July 1st. Officially my last full month in Baltimore has begun, and, since A. now arrives back here on August 1st, my last full month alone. It’s a good feeling and a daunting one at the same time, since – to repeat it for the thousandth time – there is so much to get done before then. The little household tasks aren’t such a big deal; they’ll take time, but I know I can get them done, and it looks like I’ll have some help. The biggest load off of my mind would be if I knew we had a house in Missoula lined up, but I just keep telling myself there are 30 days left in which to find one; it’ll get done. It does look like we’ll have to lie about Zuzu, though, as it seems that pretty much no Missoula landlords allow pets. Well, this is what they get, and let that be a lesson to you, if you’re in a similar position: if your ad says “pets on approval,” then your tenant will tell you he or she has a pet, and you can make a determination based on what kind it is, etc. But if you just say “no pets,” well, you need to realize that lots of people have pets, and they’re not going to just drown them so that they can rent a house from you. So then they lie, and now look what a fine start you’re off to. . .

My brother and I departed West Virginia around noon, after brunch (and after setting my father up on Skype, a VOIP phone service that supports video as well as voice, so that he could see the video phone effect he’s dreamed of – he claims – since before it appeared in Dick Tracy comics, i.e., before the dawn of the modern age). It’s a beautiful drive, although more beautiful on the way to West Virginia, the direction in which the ugliness dissolves layer by layer like peeling an onion. Being a weekend close to Independence Day, there were an inordinate number of classic cars on the road, not to mention motorcycles. One thing that struck me was the relatively high number of three-wheeled motorcycles (or motorized tricycles, as I look forward to referring to one some day in the presence of its owner); my impression is that these were once a relative novelty, but perhaps they have gone into higher production. Maybe they’re the “safe” motorcycle that more and more novices are starting out on or that are being purchased by Milquetoasts who want to ride along with their friends.

We were home by five. My brother went swimming with friends at Pretty Boy Reservoir (he’s obsessed with swimming in “natural” bodies of water) and I went grocery shopping before planning some freelance work, packing three boxes (that’s my new, doable daily goal), and otherwise puttering around. Busy busy busy keeps the black dog at bay.

P.S. I learned over the weekend that the tenants have finally signed the lease. Now I is a landlord, I guess.