Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Juggling Game

When Doug and I were first going out (back in the pre-cell phone, pre-personal computer days of the late 70's), a perfect afternoon's entertainment was often people-watching on the Boulder Mall. I still have the most vivid memory of a particularly clever performance artist, a juggler. His objects de art included a chicken (plucked), a raisin and a chainsaw. I kid you not. With great finesse he made these three unlikely bedfellows spin in melodious harmony. It was so mesmerizing, his ability to balance the seemingly impossible and make it work. I decided right then I wanted to learn to juggle and the next day enrolled in class (only in Boulder). Too bad, a passion that cooled quickly, but it has had some transferable lessons over the years.

I feel that we are now at a point where we must juggle some chickens, raisins and chainsaws. What may seem like minor, mundane, boring or non-existent decisions if we were State-side, are creating quite a conundrum for us as we prepare for this dual-continent existence.

For instance, do we buy a clunker car or rent every time we come? Do we ship hand tools over and pay the freight or bite the bullet and buy a whole new raft of them here. We have an arsenal of hand tools sitting in our shop in Moab, and the airlines would just love it as baggage. Plus, tools are expensive here, but maybe not as costly as shipping. Juggle, juggle. Over the years, we have consolidated houses, moving from storage locker to cabin to Yellowstone and back and forth. Things are hard to keep track of, and you end up buying two of this or that, so we are somehow well-endowed with miscellaneous household items. I may sneak along a few favorite items on the return trip, kind of like 'comfort food'.

IKEA seems to be the dream solution for new part-time residents outfitting their homes. You can literally purchase a "room in a box" and they will flat-ship absolutely anything---couches, kitchen cabinets, beds, tables, anything. You assemble. That sure solves how we were going to go out and find some Doug-sized couch and haul it back in a France-sized car. Juggle. Then we find out that the Super U marche also rents vans specifically for this purpose---a marketing brainchild. Juggle, juggle.

We can't forget taking care of things back in Moab if we're going to be gone for several months. The guest rental will have the management company, and we can keep tabs on them via email more-or-less. Shutting up the house isn't a problem, but lately we have had marginal success finding a reliable person to monitor the landscaping and drip irrigation system. Last summer we received regular phone calls from our next door neighbor who complained about the invasive weeds that were spreading at apparent lightning speed throughout his yard. In less than two months' time, the yard maintenance company "forgot" to deal with any of the weeds and there were three foot jungles running rampant. Moab is one of those towns where you get points just for showing up for work; actually knowing what you are doing is a bonus. Juggle, juggle.

Maybe all of this will sort itself out and I am worrying for nothing. In the big picture anyway, what does any of it really matter I could ask? Gotta run, my teacher is here with the chicken, the raisin and the chainsaw. Juggle, juggle, Bon chance!


Anonymous said...

Luke is enjoying all the differences in the lifestyles of the French and the "Alice through the looking glass"...and then good 'ol IKEA comes along to show that things are sometimes the same everywhere! Keep juggling!

leslie said...

I want to give Joan and Drew your blog address, they've done this before.

leslie said...

As I was saying of the first comment that didn't publish, J and D have worried about all of this. They will have good input. Take the duplicate tools, maybe you can sell them there when you don't need them, what can you borrow from the Brits? Set up a tool coop for all the ex-pats, who has what tool and will lend. Later

leslie said...

Also, the M et Mme thing... I think it is appropriate to wait until they call you by the first name, this is where the French stand on their manners. They would never invite you home to dinner first, you would meet in a restaurant, then maybe you would be invited for appertifs. There is the vous and tu thing, never say tu to anyone other than a child until they tu-toyez you first. It is a huge gaff, I have done it and everyone tittered and gawped at me.

Judy said...

Nancy; You mention cassoulet and it takes me back to 1982. We were living in Norman, Ok. Ron had just had his first hip replacement and he was home recovering and getting really bored. He got out the Julia Child cookbook and looked for something to cook. Doing a cassoulet meant he could do some prep and go sit down and rest, do some more cooking and rest some more, etc. I think that it took him all day to put it together. Then I had to find the biggest pot we had. Then I invited in all the neighbors we could find that were home at the time to share this treat..about 12 as I recall. We had no duck, but did have pork, lamb and sausages I think. It turned out to be one of our finest dinners! Judy

Nancy said...

Judy, seems to me that my first introduction to cassoulet was, of all places, in Bozeman at the Torch & Toes. You and Ron invited us over and we were just hoping it wasn't for the annual "Organ Meats Party". Is this possible or am I dreaming? At any rate, whatever we had that night was splendid.

d said...

dear jugglers:
ikea rocks! i am a convert after assembling our whole new kitchen with mathilde in just a couple of days. And, even at retail, it cost less money than custom cabinets.

perhaps we should send cooper down to moab to handle your yardwork...?

i think you should buy one of those citroen covered trucks and rent a garage space in which to park it when your gone.

or maybe not...