When we last left our heroes, we were two days out from finally, making our final move from my Mom’s condo to our new home while visions of children playing in the cul-de-sac danced in our heads.
Hmmm…when you put it that way, it sounds a little lame.
In any case, our bags were…well, not really, packed and we were… well,not really, ready to go. We figured we’d have a couple of hours after the movers left to pack up our stuff and we would totally not be exhausted.
Spoiler Alert: It took several evenings to bring back all the Stuff We Could Not Live Without For Four Weeks (but mostly totally could).
We were a little concerned about overlapping time windows that could have the cable guy, the movers and the couch delivery from Ikea converging on the house all at once. Alissa and the kids would be at the house cleaning. I’d be supervising the movers at the storage unit. I was also tasked with getting breakfast at McDonald’s while Alissa worked on wrangling the kids. It was there that I got the call that the couch was on its way. So I diverted to Shoreline. Alissa and the kids would need to follow me down and grab breakfast there.
They arrived at roughly the same time as the couch, so I left that operation to Alissa and headed back north, receiving a call from the movers en route. (As an aside, I don’t know how I lived without integrated bluetooth capabilities in a car.) The would actually arrive at the storage unit shortly ahead of me, but not by much.
Once I got the movers started, I went back to Shoreline with cleaning supplies for Alissa to use in the house. Then it was back to the storage unit where things were not going very fast. Ultimately extra personnel were called in, and the job got done.
Except we couldn’t find the hardware for Harry’s bed. He slept on a mattress on the floor for a few weeks until we found the wayward nuts and bolts. As night fell, we had two of three beds assembled and Harry’s mattress set up on the floor so he could go to sleep. Our garage was full, but we could at least get through it. To say the same about the living room would be to stretch the truth a little.
I suppose that calls for a bit more explanation. The house is a three bedroom rambler. It has a galley kitchen, a utility space off the kitchen with what had been a laundry closet. Our awesome landlords moved the laundry and water heater to the garage at our request, so that space is now the family room. There’s also a sizable living room in front. Our vision is for this to be a more formal living room for entertaining while our TV and daily use couches are in the family room.
Our plan was to put all our boxes in the living room and review each item before putting it away. We would be brutal and never again have a garage full of stuff we were storing.
It was not a horrible plan, but it had some flaws. For example, our living room was a jumble of “storage” boxes, boxes that had “in service” items, and furniture. There was literally no rhyme or reason to how everything was stacked, except that I had an easier time finding my “Cool College Stuff” box (that’s a post for another day) than our coffee mugs.
Anyway, we got our kids to bed and decided that we had to assemble our couch. It was from Ikea, after all. Yes, we were exhausted and dripping with sweat. Yes, we did not finish until after midnight. But we finished and crawled into bed so we could have family over for Annie’s birthday the next morning.
Yes, you read that right.
So that’s how we landed. Oh, and there were still several weeks left of work on the house, like completing the kitchen, painting, re-piping, replacing the water heater…twice. So we started with very limited capabilities in terms of water. It was enough, but there were times when hot water was not available, or there was insufficient water pressure because of the work being done. It was a small victory when we figured out that the refrigerator water was filtered, so we didn’t have to buy bottled water to avoid the rust of the old pipes. The first time we cooked anything was another small victory, as was the first time we could add the “without a microwave” modifier to that statement.
Naturally, school started the next week, and that has it’s own brand of crazy. You go from summer to getting a routine down to getting supplies and starting fall extracurricular activities and …and…and … you get the picture. If you’re not “ready” for school to start, and we certainly weren’t you find yourself struggling to catch up in every conceivable way.
We bounced through September. The contractor finished his work. Little by little we got our house functioning. Sometimes I would get so desperate for a needed kitchen implement that I’d dive into the pile o’ boxes in the living room, rummaging through them until I found that, oh so critical, culinary widget.
Life doesn’t stop to let you unpack, but that’s okay. We’re here, and while there are elements of our journey that were not the smoothest, we made it. We’re down to a relatively small number of old storage boxes. We still need to thin out the kids’ toys, but that will happen in time, interspersed between sleepovers and dinners with friends and afternoons at the park or just talking to our neighbors while our kids play with theirs in the cul-de-sac.