You can tell when the Canadians have to return home so they can get their six months and one day of residence in Canada verified for their health insurance. Countless RVs, "fifth-wheelers", travel trailers, and a variety of vehicles, mostly with Alberta license plates, populate I-15 north so they can arrive home in time. We are sitting here in St. George awaiting Mother Nature to behave herself and stop dumping snow, ice, cold, sleet, and general misery along the Wasatch Front so we can head north again for the summer and fall. At least, after two months of spring weather and blossoms here in St. George, we will have another two months of spring weather and blossoms in Salt Lake. Then, in the fall, when autumn is over along the Wasatch, we get to enjoy autumn all over again for another two months in St. George.
It seems like we no longer get to St. George than it is time to sort out, throw away, pack up, and do all of the nuisance errands it takes to rearrange our living arrangements. We are still receiving mail in St. George for which we had changed the address seven months ago and which no one had ever paid any attention to despite numerous requests to have the address changed. We have just sent out dozens of address change cards again to have all of our addresses changed to our northern address. We know from experience that maybe 75% of those might actually be changed. The other 25% will be received by people who just chuck them in the waste basket or who, possibly, can't read or write, or, even if they can, think they will just make life miserable for us for sending them an address request change.
Next task will be to change our phone service from south to north, then our DSL provider, and, finally, our television provider. Last summer, we arranged for the TV and DSL to be switched from south to north, received a quote on how much it would cost, which was about $120, and, a month later, received a bill for $400. This necessitated an hour trip to downtown Salt Lake, an hour wait in line, and a further wait to straighten it out. Turns out, the bill was still not straightened out. We received another bill for $400. During the fall season just past, we had another hassle with changing our phone service from north to south. Folks, if you think snowbirding is just a lark, you haven't taken into account the obtuseness, carelessness, incompetence, and sloppy work of some of those who ordinarily could be so helpful making our transition smooth.
We keep wondering where some of our mail has gone, and then realize that it just hasn't been forwarded because it just got thrown away by someone who assumed we didn't want to see it anyway. Two years ago, as I know I wrote about earlier, we never did get our mail forwarding sorted out for about six months after going through two post offices, the regional post office, and nearly writing Vice President Dick Cheney, a fellow Wyomingite and University of Wyoming alum, who surely gets his mail forwarded properly and on time and who surely would have ample time to straighten the U.S. Postal Service out.
The next task is to figure out what stuff to take. Every time we go one direction or the other, I pack up several boxes of books, expecting to pore through every one of them once I get to the lesser distractions of the other residence. This time, I didn't even unpack the book boxes in St. George so they would be handy for hauling back north again where I plan to read every blasted one of them and post my reviews of them on this blog. For clothes, I have about 150 polo shirts and my wife keeps yapping at me to throw most of them away, but I have a sentimental attachment to each of them and feel that, in a flood, tornado, or earthquake, or if the stock market totally collapses, I will need them to have adequate attire. I have numerous pants with frayed cuffs which, theoretically, could be tossed, but I see young people every day with their pants legs two or three inches past their feet and which provide something to walk on to save shoes, and figure that no one cares what I look like around the house so they need to be saved. Then I have to haul my computer printers back and forth, along with all the other stuff that goes with them. And, more or less finally, we have to decide how much kitchen stuff to haul north. Definitely the Vita-Mix. My wife made a smoothie the other day, the average cost of which was about $75.50, and we may need to use it again in Salt Lake. The pressure cooker and the Ronco rotisserie never made it down here to begin with. I may buy some more kitchen gadgets to give to my wife when we get to Salt Lake.
With gas at $4 plus per gallon, we may actually be able to afford to drive only to Beaver, about halfway, where we ususally have this debate: Should we spend seven or eight bucks on a footlong, healthy Subway Sandwich sub, or should we spend two bucks on two McDonald's unhealthy, fat-gram-and-sodium-loaded double cheeseburgers and get back on the road? Guess which always wins.
So we will leave our little bungalow here in St. George and let it weather through the 100 plus degree days for a few months until the snow begins to threaten in the north. Each time we will join the migrations of other snowbirds, human and avian, in our biennial treks for greener pastures.