I sped up I-5 this morning to join a work gang (Matt, Ginger, Maria, Mike, Jamie) helping Dennis move. Pretty speedily accomplished transfer of goods. Dennis had already packed everything out of the house he was staying at, so we drove to the storage facility, loaded the Budget rental truck, and headed to the new apartment. The crew fairly short work of things (though Dennis will have a lot of sorting and going through boxes to do).

After we’d finished up and Dennis had returned the truck, we walked over to a local Mexican restaurant where Dennis treated the work crew to lunch. Good stuff, and a more than fair trade for a little heavy lifting if you ask me.

On the walk back from the restaurant, Maria and I got to chatting about cell phones. In the course of the conversation, I mentioned that the only reason I really wanted one was for emergencies. The idea of being stuck some place—or worse, of Erin being stuck some place—with a means of getting help has always kind of gnawed at me. Having a cell phone for something like that would be very comforting.

So Maria solved my problem: She gave me her old cellular phone and charger. Apparently every cell phone, whether it’s on a calling plan and signed up for service or not, is capable of dialing 911. I had no idea. (Heck, I didn’t even know that you don’t get a dial tone with cell phones.) Maria’s got a new cell phone and had this old, somewhat bulky Nokia just laying around in her car and seeing the opportunity to give it to a fellow like me who really wanted one for emergencies…well, you can do the math.

So a big, heartfelt thanks to Maria! Hopefully neither Erin nor I will have to use the phone, but I feel a lot better knowing we can if we have the need.

Our neighbors Brian and Debbie held a Halloween party this evening, and let me tell you, they really know how to throw one. The hot tub was bubbling, the keg was pouring, and the music was blaring. Costumes were optional, but a number of folks showed up in Halloween attire.

As the night turned cold and the party moved indoors, we got a chance to examine the house. Like many others in the neighborhood, it’s of the same style as ours with various changes made over the years from the base model. (Our house is fairly representative of the base model without changes.) In their place:

  • The walls between the kitchen and living room have been removed and the ceiling vaulted
  • The two upstairs bedrooms have been combined into one larger room
  • The front door has been moved closer to the kitchen
  • There is a hot tub room outside of the downstairs bedroom
  • There is an upstairs deck and a downstairs patio
  • The utility room downstairs is finished
  • Downstairs the family room and the bedroom are connected by a hallway

It was a pretty cool place made even more interesting by the similarities to our own home. A lot of the changes there aren’t changes which we would or will make, but it was fun to see, and a great place to party.