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Wanderer at Rest

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By Jamie Balke Columnist

Moving on: a follow-up

I recently moved from my apartment into a house with two roommates. Foolishly, I thought the move would be a jovial team effort, full of hijinks and humor. Instead, it was a two-week physical and emotional pit of despair full of cleaning and heavy lifting.

Now, as I uncurl myself from the mental fetal position, I’m reflecting upon some of the move’s lighter points.

The funniest thing that happened during this soul-crushing endeavor was my dad’s response to several flies that infiltrated the new house. He was, shall we say, displeased to find the winged insects in the kitchen. He went flyswatter shopping and returned with a barbaric looking piece of metal – none of this new fangled plastic nonsense.

My dad was, in fact, instrumental in helping us move and clean. But whenever there was a lull in the work – like when the rest of us sat around the table at mealtime with eyes glazed and muscles fatigued – he went on the offensive. The flies didn’t stand a chance.

One insect, possibly trying to be clever, landed on my boyfriend Aaron’s arm. Perhaps it reasoned that the man with the swatter would not attack a fellow human. How wrong that fly was. Undeterred, my dad instructed Aaron to stay very still, and went in for the kill with his unforgiving metal swatter. Aaron was slightly traumatized, but physically unscathed.

Also humorous were the attempts to shelve our massive book collection. The three of us are avid readers/book hoarders, ultimately forced to purchase three gigantic bookshelves – in addition to the four we already had.

The new shelves are so large we anchored them to the wall, for fear for being crushed should they topple. However, while demonstrating the shelving installation technique, my brother John pulled the anchor from the wall with a gentle tug, and then declared he always knew it would all end for him in a cascade of books. We explored alternate anchoring tools.

Although painful, so far it’s been worth the effort. The house itself is well suited to our needs, and is in a beautiful Bozeman neighborhood near several parks with mountain views. Although there have been a few tense moments – such as when we discovered we’d have a three-week gap in Internet at the same time the new season of The Walking Dead was released on Netflix – it’s been great spending time with my roommates.

I was anxious about losing total control of my home, but living with two of my favorite people has been worth the compromise. Except for the day my brother stealthily ate the dessert I was saving for later. That day, I questioned my decision.

Jamie Balke would like her brother to know that she will defend her future desserts with the fly swatter, if needed.

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