Friday, November 30, 2007

Moving My Sister, 'Ghost' In The Attic, and Wheel Troubles

My friend Christie responded Thursday to an email I sent her by asking me, "Why aren't you at work today, you bum?"

Oh, my. So far from that, you have NO idea. Here's what I was doing. My sister (in the picture with old picture, by the way) found a new job in another town about 40 miles from here. She had begun looking for an apartment. Friday morning last week, she found an apartment in the Quad Cities, about 10 minutes from her job. Saturday-Tuesday, she worked every day, drove 40 miles home, and spent hours, packing her apartment. Wednesday, she had the day off. She packed, sorted, etc, rented a moving truck, and Wednesday night, had a crew of people, including Louie and I, in packing the truck. We then took the truck to her apartment, unloaded it up to the third floor, back to Maquoketa, loaded the truck again, and left it parked in her driveway all night. She went back to the QC's and slept there, as she needed to be at work at 5:50 this morning (Thursday). Louie and I took a vacation day to help, picked up Louie's brother, Walter, to help us, at 10:30am, went to Nancy's (here in Maquoketa) and unloaded the attic. That was after I went over to the apartment at 8 am and vacuumed the carpets, mopboards and along the walls next to the carpet, for an hour. (Did I mention her apartment here in town was an UPSTAIRS apartment?)

Her cat, Ghost, (NOT the cat in the picture, but he looks a lot like the cat in the picture, and looks cautious like the cat in the picture) has been hiding in the attic for two days under the floorboards, or down along the soffit, and in the insulation. He won't come out when people are there, no matter what we do. He is scared of everything, and everybody. We know he is there, because we have seen him walk across the floor and disappear again. So this morning, Louie and Walter took the truck to her apartment, and I took the van full of televisions and a computer monitor. We unloaded the van, and went to eat lunch. Before we went back to Nancy's to meet her after she got off work, we stopped at Goodwill, Amvets and the Salvation Army 'As Is' thrift stores. We went back to Nancy's and started unloading the truck again. Nancy's friend Tish drove down from Maquoketa to help. After a couple trips up the steps, she discovered that she had locked her keys in her car. She was beside herself with worry. The police departments do not unlock cars anymore. She called for someone to drop a key off at Nancy's old apartment, so when we went back to Maquoketa to get the last load, we could get the key for her, and when we got back to her new apartment, she could go home. By 6pm we were heading back to Maquoketa with the truck and the van, for the final trip to load the truck. Tish stayed at Nancy's new apartment, with her 3 year old son. Meanwhile, back in Maquoketa, we were loading the truck AGAIN, leaving stuff on the porch for people to pick up, I am vacuuming, and Nancy is up in the attic trying to coax Ghost out, unsuccessfully, I might add. So RIGHT NOW, at the moment you are reading this, the apartment is empty, and there is a cat in the attic that won't come out!!!!! We finally had to leave because we needed to get back down to get the truck unloaded before 10pm. There are other tenants in the building, and that's the unloading deadline time.

