Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hanna's Video Diary: September 8, 2009

Another entry from our recent trip back to Walt Disney World. Please excuse the awkward close-ups of my face. When I am my own cameraman, the shots can get a little TOO close! Enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

8 Years...

On Friday, September 7, 2001 (exactly 8 years ago today as of this writing), Terri and I bid Nashville farewell and headed south to Clearwater, Florida. I accepted HSN's job offer in late July, so we had a little over a month to get the move planned. Terri worked out a transfer with her job at Lerner, NY. When we were in town for the interview with HSN, we did some apartment hunting and found a place that we liked. Fortunately when the job offer was made it was just a matter of a phone call to reserve the apartment. I remember how strange it felt sitting in our dining room in Nashville filling out the Change of Address forms on our bills with a Florida address. A little scary, but very exciting.

The next few weeks we proceeded to pack up our lives into boxes. We also threw a lot of stuff away. I am a pack-rat by nature (I have calendars from the 1990's for no good reason at all), so purging of stuff doesn't come naturally to me. Fortunately Terri has no such qualms about getting rid of junk. To this day she can fill 6 garbage bags full of clothes and send me off to Goodwill without batting an eye! So for the better part of two weeks we lived out of boxes. We finally got the moving truck two days before the move. My friends from work were kind enough to move all of our wordly possessions down a flight of stairs and into a brutally hot moving truck. They were paid with beer and pizza and I could never have done it without them.

The 15 foot moving truck wasn't big enough. We had an 800 square foot 1-bedroom apartment. It wasn't tiny, but it certainly wasn't a palatial spread. How could all that stuff not fit into a 15-foot truck? We ended up stuffing both of our cars full of stuff as well. We would be towing my Nissan Sentra on the moving truck and my folks would be following us down in our Honda Civic. Both cars were stuffed to capacity, leaving only enough room for our dog Wallace, my folks, and their luggage. The one thing we didn't have room for was our vacuum cleaner. It was the last thing to be packed because we needed to use it for one last sweep of our old apartment, and when the time came to pack it there was just no room. So my buddy Mike got a parting gift of a vacuum cleaner in addition to the beer and pizza.

My last shift at Shop at Home was the day before the move. It was bittersweet. I had worked with these guys for 4 years, and had grown quite close to them. Just minutes before I walked out the door, I was invited out onto the set of the Knife Collector's Show to say goodbye. In the following clip I am called "Bullet" as that was my nickname for much of my Shop at Home tenure. The guy next to me is Glen, who was also leaving to continue his career at HSN at the same time.

One big question we faced was what to do with our goldfish Neptune. I had bought Terri this goldfish before we got married, and she had taken care of him for 4 years. It seemed cruel to just flush him, but moving him seemed to be very problematic. We managed to rig up a system in the cab of the truck between the driver and passenger seats where we secured a box on top of a pillow and placed Neptune's fishbowl inside the box. It worked beautifully and Neptune survived the trip. (Unfortunately Neptune passed away in 2003).

Our last night in Nashville, me and Terri slept on an inflatable Coleman air mattress with only a clock radio and a flashlight in the room. The next day, September 7, my folks met up with us in the afternoon and we dropped their car off at the Nashville airport, where it would be waiting for them when the returned on Sunday evening.

On the way out of Autumnwood Apartments, I stopped at the office and handed in our keys. Then, at 4:00 PM Central Time, with my folks and our dog following in our Honda Civic, we headed south. We stopped for the night in Valdosta, Georgia and continued the trip the next day. The rest is history and stories for another time.

Strange to think that just a few days later, on my first day of work at my new job, the attacks of September 11 took place. That day holds different memories for everyone, but for me it was and remains a day of complete overload. New job, new city, new faces, and the world suddenly is turned upside down and you are 700 miles from all that is familiar to you. But me and Terri got through that together, and 8 years later have made a pretty good life for ourselves down here. New friends, new opportunities, new cars, new cat, new house, and most importantly a new daughter. Will we be here 8 years from now? Who knows, but whatever happens it won't ever be quite the same as that first huge step away from the familiar and into the unknown.