Thursday, July 1, 2010

getting from here to there

is fairly easy. All you have to do is check one of the airline booking agencies once you've decided when to go, then choose whatever connections appear easiest. They let you decide whether to ride up front in the big fat seats or in back where you may be less comfortable but won't have to put up with the nauseating stench of expensive cologne and filets mignon.

There are no new drawings or paintings to show and not because my work table has been covered in forms and legal documents, although that's been true as well, but because my mind has been full of such stuff. Over the past 8 months neither the Canadian nor the American governments have been a cause of delay. It's all been about the attorney, Phlegmatic Q. Stupor, taking a lot of time in his process with a few intermittent questions and weeks going by before he sent a few more. Our most recent concern was when he didn't send the documents for our signatures as promised. When we called to inquire he had his secretary, Ms Longsuffering, tell us lies about important conference calls. I mean, just how much crime and international intrigue could be happening in Halifax, NS? I guess we made a mistake hiring a firm called 'Apathetic, Dawdling and Idle'. Next time we'll know better. The papers finally arrived 10 days late and we only had to correct half a dozen of them so it all worked out.

Another pile of papers relate to our retirement income. Pension claim documents are lengthy and complicated affairs that contain all sorts of niggling details about paying taxes, post mortem spousal benefits, financial planning etc. Considering what we can expect to receive all of it is laughable even though it must be signed and documented.

Cleaning out our storage locker made the people at a local record exchange very happy when they got 8 cases of free cd's. Most of the stored books and movies went to Goodwill which left us with not too much to carry home. Since then we've been visited by representatives of a couple of large moving companies and are in the process of choosing one that's familiar with the complexities of moving stuff across borders. I politely refused their offers to pack everything including my underwear but they'd be happy to transport our little car.

We expect to be homeless (not having your belongings handy being our definition) for 10-12 days while the stuff travels so we have a decision to make whether to fly directly to Halifax and hang out while we wait or to have an adventure and drive ourselves the 4300 miles between here and there. I do know that neither of us ever wants to drive through the factory pig farm countryside of Iowa again, which is where Rte 87 goes. It's also true neither one of us enjoys flying anymore. That means our likely plan would be to drive the northerly route through Fargo, ND to Winnipeg where we could link up with the Trans-Canada Hwy for the rest of the drive.

Our 94 Geo Tracker has low mileage and has visited her mechanics often enough that driving ourselves may be the way to go. She (Fuschia) won't be the most comfortable ride but I'm sure she'd be happy to take us over the Cascades, through the Rockies and across the Great Plains to the Great Lakes and beyond to the Atlantic.

It might be fun but we're still mulling it over. Meanwhile, perhaps I need to go for a walk and look for a few stones that need a ride back.

¿ ✈


Liberality said...

I know you have been busy but I must say I miss your presence in the blogospere. It's funny how I feel so attached to you but I don't even know you, not really. Not in the meat world anyway.

Good luck in all your endeavors and I believe the trip in the tracker you outlined is the way to go.

The airport is expanding out where we live and the airplanes drive me crazy. They are loud and constant Fed Ex jets that have me mighty fed up.

Anonymous said...

If it were me, I'd make the drive...avoiding the pig farm route, of course. I love road trips, as long as I can take my time. I'm looking forward to my husband retiring so we can do just that, just pack up the car and go to wherever our hearts desire. We've got a few more years before we can do that, and God willing I'll be around long enough to do it!


La Belette Rouge said...

I am so happy that you aren't going before I get to you. And, hey, how is Crow getting there. He is going, isn't he?

susan said...

liberality - It's nice to know you missed me when the blog went quiet since I don't expect anyone to pay much attention to my posts. I keep them up because I feel they're my entrance fee to blogtopia :-) I expect I'll be back a bit more often now the worst is over. Of course we're friends here and would be if we met too.

nunly - Damn, our eyes still tear up at the very suggestion of miles and miles of that horrible ammonia and fecal stench. I think we were half way through South Dakota before the inside of the car smelled normal. We're retiring a bit early because we've had enough and would rather do more interesting things with our time. I'm sure you would too.

belette - I'm so glad you're coming before we get going. Synchronicity strikes again :-) Crow is, of course, flying on ahead to scout out the route for us.

MRMacrum said...

From the little time I have been knowing you through your blog, it makes sense you would be going against the normal flow of American migration routes. I too went the other way. Born in the West, I found the NorthEast to be where my soul felt the most comfortable.

If I were to suggest a route, I would say catch the Trans-Canadian Hwy sooner than Fargo. The Canadian Rockies are pretty cool.

Good luck.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Susan
Your descriptions about the immigration legalities are quite amusing but no doubt equally frustrating.
I guess you may enjoy most of the journey by car eventually through some fabulous scenery which could be the equivalent of a nice holiday although that is an awful lot of driving.
So I guess you will mull it over and come up with the decision that best suits you.

