August 07, 2005

Adventures in Iowa

I had told Chris Sedlack that I'd help him move today---he's relocating to Burlington, and had lots of people to help at the Urbana end and not so many out here. Initially he'd told me he was shooting to be there around 3, but he'd call from his sister's place in Peoria.

At noon I call just to check in, and he has revised his estimate to "4, or probably closer to 5", and he'd call from Peoria. So I figure, he's maybe running even later than that; maybe he'll call around 3:30 or 4 or so.

So I head over to the house to get some work done (sanded all the baseboard shoes and started nailing the suckers in). Around 4:30 I start wondering if I missed the call or something, and decide to go back to the apartment and get ready to go. I take a shower, feed the dog, check my email and notesfiles, and by about 5:30 I'm thinking, did he lose my number? Running the numbers in my head, I'm increasingly certain that they must have at least left Peoria by now. And if they're already there, would there even be that much more to unload? Well, probably, but maybe I should get going. On my way out of Galesburg, I stop at Wendy's for a burger to go and hop on to 34 at Henderson. Just as I'm crossing Main, at a few minutes to 6, I get a call.

"Yeah, so we're just leaving Peoria now."

Ah. Well, now what? I'm now about 45 minutes ahead of them on the road. I could turn around and go back to my apartment, but I know that I would just schlump around and do nothing anyway. And I hadn't ever gone to Monmouth to explore, so what the hell. I kept on and drove around, which was pleasant. Monmouth College is a bizarre campus---it doesn't look 150 years old, and the look is a lot less congenial than Knox, and it just looks kind of... fake. If a bunch of people gave me lots of money and told me to build a bunch of buildings that looked like Ivy League college stuff, this is exactly what I would give them---if I didn't like them very much.

But anyway. After fifteen or so minutes of this, I decided it would be nice to sit outside for a while, so I pulled into the lot at the Warren County Courthouse and walked into the middle of the Public Square circle and started the Agatha Christie novel I'd brought. It's funny; the Monmouth Public Square circle and the Galesburg one are obviously poured from the exact same form, but Monmouth's is infinitely nicer.

Coming up on 7, then, I continued on towards Burlington, wondering if I'd run into Chris on the way. I didn't, and (of course) beat him there, so I sat on his front step and read a bit more. A few minutes later, I see a car I didn't recognise as Chris's being driven by someone I did recognise as Arun, and remembered that he'd agreed to drive Chris's car to Burlington. Tossing my book in the car, I saw that the car behind Arun was also part of the group; two people got out, and I was trying to figure out where I'd met the woman before, when it dawned on me that I hadn't---it's just that Chris's sister looks exactly like him. :)

A few minutes later, Chris pulled up in the truck and we commenced unloading it, pretty uneventfully. The rest of them cleared out at 9 (Arun had at least a three hour trip back to Urbana), and I stuck around and chatted for a while, then went with Chris to drop off the truck. The rental place was hilarious: they rent everything, from trucks to lawn mowers to---as far as I could tell---entire wedding sets, with candelabra and arches and lecterns. Wild.

And after dropping him off at his house, I headed back to Galesburg. I tried stopping at a Hardee's for coffee, but they didn't have any (!), so I did without, and honestly, it wasn't a problem. All this extra sleep I've been getting must be paying off.

"'Language is the only homeland,' says the poet Czeslaw Milosz, and here on the range, where there are many more antelope than people, if a discouraging word is ever heard, at least it isn't 'deconstructionism.'" --Kathleen Norris

Posted by blahedo at 1:00am on 7 Aug 2005
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