Before we left town to head back to the QC's, Nancy and I made a stop at the post office to check her mail. We had Sadie, (NOT the cat in the photo, but she looks just like the picture) her other cat, collected in the cat carrier in the van, and the van was full of 'stuff' and Louie and Walter were about 10 minutes ahead of us in the moving truck. Nancy and I soon followed, and we were only about 10 or so miles away, (almost 9pm), my left front wheel started making the most horrible noise you have ever heard. It was a very loud WAP WAP WAP WAP, and the front end was vibrating. I pulled over on the shoulder, and Nancy got out, looked, and called Louie. He didn't say what he is thinking, but was quite upset and worried. We asked if we could drive the van, and he said, "SLOWLY. Put on the 4 way flashers, and be careful." So here we go, about 10+ miles to go. We were doing ok, but WAP WAP WAP WAP, the front end was vibrating, and the noise WAS quite loud at times. We got to our exit, and stopped at the end, turned left, and drove into the complex. We turned onto the street next to an old grocery store, and the noise from the front end, now, sounds like CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. I pulled over again, but by this time, we could see Nancy's apartment building. I decided to drive VERY SLOWLY now. I CREPT into the parking lot, and Nancy and I got out of the van. Louie came over, looked at the wheel and said, 'That's what I thought. The wheel is loose, and you have lost two of your lug nuts. Back it into that space over there, and when we get finished unloading the truck, I'll tighten the rest of the nuts back up. We'll be ok to take it home, and tomorrow, I will get it fixed." At this point, I felt relieved that we didn't have a wheel bearing going out, or some other part that needed replaced, at 9:15pm, forty miles from home on a Thursday night. The reason this happened, was because a month or so ago, we got new tires on our van, and evidently, the shop didn't get that wheel torqued down like they should have. My sister was VERY upset and wondered if she should feel sorry for the tire shop for not tighening it down correctly. On the way home, I asked him if he was going to 'have a talk' with '********' (no name please), and he said, "Probably not. If you look at the receipt, it says right on it, that you should recheck your lugnuts after 50 miles. I SHOULD have done that, and I am SO sorry." I had mentioned to him that I heard a scraping noise last week, but you know how life is. Time gets away from you, and other obligations take lead, and it just didn't get looked at. We both thought, at worst, that it had collected a rock in the hub, and was just scraping. This week, I really didn't hear it anymore and thought surely that is what it was, and the rock had worn itself away. Not so, I guess, huh? I hold no blame to Louie. He is the most wonderful husband a gal could ever ask for. He is so supportive of me, in every way, and my best friend. I told him it was OK, that we made it, we were ok, and life goes on. My sister was ok, but she just could not get over that I was NOT freaking out. Now, had I been alone, without a cell phone, it would have been a different story. I trust Louie with my life and if he said it was ok, and to drive slow, then I know he believed it would be ok. He would never do anything intentional EVER to jeopardize anyone's safety, and I am bright enough to know when 'enough is enough'. I do think he was a little shocked though, as to HOW loose the lugnuts were. He said of the three that were left, two of them he could easily move with his fingers, and the other one was probably just tighter because of the bind on it.

We finished unloading the truck, Tish went home, and I went up and sat with Nancy while Louie and Walter took some stuff to Goodwill. They came back, tightened the wheel back up, checked the other three wheels, and we headed for home. Louie has to work in the morning! We got home around midnight. We took Walter home to Baldwin, 10 miles on the other side of Maquoketa, and Louie went to bed. I went back over Nancy's apartment, to take a cardboard box with litter in it for Ghost, and I took the food and water out of the attic and put it in the refrigerator, so he can't have anything to eat or drink if he comes down. I want him to get hungry and thirsty, because a coworker of Louie's. is bringing a 'live trap' tomorrow, and I will set that up in the living room or somewhere out of the attic, so when, (and IF) he comes down to eat, hopefully, he will go in the trap. I pray to God that it works, because otherwise, we will have to call the landlord and tell him, 'The keys are on the counter and the cat is in the attic!'

I don't want Ghost to die up there, but I especially don't want for the landlord to have a dead cat decaying under the floorboards in the attic! No one deserves that. Please lift your prayers to Heaven for us, that we will capture this scared little kitty! If we do, I promise, I'll take pictures!

So, How was YOUR day?


Carla said...

I'm speechless!

Jen said...

Wow, that's a lot of work to get done in a few short days. It was nice to "meet" your sister!

I'm speechless on the wheel and lugnuts. That just sounds beyond odd. It's not like they loosen on their own. FREAKY!!

Kristie said...

You poor thing, I think I would set down and cry! You need to rest!

Cindy (aka Peony the House Elf) said...

Oh my goodness you win for the crummiest day. I hope the next couple of days go better and of course that Ghost comes out of the attic. I would think once he gets thirsty and hungry he'll make an appearance.

Moneik said...

Wow! You've been busy, running circles around me. That's for sure! So glad to hear you made it safe and sound.


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