But the flight over would only take you about 8 hours to Halifax? - presumably you’re able to listen to nice music of your choice or watch a movie wherever seated or read a book and so on so the time soon flies by – please excuse the pun ! unless you loathe flying !
Best wishes

Nancy said...

I think the drive would be wonderful. We've had many drives back and forth between the West and Midwest and have always enjoyed them, especially if you can take your time. Driving to Halifax would be very interesting, I think, minus the factory farming. :-(
What a great adventure.

susan said...

mrmacrum - This will be my fourth time moving cross continent. In 72 it was Montreal to Vancouver BC by train, in 77 Vancouver to Providence RI by plane, in 93 we drove from Providence to Portland OR and now it's to be Halifax NS by car. I know the Canadian Rockies are beautiful but we'll have mountains to cross on either side of the border and want to give the car a bit of a break if we can.

lindsay - You're right that it's an awful lot of driving but in fact, we do loathe flying these days. I know that living in Australia flying is the only way of getting across huge distances in the country, never mind outside it. Besides, we have a friend or two we can stop in and visit on the way which will make the transition that much more agreeable.

All the best

nancy - Considering we were just quoted an enormous price for shipping the car, driving there ourselves and spending our nights in good hotels just became a much more viable option. Besides, as you say, it will be interesting and fun too. The distance is so much more conceptually real when you've traversed it at a lower speed.

marja-leena said...

It's quite a trip indeed, but one that sounds much better than flying to me! I'd love to do a cross continent driving trip some day, in our retirement perhaps, but with lots of time allowed to stop and see the sights and visit a few folk. Wish you all the best in the next weeks of getting ready, with no more glitches with paperwork.

Lisa said...

I love the idea of the drive. Your take on the lawyers made me laugh. Sounds like the same tactics employed by our lawyer Biff Random.

Seraphine said...

it makes me wonder how many pairs of underwear you have, to attract the interest of whole moving companies?

linda said...

firstly, love that little plane down below with hesitant question mark and secondly, i think, if you feel you can sit and do that drive, that is the way to beautiful is that country?? i have heard so many people just rave of everything so gorgeous all along the way....i suppose you could go by train, leisurely but expensively as well, i suspect....i don't know but it is certainly an adventure and HAS BEEN one as well....i hope the rest of this goes smoothly and wonderfully and ends with you both happily HOME up in the land of snows ;)

as always, susan, thank you for such a lovely comment today, your words mean so much to me and always you speak volumes more than you actually type into word forms.

susan said...

marja-leena - Yes, a long time ago we crossed Canada by rail (Montreal to Vancouver) and in 1993 drove to Portland from Providence. I think you and your husband would love a journey of that kind.

lisa - Hah! Decades ago I was given the choice of working in law or medicine and chose the lesser of two evils :-)

sera - Maybe enough to stretch from here to Chicago but not much more. It's weird to have someone come in and look through your closets and hearing myself say, 'There's nothing in my drawers to interest you'.

linda - You're correct that 4300 miles done at about 8 hours a day is a lot of sitting. Last time we did it in 5 days and after Salt Lake City my muscles cramped just looking at the car. We thought about the train but it's too expensive and besides, they won't put the car on a flatbed so she can travel with us. So we'll drive ourselves and take a bit more time doing so. It really is an amazing journey.

I always enjoy your posts.

jams o donnell said...

forms, forms, forms.. having once worked in Immigration I know full well that there are lots of them to consider.

I am sure a car trip will be the ideal prelude to your new life. Even though I live on one of the largest islands in the world the distances seem awesome!

Randal Graves said...

I'm not a fan of driving around town, but the idea of driving cross country (nation) does carry an appeal. A romantic cliché perhaps, but still sounds groovy.

One quibble: where did you dig up that shot of North America? You know damn well that Greenland doesn't have that much ice cover these days. :)

susan said...

jams - Yes, far too many and far too much redundancy as well. Same life, long drive, different place.

randal - Well, Greyhound would do it but I don't think either of us would be sane after a trip on that particular wheelie bus.

I fiddled with a satellite shot taken by Sputnick.

gfid said...

i hope you'll have a laptop with you on the drive.... and tell us about your adventures. think of it as a holiday, not a necessity... and savor the time till you're home, the way children savor Christmas. i was speaking to my goddaugher's younger brother today on the phone (she's at writer's camp for a week!!) he's 12 and has been declaring himself a confirmed agnostic since he was about 7.... and he told me he's reading a book on Buddhism. he's impressed, and reconsidering his position. made me think of you.

clairesgarden said...

safe journey!

susan said...

jams - It's the multiple redundancies that eventually drive you crazy but a nice long drive should cure that.

randal - We've been fiddling with the route for this one and I think it's going to be good.. smaller highways and through North Dakota and Wisconsington to Sault St. Marie (that's the Soo to Canadians).

I think the photograph was taken by Sputnick.

gfid - Oh yes, we'll definitely be carrying our computers and the digital camera too. We'll just have to find cheap motels with internet access :-)

He sounds like a wise young man.

claire - We still have some time but thank you.