That Voodoo That We Do

“You guys have the best cosmic energy of anyone I’ve ever met.”

Ashley J.

First off, I’m glad those Voodoo lessons paid off. Tara thought it was a waste of money at the time, but I convinced her it could be a sound investment. Certainly better than crypto, amirite?

What my friend was referring to, in this case, was our colossal good timing. We’d planned our moving day for Saturday, and it was supposed to snow both Friday and Sunday. (Spoiler alert: it did.) If the weather were a ham sandwich, Saturday would be the sunny meat surrounded by snowy bread.

Terrible analogy, but you get the point.

Did it snow on Thursday? Of course. Not only did it snow on Thursday, but it ended up being the snowiest March day in southern Wisconsin in 15 years. Way to overachieve, huh? We ended up with close to 9″ in Fort Atkinson by the time it wound down late Friday morning. Heavy, wet snow that blanketed the trees and bushes. Pretty to look at, but I would not have wanted to move in it.

At least I now have a garage to park in. Living in a snowy climate like this, you have to factor in the time it takes to clear your car of snow and ice, not to mention defrosting your windshield, before heading out anywhere. That can add a solid 10 minutes or more, which sucks if you’re running late.

After wrapping up work at noon, I disconnected the internet at the apartment (an act that kinda feels like chopping off an arm), boxed up the router and modem, and drove to the Spectrum store to swap them for new equipment. I would have been content keeping them, but there was a new smart router they said would boost our speeds, and I’m not one to thumb my nose at new technology.

The rest of the day was spent moving things to the house and trying to hook up the internet over there. Which wasn’t working, despite several chats with Spectrum customer service. I was doing everything correctly—if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s electronics—but wasn’t getting a signal. They said they’d have to send a tech over, and for a brief moment I thought that meant we might be offline for weeks, but fortunately they had somebody available the next morning. Whew.

Saturday dawned overcast but dry, and the roads were perfectly fine. Despite all the snow, our temperature was in the mid-30s, so there were no travel impacts. We grabbed breakfast at a greasy spoon downtown called Scottie’s Eat-Mor, and even though we showed up at an ungodly hour—shortly after 6 a.m.—the place was hoppin’ with locals. No surprise: the food is delicious, and the prices are unbelievably cheap. We paid something like $6 apiece for a breakfast skillet and an omelet, plus coffee. There are only about 20 stools around a single counter, so we were lucky to find a couple of seats. Fueled up for the big move, we headed back to the apartment, picked up the U-Haul, and started loading my car with some smaller items. Earlier, I’d said, “I wonder how long it will be before Nancy comes over to chat.” The answer, of course, was: not long at all.

Our infamous tree-hating forgetful but kind-hearted neighbor.

Nancy even tried to invite herself over to see our house. After politely dissuading her of that notion, we waited for our hired helpers to show up.

And waited. And waited.

Eventually, I had to head over to the house to meet the Spectrum technician, so Tara stayed behind at the apartment. They showed up about the same time as the tech, 10:45-ish, a good 75 minutes late. Funny story about the Spectrum guy: he knew our house, had in fact been out there a few months ago, installing some new cable outlets for Dick and Carol. That tells me they hadn’t been planning on selling last fall, but obviously encountered some health issues that made it a necessity. In any case, he knew where all the outlets and jacks were and was able to get us hooked up and activated. The problem, it turns out, was—and pardon the industry jargon here—”a finnicky modem.” At least that confirmed I hadn’t done anything wrong.

By the way, we’re internet-only. Have been since moving to Wisconsin. Cutting the cable cord never felt better! With a Roku and subscriptions to various streaming services, we have access to everything we want to watch, including local channels with Hulu Live. True, all those services add up, but it’s still less than cable. And we can position our TV anywhere we want since we don’t have to be near a cable jack.

Ironically, we placed it near a cable jack. What can I say? It’s the best spot in the living room.

Shortly after he left, Tara and the movers showed up. What a lovely sight, seeing that U-Haul parked in our driveway and all our long-in-storage items being carted inside our new home.

The two guys were quite helpful, which is exactly what you hope for when hiring helpers. In addition to moving all our heavy items into their designated spaces upstairs, downstairs, and in the garage, they carried a heavy gas grill we’d already brought over onto the deck and removed and replaced a couple of doors to get things into the house. They may have been late, but still got everything done in two trips and within the allotted three hours we’d booked them for. And then, when Tara tipped them $20 each, one of the guys’ faces lit up in a broad smile and he said, “This is what it’s all about.” Talk about a Charles Dickens moment.

