i woke up at 9am and biked to belmont so my father and i can drive down to dedham to buy some 50 gallon food safe plastic barrels (to be converted into rain barrels) from a facebook marketplace seller. i arrived by 9:30am and messaged paula using my facebook app which i rarely use. she responded soon afterwards, said she was in training. she seemed to forget most of the things we talked about tuesday, like the time we were meeting (10:30-11am) and how many barrels i wanted (2-3). she said 11am was better. when i asked her about the address, there was a long gap before she finally responded.

since we had time, my mother fixed me some breakfast: honey avocado and egg on toast with cherries. my parents walked down to the mt.auburn star market (for exercise) and hauled back a bunch of groceries, including cherries (on sale $2.99/lbs.).

around 10:15am paula messaged me that she was 15 minutes from arriving. "i thought you said 11am?" i asked her. "we're leaving now, it'll take about 35 minutes to get there," i informed her. it ended up taking a little bit longer, as we were delayed by multiple street repairs. we get onto I-95 via waltham (google directions told us to either take the turnpike or take local roads cutting through newton), i wasn't expecting there to be so much traffic (the halcyon days of empty roads during peak coronavirus pandemic seem to be over). at one point paula told me she took out 2 barrels, i asked her to add a third, she reminded me that would be $75, i said sure, wasn't going to bargain with her over price, for these keep of olive barrels $25 a piece is already plenty cheap.

we ended up arriving a few minutes after 11am, our original agreed upon time. the destination was a storage facility. outside an empty parking lot was a car with three empty barrels lined up against the wall. from her facebook profile i thought paula was a twentysomething girl; when she stepped out of her car i realized she was a middle-aged woman. the exact went quickly, i could already see the barrels, the first thing i did was to hand her the cash. "you guys all set?" she said to us as she very quickly got back into her car to drive away. we packed the barrels into the back of the honda element. for some reason i thought we'd have to stack them on their sides, but there were room for them to be placed upright. they were still a little sticky from whatever juices remained inside. we returned to belmont, retracing our steps from before.

both my father and i had never been to dedham before. their town center has some interesting architecture. it didn't seem like the kind of buildings you'd find in a typical small town, as there was also a county courthouse. turns out dedham is the seat of norfolk county. seeing the courthouse jogged my father's memories and he remembered coming here with my grand uncle to do business related to his former brookline properties.

we got back by noontime. we moved the barrels into the backyard so we could wash them outside. instead of holding olives, the labels on these barrels said greek golden peppers and giardiniera. there was even some leftover pickled vegetables in one of the containers. inside was a faint vinegary smell from the pickling juices. the thing i noticed right away was these barrels seemed smaller than our other red barrels. i held one up so they were about equal height and sure enough these were shorter by a few inches. we realized that these were 50 gallon barrels, as advertised; the ones we've been using for our barrels are all 55 gallons. beggars can't be choosers, and currently nobody's online selling the 55 gallon olive barrels, or if they are, they're both too far away and too expensive. these 50 gallon barrels will do, we we set them up we can start collecting. these are for the front of the house, we were lose half of our rain since currently there's just one collection barrel. my father determined that we have enough bushes in front of the house to hide the barrels so they wouldn't be a neighborhood eyesore.

i also biked here today so i could borrow the car and help kevin move tomorrow. but since kevin won't be moving until after 12pm, i decided i could come back tomorrow and get the car then, saving me the trouble of having to fight for a parking spot. around 1pm i was getting ready to go home. the early forecast said it might rain in the evening though it seemed like brief passing showers at best. but what my eyes were telling me was something different, as the sky outside quickly turned dark. rain was most definitely coming, and judging from the ominous clouds and faint sounds of thunder, it was going to be a lot, contrary to the meteorology reports. i was just closing the garage door when it started, a pelting of heavy raindrops.

normally i wouldn't be so excited about the rain but it hasn't rained like this in weeks now. would it be enough to fill the rain barrels? we even put out our new barrels so they would catch the runoffs from the preexisting barrels. during the heaviest downpours, i went outside with my umbrella to watch the rain pouring out of our gutter downspouts and into the catch basin barrels (red). once these barrels filled up, they still had to drain into our black storage barrels. whatever rain that doesn't get collected spill out from our runoff hoses. everything in the backyard seemed okay, but the front yard was a mess. first, all our downspout drainage were blocked so the house corners were flooding. my father put the diverter hose from the downspout directly into the lone front barrel so we couldn't see the water coming out, only hear it. the runoff from the downspout at the garage corner was so much that it flowed back into the backyard. the runoff barrel in the western side of the house wasn't really collecting much rain but the one on the eastern side started filling up once the main catch basin barrel was at capacity. the water was milky for some reason, but after the rain started to let up, i noticed it was because all the pine pollen has washed away into the runoff barrel.


more day!

the day has finally arrived: kevin is moving out tomorrow after staying at my place since the end of december. but why do i am nervous instead of relieved? i want him to feel like he's upgrading to a better place instead of downgrading. bigger bedroom. more sunlight. closer to his workplace. all good things. but if you were to ask me which of the two places was better, i could choose my place, but i'm naturally biased towards my own house. of course there are cons to the new apartment: only washer, no dryer; no unlimited spice racks; mice problem; and far away from supermarkets.

kevin asked again for tomorrow's itinerary. i told him after he finishes his meeting at 12pm, he'll have lunch and then afterwards we'll move to the new apartment. "what will you have for lunch?" he asked me, though he never cared before. i told him i had some yogurt in the fridge. he stammered, like he was trying to say something but he couldn't find the words. "i thought we could order something," he said. logistically that didn't make sense, especially since he spent a long time tonight making his lunch for tomorrow. "so after you eat your lunch, we move, you order food, and i eat lunch at your new apartment while you unpack?" there was any easy solution out of this mess but i wasn't going to help him out. i appreciated the gesture but what kevin doesn't understand is after 6 months living with him, the best gift he can give me is to let me come back to an empty house. besides, i plan on riding down to chinatown and haymarket afterwards, i don't have time for any courtesy lunch.