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We’re selling household goods, lots of ties and some odds and ends of furniture. We even took out an ad on Craigslist.

I’ll admit it. It’s weird for me, someone who’s been in the public eye for decades, to mention our tag sale online. It seems the right thing to do.

I suspect some of you might come to say hi (no goodbyes, please). That’s fine. There’s no obligation to buy.

I have no idea how many people will come. In case there is a crowd, I ask you please be respectful of my neighbors and neighborhood.

See you Saturday. The weather will cooperate!

Tonight The Brook Is Loud

Doppler and I just took a walk outside. Skies are partly cloudy. The air is cool and refreshingly dry. There is a breeze, but not enough to rustle the leaves or cover the sound of Jepps Brook. Judging by Google, I am the main chronicler of Jepps Brook. It’s the tiny stream a few hundred […]

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What Makes A Home A Home

Our walls are bare. Our photos and artwork are sitting on the floor, waiting to be wrapped and boxed. It’s sad to see. I seriously had no clue there were this many individual pieces. This is the kind of thing that makes a house a home. Taking them down is another sign of what’s to […]

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When I Agree With Rand Paul

In the modern era I’m what’s called a progressive. I guess that’s because people are scared of saying, liberal. I answer to liberal too. With that in mind, it scares me I’m siding with Congressman Rand Paul, while simultaneously upset Bill O’Reilly hasn’t gone far enough! Strange bedfellows? Uh, yeah. We are all upset about […]

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Pictures From The New House

I’m not sure why she was there, but we’re thrilled Cousin Melissa drove by our new house today. “Ask her to take some pictures,” I yelled across to Helaine. What was a plot of dirt, then a framed shell, is nearing completion. The carpeting and flooring are down. Plants are going in outside. As construction […]

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Right Now We’re Deflating

Neither Helaine nor I remember moving into this house 23 years ago. That seems very strange considering the house is upside down with boxes nearly everywhere. How could there not be vivid memories of the last time? We will move. Right now we’re deflating! The refrigerator is as empty as I’ve ever seen it. Ditto […]

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