Sunday, October 19, 2008

recovery

Foolishly, I had the Comcast disconnected Friday instead of, oh, I don’t know, Monday? So at about 7 pm (Friday) tonight we lost television and (horrors!) the internet. So I’m blogging into Word, and will paste and post as soon as my next free moment with wi-fi comes around.

And here it is: Moving Day. Or Moving Eve. It’s 10:30 pm on Friday the 17th and we’re winding down for the night. Tomorrow morning we’ll be packing up a U-haul truck with all of our (voluminous) worldly possessions and heading to 2607 Sandy to start a new chapter in our new home.

I absolutely hate it when people complain about how busy they are or how busy they have been; it’s just one of the least interesting topics of conversation I can think of. But here I go, I’m about to tell you how very, very busy we’ve been. Because almost every night for the last three weeks we’ve finished up our work day and headed straight to the new house to paint, prime, sand, scrub, rip and varnish every inch of the place. The bathroom is coming together amazingly well. Drywall is hung, bathtub is in place, walls are mudded, sanded and primed, and tonight my Dad, the hero, finished placing all of the (one-inch octagonal) tile in the floor. It’s been incredibly exciting to watch the bathroom come together, and I can’t believe he’s done it almost all himself. With lots of help from Austin, plus some from Patrick today. Simply amazing. We picked up a gallon of sky blue (Glidden Falling Rain) paint for the walls, and everything else is white, white, white. At first it seemed like an outrageous undertaking and expense (okay, it’s both) but making the bathroom a room we’re really proud of and love is going to turn out to be so worth it all in the long run.

In the meantime, the rest of the house came together beautifully. Paint is up on all the walls of the main floor. I finished the last coat of yellow in the kitchen this morning, and pulled all the blue tape down to reveal a completely transformed room. The backyard fence was finished Thursday and looks shiny and sturdy. The only major roadblock we’ve come across was revealed on Sunday night when Megan and I, excited to see how everything would look when it was finished, pulled up the carpet in the bedroom to reveal horrible stains on the hardwood floors underneath. I know we shouldn’t have been surprised, and we certainly should have found out for sure one way or the other WELL before a week before moving day, but I was simply heartbroken. Further investigation revealed the office floors were nearly as bad. Two days of discussions later, we decided to undertake a simplified floor refinishing project, and Wednesday night Brandes helped us sand the floors and bleach out the stains. Thursday morning he met me there again and we got woodstain down, then I applied poly that night and this morning and they look REMARKABLY better. Especially the office, where there is only one dark spot left and it’s going to be covered by a bookcase.

So other than the floor drama, which will most likely continue into our occupation of the home because we haven’t even pulled up the carpet in the hallway yet, everything has gone so well. The white trim, while being a major pain the labor ass, makes all the new colors look gorgeous, and this morning while we got things cleaned up it started finally getting exciting, as opposed to overwhelming. There is still so very, very much to be done, particularly to the basement, but the living space is ready for us to move in and start putting our things away.

I spent a lot of time this week picturing where everything would go, and I feel like I have a good game plan for unpacking over the next four days. I took a week off work for the moving, so I’ll have M-T-W there to really get my nesting on. Comcast is coming tomorrow for installation, including our new DVR, whoop! And Sears is delivering our new 25 cubic foot Whirlpool refrigerator in the afternoon, a hulking giant of an appliance, the kind with the French doors on top and the freezer on the bottom. We are hemorrhaging money, to the point where it’s like we don’t even notice anymore, but I know it’s gonna hurt in a month. The HELOC is still stalled in the approval process, mostly because no banks have any money or credit right now, I suppose? But we’re confident it will come through and we can start clearing everything up after that.

Packing up the old house has been laborious and bittersweet. I got a little sad, we’ve been really happy in this house and had many dreams for a future here. We absolutely got a better house out of the bargain and I’m so excited about our new home, but it is always an emotional time, stripping a home down to the walls and turning it into a stranger again. I’ve been lucky enough to have lots of tough-love help in packing (“Are you SURE you want to keep all fourteen of these ramekins? How many ramekins does one person need?!”) with VIP credit going to Jenny, who slogged away about six hours today and left a swath behind her of just-barely-contained possessions in dozens of cardboard boxes. I don’t mean to discredit the contributions of Casey, Megan and Lauren, who managed to box up the contents of the dining room and about sixty percent of the kitchen last night, all while surrounded by as many as five curious and muddy dogs, plus Charlie Murphy, who loves helping and packing and helping with packing.

*Editor's note* As I said, those were my comments from Friday night. It's now Sunday afternoon, and we're indulging in a lazy day before getting started on the absolute wreckage that is our new home. It's a maze of boxes and furniture, all just sort of plopped down willy-nilly, and I'm ready to tackle it with a vengeance. Unpacking is one of my favorite things.

Other than all the boxes, things are settling in just fine. We still need to clean the old house and empty the fridge, and take the remaining contents of the garage to recycling. And my cd/dvd shelves were screwed to the wall and we didn't have the right tools to take them down, so we'll need to rescue those before we close up the old house and give Tony back his keys.

By far the toughest part of yesterday was dealing with the pets. My sisters say we should all be alloted like 10 minutes over a lifetime when we can simply talk to our pets and have them understand. I would have taken three minutes to just explain to Charlie Murphy and Corvinius that we were not trying to kill, maim or abandon them by cramming them into a cat carrier and a picnic basket, respectively (poor Vinius). Jenny and Casey bravely took the lead on this endeavor and drove all three cats, wailing their fool heads off, to the new house. I'm so glad I wasn't in the car because I would have cried the whole time. Mackenzie, shockingly, adjusted quite nicely and was hanging out in the Man Room cool as a cucumber when I went to check on them an hour later (Charlie and Vinius were huddled together behind one of the doors). I suppose Kenzie has moved six or seven times now, while the boys were only brought into the Eastside house when they were still too small to care. Happily, by bedtime they were all three out and about, exploring, finding their food bowls, and eventually snuggled up in the bed with us like brave and forgiving kids. Charlie Murphy, especially, I believe has been extra sweet to me today as an apology for nearly gutting me yesterday in the Dreaded Box Incident. If I wasn't so embarrassed by the state of my belly I'd post a photo of the scratch that runs from my breastbone to my navel. He meant it at the time, but I'm getting lots of blinky eyes and sweetness today to make up for it.

The dogs also adjusted. We brought them over here and left them in the backyard before we went and picked up the moving van, and by the time we got back here with all the helpers and trucks they were pretty frantic. But they've been zooming around the yard and clearly enjoy all the space and shade. Last night proved more difficult; when it was finally time to bring them in for dinner it took much coaching (as expected) to get Bridgette and Mischa up the stairs. But they finally made it and explored the house (as much as they could with boxes everywhere) and spent the night sleeping on their three new dog beds in our bedroom. Then when they woke up at five am and refused to go down the stairs, things got temporarily ugly. We finally coaxed all three of them out at about 7 and went back to bed until ten. We spent some time playing with them outside this morning and I think they are really going to love it here. Hopefully by tonight we'll have made more sense of all the mess and they can get a better feel for the new place (and the new couch on which they are not invited...).

That's my excessively long update. Better get my unpacking groove on. Look for a Special Thank You edition of the Delusions blog, coming up next...

2 comments:

agnes said...

hooray! i look forward to helping with the unpacking and organizing tomorrow. in the meantime, i would just like to point out that if one were to, say, want to make creme brulee for everyone in Book Club, fourteen ramekins would not even be enough.

laura said...

Thank you for the update! I have been thinking of you. Congratulations on moving in-- so exciting!!