Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Minister moves to Sacramento

After a few weeks of looking for a Sacramento home I found a small one-bedroom apartment with worn hardwood floors in a cute small complex in a treelined and walkable downtown neighborhood.  Nice cross ventilation, a tree outside the bedroom and bathroom window.  Wall heater between living room and bedroom, ceiling fan in bedroom, and wall A/C in living room.  Kitchen counter has retro yellow tiles, which suits my formica-top, chrome sided table and three yellow vinyl and chrome chairs. Bathroom floor has baby blue tiles.  It has only a walk-in closet and a small pantry in what is nearly a galley kitchen.  A classically small California apartment!

My stuff had been in storage in my San Jose garage for a year, including two sofas and tables that my tenants did not want to use.  They do want to keep using the stuff I love so I’ve left it there.

I met the movers at the garage after they had arrived; I told them everything behind the first six feet of the garage would be moving.  I didn’t watch closely and found on the other end that they had packed up carpet scraps, leftover ceramic tiles, discarded curtain rods, several items that should have gone to the Goodwill adoption agency long ago, and lots of other crap that one leaves in the garage.  Also at the other end I realized that all my upholstered stuff was dirty as hell and one sofa smelled (and still smells) of cat urine.  I had them bring an old double mattress which I also should have discarded when I inherited a friend’s much better mattress years ago.  I thought the hard floor would make the mattress work fine.  It nearly killed the movers to bring the sofas up to the second floor and get them into the unit in 99 degrees.

I didn’t stay there till the third night.  Sleeping on my old worn mattress (whose mattress pad I could’t locate amid the piles of boxes), I remembered a recent, graphic story on NPR’s “This American Life” about a family with a bedbug infestation, and I felt that I was now the source of hundreds of tiny blood donations.  I heard people talking as they walked by on the sidewalk below and heard the spring of the wooden steps up to my second floor landing.  At 5 AM my first Sunday Sacramento Bee landed with a twangy thud in front of my door, and then in front of a few others. I had dreams and moments of regretful panic–why did I get this puny apartment?  Why did I move all this big dirty old furniture here?  Why do I keep moving all these books from place to place.

I arose as refreshed as I might have as a tourist in a cheap hotel room in a poor country, and showered and headed off to church.  (I first made an abrupt stop for Peet’s coffee in Midtwon and a quick read of the paper, just to feel as if I had a normal life.)  And I was the preacher!  I needed to remember to grab the printout of my tried and true sermon, “Why Mr. Emerson Is Your Friend.”

Doug, my senior colleague, offered to come over and help me out in the afternoon.  His wife and son were going to the California State Fair and he wasn’t inclined to go along.  I didn’t have the heart to say that I’d rather go to the fair, so I took him up on his offer.