It was a long day. I rose somewhere before five to drive back to Maryland. Managed to get onto the Massachusetts Turnpike making only a single, not terrible problematic, error. The drowsies hit just after crossing into Connecticut so I found the empty parking lot in an empty business park as a place for a brief rest.

Opted to take I-84 all the way west on I-84, then head south on the Sawmill Parkway. Haven’t done that in ages, probably not since my Tattooed Boy was in college. Started to worry when I wondered whether I had missed the ramp to 287 and the Tappan Zee, now the Mario Cuomo bridge. Very spiffy, the new structure. I remembered the rest of the turns and it wasn’t a bad drive.

Not Enough Space

Joanna Sanford’s wedding gift to herself

It is abundantly clear to me that Maisonette Boston de l’Est is woefully short on storage space. Both bedrooms are about sixteen square feet shy of what I need. I am going to have to call the Medway Historical Society and see if they can take the Luther Metcalf cabinet and the portrait of Charlotte Slocumb. If I do that it will free up some critical space in my bedroom if I move the glass-front bookcase to the living room. I am hopeful Skinner-Bonham will think Pop’s desk, the Topliff mirror, and the Tea Party table might fetch something in an auction.

I have too many beloved heirlooms, it’s quite true; a lot of tables and chairs, in particular. Quotidian life, however, requires more space. I simply have to find more room inside those 870 square feet.

Good Ideas

IKEA in White Marsh

When brother Tim was over to loan me his inflatable mattress, he looked at the small coat closet where I imagined I would hang coats. He realized quickly that a pantry made more sense. A stop-gap prior to the construction of shelves surfaced on the IKEA website. Råskog. Perfect for the tool set, baking supplies, and the booze.

I looked up IKEAs in the Boston area. There is only one, in Stoughton, which is on the way to precisely nowhere I would want to go. The store in White Marsh, Maryland, however, is handy.

Everything You Had No Idea You Needed

Råskog trolley

I walked slowly and peered into various stagings, looking for the Råskog trolley. Bingo! As I was in the domestic furnishings candy store, moreover, figured I might as well look for other sweets.

Hanging storage, for instance. IKEA calls it Skub. Comes in gray and will provide space for rolled up tee shirts and the like. A bargain at $12, so I bought two.

Followed the arrows on the floor past the rug-and-doormat department. Wait! I need doormats for both front and back doors. Tossed everything into a shopping cart and searched the warehouse aisles for the black Råskog.

The Phone Rings

The phone rang just as I was about to check out and secure a glass of wine.

It was Bob Blue, the estate attorney; Sabrina, his Magnificent Associate, was with him. “We seem to have a problem,” he said.

As in “Houston, we have a problem.”

The Aegis, the Harford County paper owned by The Baltimore Sun, failed to perform the one job law requires. When an estate enters probate, a notice must be published a couple of times, just in case someone feels they have a claim. Claimants then have six months to respond.

The Aegis

Yeah. They failed to publish the announcement despite their assurances that they would. So now we are looking at six more months before any legacies can be distributed, despite the fact that we thought it would be a few weeks tops.

What To Do

It’s not the fault of Bob, Sabrina, Holly, or anyone else at the firm. This is all on The Aegis. Or on the Harford County Register of Wills. Or both, as I later discovered.

Can I call them up and scream like a harridan? Apparently, I can. And I should. There are real financial damages taking place here. Apart from all the wasted time—and time is money—there are the expectations on which people—me, for instance—made financial commitments.

Scary Ellen is back in play.

The Aegis is going to pay and I am looking for something more than an ounce of flesh.