PLUNK GENEALOGY -- see "Family" label on this blog and/or write Mike at

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Southaven Anniversary

A year and a week ago, Mike and I (and kitty Scarlett) arrived at our new home and new life here in Southaven. In early November, Cousin Bill and I had flown here with Mother and Alex to get them settled in their new homes. Mike and his son, James, had already driven a U-Haul containing his office equipment and Mother’s furniture from CA to MS. That left Mike and I to finish getting the CA house ready for the movers and to make the realtor swear to sell the place as quickly as possible.

A few days after Thanksgiving, Mike, Scarlett and I loaded into the car for the 1,700-mile trip. Mostly everything went well. We got stopped in Texas by a snowstorm that closed the freeway for a day, but we took that in stride. Miss Scarlett, being a mature kitty and very ladylike, is an excellent traveler – but she’d rather not. Upon arriving at a motel, her prime goal was to sneak under the bed, out of reach so she wouldn’t have to go back into her travel cage. To forestall that, we had to do room prep each night before freeing her from confinement. Room prep entailed stuffing extra pillows, chair cushions, luggage and whatever else we could grab all around the bed to prevent access. Most of the time it worked, although we did have to employ coaxing and threats one morning when she found a breach in the fortress.

There was one twilight zone experience in Little Rock which requires a flashback. When Mike and I were rekindling our relationship and catching each other up on our lives, I naturally mentioned the five years I’d spent in Little Rock. Mike responded by telling me that, for a good while during that period, he played with a band that pretty regularly worked a week at a time at a club on the southwest side of the city. “Really? I worked in that part of town,” I replied. He went on to say that they stayed at a Red Roof Inn and generally ate lunch at the Waffle House next door. “REALLY? Just on the other side of our building’s parking lot was a Red Roof Inn and there was a Waffle House on the other side of that.”

Yep. We put it all together and Mike, in fact, was staying right next door to where I worked. I frequently walked across the motel parking lot to pick up lunch at the Waffle House. Amazing that we never bumped into each other. It’s like a movie where characters miss each other by mere seconds. But it wasn’t meant to be at that time.

So – fast-forward – we drove into Little Rock late on the last night of the trip in search of a place to sleep so we could get an early start for the short drive into Memphis the next day. Mike noted a motel sign and, as we exited the freeway, I thought that the street name was familiar. You guessed it. The motel name had changed, but there we were in the place where we had not crossed paths so many years ago. And we had breakfast at the Waffle House for old time’s sake.

Camping Out “In”

We were pretty excited to arrive at our new home the next day. One little hitch. Because the snowstorm had cost us a day, we arrived on Saturday instead of Friday. That’s not a big deal, except that you can’t get the water company to initiate service on a Saturday. We could easily buy beverages. We could even stand each other without showers for a couple of days. We had Purell for hand cleansing. But there’s another household “appliance” that requires water, so Mike went out to buy gallons of water for flushing. Yuck.

The moving van didn’t show up for about three days, so we were furniture-less as well. We anticipated having some time before furniture (and unpacking), so I’d packed a pretty good go-bag. There were towels, washcloths and hand soap – although we couldn’t use them yet. I had instant coffee and fixin’s plus a small pot to heat water. We had toilet paper. I don’t want to think about that part. And I’d packed pillows and blankets to make a pallet for floor-sleeping. We were on a camping trip inside our lovely new home.

I don’t mind sleeping on the floor on a rare occasion, but then the temperature dropped. Almost immediately. Down to 13 degrees. Despite having adequate heat, the floor gets really, really cold. Mike got up the first night and draped his coat over me for extra cover. My CA-thinned blood was not serving me well. We went to his sister’s the next day and begged for more cover. I survived only slightly frostbitten.

The furniture arrived undamaged. Mike set about the daily challenge of getting his office, furniture, computers, etc. organized for the January start of tax season. At the same time, I was unpacking the home place like crazy. With the Christmas clock ticking, we had to get three rooms painted -- living room, kitchen and dining room in top order – select and have delivered new dining room furniture – shop for Christmas gifts – and pick up Alex for a C’mas visit. And on C’mas Day, we served a formal, holiday feast for six of us.


This December is so much more leisurely that we may even go out of town for a few days before Christmas. A wonderful man I once worked for used to tell me: “Everything works out. Sometimes it’s just not as we planned.” I think he was talking about December ’06.

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