ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Just finished up a tiring but very happy weekend. Three longtime friends came to visit me -- two were roommates from college and the third a fellow reporter from my first full-time newspaper job (I was an education reporter in Battle Creek, Mich.) Seeing any one of these women would be enough to make my week. Visiting with all three in two days makes me realize how lucky I am.
In between visits, I'm frantically packing. Seventeen lovingly taped and labled boxes are stacked up in my home office, each sporting a sassy colored tape that says BEDROOM or LIVING ROOM. That may sound impressive (probably not), except that every box containes resorted and repacked stuff from our storage space. Tomorrow I actually begin packing things that have not been packed before. I suppose that's progress.
The storage space is, thankfully, no more. I'll admit to a happy lump in my throat as I surveyed the empty space. For six months I've shuttled boxes and debris between house, storage space, the Salvation Army and the city dump. At one point the space was completely full. Benny considered the storage facility a second home, squealing happily whenever the big sliding doors sprang open and cadging rides on the little moving cart.
Speaking of Benny, the poor kid's been a trifle neglected in my packing frenzy. I actually gave him a full bath tonight, with bubbles and everything, and scrubbed the areas around his little cuts and scrapes, which had developed dark outlines because I hadn't changed his Disney Princess band-aids in days. It shows a shocking lack of maternal feeling, I know, that I found the time to pumice-stone my toes this weekend, but not tend my child's wounds.
In other news, Xena, Warrior Princess, has invaded my house, yelling "Yi yi yi yi yi YI!" While updating my "NetFlix" queue last month, I thought it would be fun to rent a Xena DVD so I could laugh at funny hats and correct mythological errors.
Well, I must have been tired, because I didn't order just one Xena DVD; I signed on for the entire first season. Every time I opened my mailbox, more Xena was inside. "What's this?" I cried. "What happened to my '24' DVDs? I want Keifer!"
Apparently Jack Bauer just can't take on Xena in open battle. I quickly realized what happened, but I was too busy to update my NetFlix queue. I watched a half-dozen Xena episodes (mostly by fast-forwarding through the fight scenes), but Xena always came back. *
Tonight, however, I emerge victorious. I signed onto NetFlix and banished Xena, promoted Keifer and added the full second season of "Sex in the City," where the battles are equally physical but the hats are always fabulous.
* Don't ask me why I didn't have 10 minutes to log on to NetFlix, but could spend whole evenings watching a screeching acrobat with a bad hair day. Such queries are not helpful.