Why I’m Not Writing Now

In a word: Distraction.

Who can concentrate when you’re moving this coming Thursday morning. It’s a house (4305 Howard, Skokie) with a small living room, small dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, two baths, a basement and a garage and of course a back yard. I don’t think this will be the only house we buy. Mainly because of the living room that’s tiny, tiny but will fit some of our furniture.

There are expenses attached to buying a house. New towels, a table, chairs and umbrella, towel hangers, taxes we need to pay, etc. etc. We did sell our condo, but there is the inspection. On the day of the inspection, our microwave broke. Now the microwave is attached to the wall so we couldn’t un-attach it. And one of the garage door openers broke. That was a quick fix. But the microwave is another matter. We did hire someone to come out this week. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the results of the inspection and whether the buyer will still buy our condo.

I started to write a short story, but there is packing and moving the packing to be done.

Now I need to continue packing. Thank goodness it’s cool outside. Yesterday was way too hot to move anything into the house. But today is a good day to move some things into the house.

After we moved our things into the house, we went to the Emily Oaks Nature Center. There I took pictures of the beautiful trees, the trail and the water. Then I posted them on Facebook. Who saw them? Only can only guess.
Sue Powers is an accomplished short story writer. She has had many publications, including Saturday Evening News, New Millennium Writings, Blue Earth Review and many others. She is a recipient of a fellowship and grant from the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose, and two of her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Our Move

It all began with our wanting to move closer to the city where most of our friends live. So we went online and searched for condos or townhouses in or around the north side of Chicago. Finally a listing popped up and we decided to look at it.

The condo we looked at is like an old Chicago apartment: large rooms, gorgeous dark woodwork, curved archways, steam heat, many windows and wood floors. Plus a pantry and another one by the front door and we’re in a great location: downtown Skokie.

We decided to buy it. Then we had to sell our current condo. It sold within a day! But the people who buying our condo were selling their house on contingency.  We were selling on contingency too. However, it all worked out.

Now the packing began. What a mess! Finally, we closed and moved in, Now the unpacking began. Our movers were good but we’re still missing things. We’ve opened every box and things are still missing. Not important things, but still…

So now we began to enjoy our new condo, but the heat suddenly went off. The board president called in a guy who deals with boiler. He said the boiler was twenty-two years old so we shouldn’t be surprised it conked out. He also said we have a boiler that’s too large for a three-flat.  Now our board president is researching options. I hope he hurries.

In addition, the appliances and the floor need updating. This involves a great of money. But my friend, Joyce Davis, is a designer and she reassures me that once the updating is done we’ll have a gorgeous condo.

Meanwhile, I’m looking for ways to make money. Does anyone have a part-time job available?

Moving in Stages

Compliments of Guest
Blogger, Kevin Standifer


I moved to Chicago from Austin, TX just over ten years ago. Now after ten years of learning how to moisturize, shopping for the right humidifier, buying the wrong winter coat and then buying the right one, and never ever finding a pair of gloves that actually warmed my hands, I’ve decided to migrate back to the warmer climes from which I came. Moving is never easy, but this time is probably the worst:

1. I’m not just moving myself, but also my partner and temperamental cat, Minou;

2. The partner had to find a job in our future home in Austin;

3. Our lease here in Chicago isn’t up for another six months, winter is beginning, and it’s the worst time to try to find tenants for an apartment.

We’ve found ourselves moving in stages. The original plan was to move in spring, close to when the lease is up. My partner, afraid that he would have trouble finding work, began looking in September. Two weeks later, he had found a job and needed to move in early October. This began what I’m calling The Stages of Moving.

Stage 1: Denial and Light Arguing

Since we can’t break our lease and cannot afford two, I quickly realize this means I’ll be staying in Chicago until someone takes over it. Meanwhile, the partner gets to move, take the car, explore a new city, get a fabulous new job, and generally have a lovely time (a friend is generously putting him up for the interim). I spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to think of ways to not have to sit around in Chicago by myself. No dice. I pick on him for no reason.

Stage 2: Panic


Unhappy Minou escaping the mayhem.

I force the partner to help me pack everything in our house before he leaves. We do so in about two weeks, with the exception of the stuff I will need in the coming months. The cat gets angry as furniture and boxes are shuffled around the house. Our living space looks odd and echoes now. Our landlord helps us look for new tenants and issues dire warnings that we won’t find anyone until spring. We cavalierly ignore him.

Stage 3: Candy Store

Partner leaves, which is sad but we firmly believe I’ll be joining him in six months. For two weeks I enjoy my newfound bachelordom, watching movies and playing video games to my heart’s content. I make a point to go to restaurants I’ve never been to, and go to museums I never got around to. Life isn’t so bad. I’ll be in Austin soon! …right?

Stage 4: Okay, Ready to Move Now

The initial fun of being solo wears off. I postpone coming home from work because I don’t like being confronted with the empty house. No one to speak of comes to look at the place. No longer optimistic about moving before 2014.

Stage 5: Panic, Part Two

I realize that even though “everything” is packed, there will be a whole second phase of packing that will take just as long when it comes time to actually move. Clothes. Pots and Pans. The TV and all attached gadgets. Bedding, computers, things in the closets, cleaning supplies, tools, bathroom stuff. I have actual panic attacks. I see things to do everywhere but cannot act on it.

Stage 6: Bitterness

After two months, I realize I’m probably stuck here until winter is over. We’ve bumped back the rental date for prospective new tenants twice. I’m also constantly thinking about all the things I need to do once we do have a renter. Book a flight to move the cat, arrange for my dad to come help us move, cancel utilities, find an actual place to live in Austin, plan a going away party, the list goes on and on. Again, I can’t act until we know.

Stage 7: The Actual Move

I envision this as a joyous flurry of activity, ending in a joyous move to a perfect living space in Austin, full of warmth and sunlight. It will be so glorious, it could only be celebrated properly with a song and dance number. The reality will probably fall slightly short of this, and my furniture will probably get damaged.

So now I wait, and wait, and literally count the days. As much as I’ve loved living here the last ten years, spring cannot come soon enough.


Kevin Standifer knows a really great two bed, two bath place in Andersonville you could rent. Interested? Contact him at kev1981@gmail.com.