Thursday, January 1, 2009

Trip to Concord

We are soon to reach a splitting point. H, B, Jasper, and Mark will be spending the next couple months living in Concord, NH, where Hilary will spend her time alternately at the local hospital and taking classes in public health at the Dartmouth medical school in Hanover. I, on the other hand, will hold down the fort in Minnesota.

So, on the 30th and 31st, I was up in NH setting up the Concord franchise. Mark had very nicely scouted out a few places weeks ago, and I signed the lease for one of them late on the 30th. I movers weren't expected until the following morning, so I spent the evening camped out in our new, empty, dark, curtainless apartment.

I sometimes envisioned this as the spartan existence of some hot-shot fixer - being jetted from place to place, put up in empty, just-that-afternoon-leased offices, living on pizza and beer while hacking away on a laptop and earning fabulous amounts of money. The reality isn't even as interesting as that description. At least such a person would have an internet connection.

Before our great eastward trek of the last few weeks began, movers came to our home and carted away a load of stuff that Hilary will have with her in Concord. We had, we thought, made arrangements for them to deliver late on the 30th. Turns out they hadn't told the driver this, so at the last minute we learned it would be the 31st instead. So, early the next morning, clipboard and inventory in hand, I supervised the offloading of all that stuff as snow began to come down. They worked quickly and were finished by about 11:30. So, instead of an empty, echoic apartment with no curtains and a padded toilet seat, we have an apartment filled with boxes and all the rest. This is how it shall remain until this weekend, when Hilary and Mark come back up to begin unpacking and settling in.

It is well that they finished the unloading quickly, because the weather was getting a little treacherous for travel. I set out to return to Connecticut around noon, slowly making my way in a long train of other cars over snow-covered roads across southern New Hampshire.

I suppose I should count myself lucky. Though slow going, at least people in NH know how to drive in the snow. I could have been in Washington, for instance, where the first half-inch would have brought the roads to a gridlocked halt.

Turns out the highways were hardly better. This is I-91 near Hartford, CT. The white stripes between wheel tracks are actually 1-2 inch thick snow bands that made lane changes tricky to say the least.

All in all, the trip that I was able to make in a bit less than 3-1/2 hours on the 30th took me more than 5 hours the day after. I returned, tired but pleased to be back, to ring in the New Year with family and friends.

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