Still Standing

The last week and a half reads like fiction with all the catastrophes that popped up, but we are not only still standing, but pressing on in spite of it all. Tonight we find ourselves not quite at the end of the tunnel, but at least seeing the light.

We closed on our house at the end of November. We have the perfect house for us—a 123 year old house that’s been completely remodeled across the street from a park, a two minute walk from a large library and a short stroll from the historic square of Independence. It has a full size basement lined with antique brick. We are thrilled!

The next morning, the crazy started. First, my computer wouldn’t start. My CPU fan had gone out. Then my phone charge port decided to malfunction and I could barely keep it charged. It was the day after a blizzard, but progress must go on, right? I rented a van so I could pick up a stove. The sellers gave me the wrong address and at the end of the day I wound up at the bottom of a frozen hill in a moving van with a dead phone in the middle of the woods.

I managed to get a ride out to civilization, and the next day it took one of my sons and I two hours to break the ice enough to rescue the van. Once we did, I stubbornly tried to go after the cursed stove. Two more missed connections and another wrong address later, I finally got to see it. It was rusted. So much for being brand new. I left it and returned the van still stove-less.

We moved one of my sons in the new house so there would be someone on premises while we sorted things and moved ourselves. I dropped him off with supplies for a few days to find that the furnace wasn’t blowing heat. The furnace was the one thing we couldn’t inspect due to the gas not being on, but we were assured it was fine. It’s new, so we accepted that.

I did wind up smoking a pack of cigarettes at this point. I haven’t smoked since.

It wasn’t fine. A clogged exhaust, a bad pressure switch and a faulty thermostat meant $600 and two chilly nights for my son. Then the basement drain clogged. Once I got the furnace working I had to plunger the basement. I did get the drain cleared, and the water turned out to be from under the garage door due to extra heavy snow melt. I was glad to know it wasn’t anything busted.

Meanwhile, I managed to borrow a back up computer from my daughter so I could still get online and found that if I worked the cord just right I could still charge my phone. We had heat and online capabilities. Things were looking up.

That night I went to pick the other son up at work, and a teenage girl failed to stop in the parking lot and totaled my Civic. We were all very lucky she had hit the front of my car, causing it to spin. If she’d hit my passenger door straight on, she would have been seriously hurt. Lucky for me, I had no passengers yet.

A coworker boasted I finally had a “grown up girl car” when I pulled up in this car. Does this mean I no longer have to ‘grown up?’

That night I added up our situation. I was out a computer, a phone and now a car. The new house had no stove, fridge or washer and dryer and my budget for appliances at the moment had just gone on a furnace.

This is life, I decided. We had some huge blessings… a beautiful house, a family to fill it with and none of us had been hurt in the accident. I decided we were doing okay.

Since then, we’ve had some major blessings and things are back on track. I find myself grateful for little things, like the fact that my daughter had an old thrift store computer in her closet I can use while mine is being fixed. Every time I walk in the new house and feel heat, I smile. I probably would have never noticed it before. Now it’s a pleasure.

We are still in the thick of things… we have three apartments to break down and move into the house. The internet couldn’t be hooked up yet because of a rotted telephone pole, so that’s delayed, and we are still working out details like dog runs, dog doors and address changes.

My future writing space.

But the important details have been decided. I have my writing space claimed. There is an old cupboard under the stairs in the heart of the house that will make the perfect writing office for me. I can’t wait to get in there to push the spiders over, set up a desk and get back to writing.

So, a busy and adventurous week and a half for us, and more adventures ahead. I hope to get back on track with my work. I owe a finished exquisite corpse and prize. I plan to post that tomorrow, barring unforeseen incidents.

I’ll be offering Bitter Suites for free on Kindle next Friday. I was interviewed by the Horror Tree and that interview goes up this weekend I think… and I have an exciting announcement I hope to share at some point this week.

For now, I’m sitting back and being grateful I’m still standing.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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One Response to Still Standing

  1. Pingback: Exquisite Corpse #6: Treading |

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