Chaos, stillness, labor

There's a peculiar stillness about an airport at 5:30AM. It's jittery, half-alert, empty of people but full of potential like the gray suction of the atmosphere before a thunderstorm.

I write from Newark airport, killing time through the first of two long waits. The second will be the flight to Hong Kong, 16 hours in a horizontal grain silo hurtling through oblivion at nearly the speed of sound.  In that purgatory it is not easy to lie to oneself. In Hong Kong, I will run the gauntlet of immigration, customs, car, and immigration again into Shenzhen. A car will pick me up at 8:30 to carry me to see face to face the coworkers I've been emailing since June, the last time I was there.

Yes, I've been silent here for a while. In October I agreed to relocate to Durham, NC, where my company has a site. Even before then, my travel schedule had ramped up until I was gone one week out of four, and then came the effort to sell the house. First repairs, then cleaning and cleaning and cleaning again, living in a theme park version of my house and periodically being shooed out for tourists.  Until finally, three weeks ago, negotiations. After that, a mad dash to Raleigh - Durham to tour other people's houses. A funeral. And a trip to China. Last week wasn't the most stressful week of my life, but it was close.

I would have liked to post about the many illuminating and infuriating things we went through to sell our house, but there was too much uncertainty. Now we have a contract to sell our house and (almost) a contract to buy another, so there is nothing left to do but execute plans.

There is a lot to execute. The current house needs repair to satisfy the city.  The next house is smaller by a third, which means trimming our belongings. After moving comes the settling in. And I have to move my lab as well - I thought I'd be able to leave some machines installed at the Cleveland lab, but the space has been promised to others.

So bear with me, please, as I deal. I do plan to continue to post, though I've handed the reins of the Lake Erie Moose Society blogger meetup group to my good friend, veteran Cleveland blogger Heidi Cool.  Watch this space.