Day 284, Year 11: You Can Take the Girl Out of West Virginia . . .
Date: Monday, August 1, 2016
Weather: Partly Cloudy, High in the mid-70’s F
Location: At Home in The Studio #8, Falmouth, MA

I’m from West Virginia and as the saying goes, “You can take the girl out of West Virginia, but you can’t take West Virginia out of the girl.” I’m sure many of you have pictures in your mind of a West Virginia backyard filled with old cars, old refrigerators, and old anything else. Not knowing it, I think I have spent most of life fighting that image. I’ve always tried to keep things tidied up, but the move to this small apartment with WAY TOO MUCH STUFF has put me over the edge and I’ve fallen back into my West Virginia ways. We have this huge deck and I decided that it would be fine to store a few things tucked away in the back corner. There is a window there that always has the blinds closed, so we figured it must be someone’s bathroom or maybe a storage area. We could never figure out to whom that window belonged. Today the woman in the apartment next door moved out and this evening when I got home, I got a call from Camille. She and her husband Paul own this property with all of its apartments and the docks on Falmouth Harbor. She wanted to invite me to see the apartment next door that had been vacated today and point out that “the window” that looks out onto the cluttered back corner of our deck is a living room window in the next door apartment. And the view of the water was being marred with our plastic bins, fishing rods, kayak and paddles, recycling bins, our beach wagon, and other nefarious items. Camille explained that the tenant that moved out never mentioned the obstructed view, but when she and Paul were inspecting the apartment after the move, they opened the blinds and saw the mess. She offered a key to the dock house down on the dock where we can keep our kayak and explained that there was no hurry in tidying up. But it was obvious that we need to clean up our act. And this triggered something inside of me that sent me over the edge. All of a sudden all of these blue and gray plastic bins that are sitting everywhere in our apartment became overwhelming, almost choking me. That, plus the fact that Sam, the new ‘almost’ owner of Windbird called this evening wondering where he might find the key to the lock attaching the dinghy motor to the rail of the boat. We remember seeing lots of keys in a bin that was sent north in May, but neither Mark nor I can remember what we did with them. In fact, we can’t seem to find anything. So we are doing nothing other than unpacking, storing, or throwing out items until everything has a new home. Our wonderful friends, Tom and Detta Porat from New Hampshire, sent a text this evening wanting to take us out to dinner on Wednesday night on their way home from Rhode Island. But I had to stay strong and decline the invitation. We simply have to spend every free moment completing this move. Sure hope Tom and Detta will forgive us, but that text just came at the very worst time. Maybe things will look brighter tomorrow. At least I sure hope they do. Otherwise you might read about this crazy woman found throwing plastic bins into the Falmouth Harbor!

Declaration: I love West Virginia. It is a beautiful state and I am always proud to declare my origins. John Denver had it right when he wrote the song “Almost Heaven, West Virginia.” Still the reputation for trashy back yards is well founded in many parts of the state. Hopefully that has changed since we left there in the early 80’s.