We moved on July 24th after two months of packing 25 years of belongings. I got rid of a lot of stuff, thank God, because everything still couldn’t fit on the truck. They had to go back and get the rest of my things for a second trip. It took eight hours, from 9 am to 5 pm, to get it done. Needless to say I was exhausted. I think exhausted is how I am going to feel for a very long time.
My queen size box-spring did not fit up the stairs, so we agreed the movers should dispose of it. We spent our first night sleeping on the old mattress that was laying on the floor in the bed frame. The next day I went out and purchased a new split box-spring and mattress, just like the ones I got for my daughters’ new bedroom sets. The delivery guys came to deliver it and saw I had three slats to hold up the new set. They had no clue how to arrange them, so they put them in any old way. I got two great and much needed nights of sleep before two of the three slat cracked at 12:30 am on the third night. I yelled to my husband to get off the bed and we “slept” on the hardwood floor until 5:30 am. Then, while my husband went to have breakfast, I stripped the linens off the bed and yank off the mattress and box springs. By the time he came up I was already measuring the size of the new slats we needed to buy. At 7 am we were at the lumberyard. I wanted ten slats, but they only had 8 and when I got home I found one of those eight was damaged. I ended up using seven. My husband helped me get the box-spring and mattress onto the slats and left in time to get to work at 8 am.
My younger daughter took a week’s vacation to help me out with the move. I was very grateful to have someone home with me to help me get organized. The first thing we did the day after the move was to get the bathrooms and linen closet set up so we could take showers. That was the smaller of the two unpacking jobs I had in mind and it went well. The next day I planned to do the kitchen. I had purchased plenty of paper and plastic plates, cups and utensils anticipating not being able to unpack and organize the kitchen overnight. I cleaned the outside of the cherry cabinets while my daughter was sleeping. Then I started washing the inside of each one. I thought it would make the unpacking a lot faster and easier if I got a head start. Well, these cabinets are twice as deep as the ones I had. I don’t know why they would make cabinets this deep because you can not see or get to the things in the back. I miss my old cabinets. Anyway, I was trying to clean one on the bottom, narrow cabinets. I struggled to reach the back even as I was crouched down on the floor. I lost my balance, which is no surprise, and fell forward. I went to block my head from hitting the tile floor and instead my forehead crushed my pointer finger which immediately swelled up and turned black and blue. I might as well have hit it with a sledge hammer. Thank God I didn’t pass out right then and there and was able to get ice from the freezer on it. I must have sat there a couple of hours icing it. My husband was going to work late that day and it’s a good thing too, because after a while I did feel like passing out and he was here to help me through it. Two weeks later and it still hurts.
While we were working on the kitchen, I decided we should do the laundry. We had quite a bit, even though I had done as much as I could before we left the old house. My daughter and I took all the laundry downstairs and loaded the machine. It fills up with water, but doesn’t start washing the clothes. The machine sits there full of clothes and water. I am tired, frustrated and disgusted. Thank God my husband took the day off. I wring out all the clothes as best as I can, by hand. Then I send him to the laundromat to wash and dry them while my daughter and I empty out the water in the machine. Once that is done, I call a repairman, who comes immediately. The sensor that tells the machine to start isn’t working. He adjusts it with two turns of a screwdriver and tells me this is a very good machine. Then he notices the agitator doesn’t work and says he can rebuild it right now for sixty dollars, on top of the fifty dollar service charge. I tell him to go ahead and do it. It takes less than 15 minutes. Now I have a working machine and some peace of mind. I also have clean clothes! I was happy for a while.
What next? Well, we had a very heavy rain one evening. I see water coming down in my kitchen from the ceiling. Now I cannot tell you how many times I stressed to the previous owners that I was paranoid about water getting into the house and they swore the roof and basement were good, but never mentioned the window in the office upstairs! I should have been suspicious when, during the walk through, I saw the window screen was removed from that window. I also noticed, after the fact, that some plastering had been done to the wall under that window and the kitchen ceiling. So when I went upstairs I see water coming in from the top of the office window, which was ever so slightly open and there was an inch and a half to two inches of water sitting in the windowsill and coming in through the wall. A nice puddle formed on my brand new hard wood floors. I frantically got up the water with paper towels. Now it makes sense why the screen was out. The bottom of the screen was preventing the water from draining off the window sill. I closed the top window as tightly as I could and raised the screen all the way to the top. I don’t know if this will solve the problem, but I may find out today or tomorrow, as we are getting heavy rain again. In the meantime, I have hired someone to take care of the front of the house including the slate roof, brick work, cleaning gutters, and caulking all the windows. In case you are wondering, the windows in the house are relatively new. I have to say I am more than a little pissed about this development.
It seems I am always getting derailed by things I didn’t anticipate. I had a long, long list of things to do here and these little adventures aren’t helping. Meanwhile, I got the painter in last week to go over the whole house and take notes. I am still waiting for his estimate. In the meantime, I got my electrician taking care of new fixtures, outlets and odd jobs while I wait. The house is very dark inside, especially on cloudy days and I need light! I can’t unpack most of the boxes until the painting is done. The garage, which looked a lot bigger than it is, is full of boxes from floor to ceiling. I need it for storage right now and don’t know if we will ever be able to use it for a car…maybe a matchbox car.
After the front brickwork and slate roof is done I need to get a contractor to do a new cement sidewalk and front yard with a brick wall around it. We will be able to BBQ and eat out there next summer, hopefully. Maybe by then I will be able to laugh at all my first week of adventures in the new house? If not, we will start a new tradition in this house. At 4 pm every day there will be a happy hour and I will indulge in a glass of wine before dinner.