Aside from a few stragglers, the apartment was now bare. All things considered, it was never a bad place to live. It was pretty bare bones but provided the necessary comfort and shelter, and was quiet for the most part (annoying neighbor yelling and cursing at his kids aside). But it was dark and could feel claustrophobic; I hated not being able to see much of anything out the windows, the bottom sills being at ground level. And it just never felt like home. I mean, we still had unpacked boxes we’d plopped down in the living room six point five months earlier, on move-in day. Proof that it was always going to be temporary, with a hefty bit o’ manifesting thrown in for good measure.

After a couple more trips hauling some small items over, we were finally all moved in. And beat, so we headed out for some much-needed food at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Though truth be told, the real draw was the pitcher of margaritas and accompanying tequila shots.

We came home, talked to my parents for a bit, and then crashed. Right before going to bed, it started to snow. And when we woke up the following morning, the first in our new home, we were greeted by an amazing sight. You know the scene in A Christmas Story, when Ralphie wakes up on Christmas morning, looks out the window, and discovers a winter wonderland so beautiful he literally gasps out loud and says, “Wow!”? That was us, Sunday morning.

Standing out on the deck with a cup of coffee, gazing out over our little slice of paradise, still feels surreal. I don’t know how we did it, or why we thought moving yet again was even a good idea to begin with. But it has turned out to be the very best idea ever, the coup de grace in the MarTar playbook. And the best is yet to come.

You’re all invited for a housewarming barbecue once the weather warms up!

As long as you bring booze.

45 thoughts on “That Voodoo That We Do

    1. Funny thing is, I didn’t even notice the birds chattering until I played the video back. We plan to spend so much time out on the deck – which conveniently faces north, so it will be shaded from the sun – we’re going to order a nice all-season patio set. Can’t wait to see what spring, summer, and fall offer!


  1. Can’t begin to tell you and Tara how happy I am that you’re in! What a moment to wake up to that sight. Absolutely the best. Enjoy making new memories knowing this is all yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You done good, but what a struggle to get into your new house. I’m glad the snow came after your big moving day. I promise to bring a bottle of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked when you have your house warming. 🥃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that all the good things that had to happen to make this move work did happen. What a positive story all around. And your helpers helped! I’ll be in Wisconsin mid-May. See you then. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It really is. We stayed for three weeks in Washburn a few summers ago, which was two weeks more than planned, we liked it so much. The kayaking is excellent. Bayfield is quite touristy, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Margarita pitcher AND tequila shots? I’d say that’s overkill but moving is hard work. Glad it went well and the snow Gods christened your new home with a lovely white frosting. It really looks like a wonderful place and I know you’ll be make wonderful memories there. Congrats again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s so much to love about this move and this post. What a cool ending! Can I bring my kids when I show up with booze for the house warming party? 🙂

    And I’m still laughing about disconnecting the Internet feeling like chewing off your arm. I can only imagine! Glad you got reconnected, had a Charles Dickens moment and are in to your beautiful home. A coup de grace indeed!

    Congratulations to team MarTar!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. First and foremost, my husband just informed me that we will be getting snow this week on Thursday. Consider it your housewarming present.

    But, in all honesty, your house looks lovely in the snow. That’s a good thing, because WISCONSIN.

    I truly believe you are the ideal location for a blog gathering this summer. I can bring the beverages.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I just love the excitement of moving into a new home and deciding where everything will go. It’s an organizer’s dream! You have many fun days ahead of you, my friend.
    And as for the housewarming, we have a whole bar of booze – I’m in!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad it all went well, though the late arrival would have stressed me out and made me think they were a No Show. I’ve never heard of Spectrum NOT coming out to set up new service. Or any interest provider not having to come out. Technology is never simple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They had called ahead of time to let us know they were running late, so we weren’t too stressed. As for Spectrum, I was able to do the self-install in the apartment, so I figured it would be easy enough. That’s what I get for figuring!


  9. Mark, that is quite the picture to wake up to 🙂 Not one I’d want, as I’ve a tendency to fall over with my terrible balance, but oh so picturesque – and I know you love it! Nice work MarTar – you have over-achieved and beautifully manifested 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good cosmic energy goes a long way!
    I love how the internet guy had already been to the house; small-world stuff always makes me smile.
    What a Gorgeous Snowy Morning View. I’ll bring wine, what will Nancy be bringing aside from negative tree energy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did I mention that Nancy has twice tried to invite herself over to our new place? With all the trees in our yard, I don’t trust her to get within 500 yards of the place. She might bust out the cheese grater and start chopping ’em down!

      Liked by 1 person

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