Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time To Review

The fence.
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." ~ Albert Einstein
And yet it seems as if the last five months have been one big blur of everything happening at once.... and it continues, this longest move in the history of mankind.

  • June 4th: My brother, Stephen, flew in from Europe for a whirlwind house hunt. The same day, Mom had her knee replacement surgery.
  • June 5-6: Thirteen houses visited, offers made, negotiations and a verbal contract set.
  • June 7: Obtain power of attorney for all things "house" related and do four hour home inspection. Work out written offer and contract and get final acceptance by builder at 6PM. Mom gets out of hospital and goes to rehab facility
  • June 8: Stephen flies back to Europe at 6 AM and I tangle with the concrete curb initiating my intimate and ongoing relationship with knee braces.
I did fairly well keeping up with my posting in June, even in the face of checklists and inspections and a glitch in Mom's knee recovery that required an additional week in the hospital. And then there was June 30th... the day I signed my name and Stephen's name on a stack of papers an inch thick... and the real "fun" began.

Miss Chloe enjoying her new home.
  • July 1: We vacuum and clean the hardwood floors in the huge house during a significant thunderstorm. Utilities have to be changed over and the grass mowed....(the grass saga will not be mentioned again...but it does go on and I don't think it quits, even in winter here) Formal request is made for fence to the homeowner's association.
  • July 3: Max has his surgery and starts his recovery in air conditioned comfort. I start with the dismantling of the 10 x 23 foot storage unit. (This takes three weeks with the help of my beautiful, strong and energetic daughter... it would have been impossible without her.)
  • July 8: We started putting down the rugs
  • July 13: My furniture arrived from storage and some found a home in the new house while other pieces would find their way back to the old house and be sold. The packing and sorting of my parent's house begins in earnest and boxes arrive daily... one van load at a time. Max begins his new chemotherapy... weekly for three weeks, blood check the fourth week and two weeks off.
  • July 19: Finally get screens put in the windows and find that we have an extra one... wrong size and we are missing one. (This is still an ongoing problem) I spend the first night in the new house.
Then the days merge together with packing at the old house and hauling boxes to the new house and unpacking them so we can recycle the boxes. Did I tell you that I found boxes I used in the move from Oklahoma to Mississippi when Nyssa was 3 years old? They have so many labels on the side, it is impossible to find space for more... these were good boxes! Somewhere in here they hooked up the security system and at the end of the month they connected the phone... although it took six weeks to bury the cable. And approval for the fence but then a wait on the installers. All the while, Mom was doing home rehab and the boxes in the living room ear marked for the moving sale were stacking up at the old house.

I must stop here and ask you to remember that it is a 13.5 mile drive from the old house to the new house.....and a 13.5 mile drive back again.

  • By the first of August I began spending more nights here at the new house than at the old. Each time the garage seemed to clear of boxes, more came over.
  • August 10th: Broke down and had cable put in for the TV and computer and found out that the living room, while wired for HDTV, did not have the simple connection for standard cable.
  • August 20th: The poor installation of the cable modem shorts out the motherboard of the security system. Oh! Joy!
  • The security company who wired the house comes and connects the "hidden" standard cable outlet, at the same time informing me that the warranty on their wiring is VOID because I didn't chose them to monitor the security. (Now tell me this. If a security company sent you a round smart box key in a flat regular envelope and sent it by regular mail and when the envelope arrived, the key was gone and the envelope was in a "US POST OFFICE 'WE'RE SORRY ABOUT YOUR MAIL'" get up....tell me, would you trust them with the security of your home? Their answer to my question as to why they sent it without padded packaging? "We have ALWAYS sent keys that way.") Anyway, since the wiring would be considered VOID when the guy left, I had him look at the intercom which only worked in two rooms. Wonder of wonders... it had not been hooked up correctly! (Again back to my "would you trust" question.)
  • August 16th: I spend the day in Williamsburg, moving Nyssa's lamps, fridge, microwave, futon and various boxes from Jamestown South 4th floor to Jamestown North 4th floor. We get caught at Target in a ferocious severe thunderstorm that frightened even the budding meteorologist and finally took shelter by pulling the van under the drive through lane at a closed bank. (I was nervously waiting for the police to arrive because of this maneuver.)
Also during August, Mom finished her home therapy and began her outpatient segment. This knee was rougher than the first but started to come along. Max's new cancer didn't respond as quickly to the chemo as the lymphoma and while he seemed on the mend, he preferred the cool comfort of his sunroom waterbed crate and all the kitties to the open back yard. I finally consented to start up a routine watering of the yard with the sprinkler system, knowing full well that this would only cause the weeds to grow at an exponential rate... and it did.

  • September 4th: A date is set for the movers to move my parents.... September 28th. But wait! The movers are ONLY moving the furniture!!! But the kitchen cabinets and the bedroom closets and the garage stuff and the pantry stuff.... who is going to move all that? I had not planned for this eventuality... so I had to get it in gear and unpack boxes to recycle and start packing up the kitchen. Again we moved one van load at a time.
  • September 6: The fence guys finally start. The permit was secured in August, the homeowner's association approval given the last of July and finally in September, they begin. I noticed that the contract has a provision stating "we have no liability for sprinkler system lines". The fence is finished in four days... the fence looks great... but zone three of the sprinkler is not working. Water bubbles from the ground around a fence post... AH, YES. They cut the line... in two places....let's see, now where did I put that sprinkler system guy's number?
  • September 10th: BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) starts. This year we are studying Matthew. Add homework but great blessing as well. Mom again volunteers to play the piano and I now help in the children's program full time so we no longer carpool.
  • September 15th: We start the window coverings... first the master bedroom and bath.
  • September 24th: Max doesn't want his biscuit. A trip to the vet and Pepcid AC seem to help but he isn't the same happy go lucky dog. Pain in his back leg, limping... but he still eats some, just not as much.
  • September 28th: The furniture arrives from my parent's house and they spend their first official night here. Mom loses her pajamas on the way from the master bedroom to the master bath and doesn't find them for two weeks. Max gets to see his new back yard and the night is cool. He is not eating much at all, barely enough to take his medicine, but when the sun goes down he hears or sees or senses something off in the preserve and excitedly runs back and forth by the fence. He will feel this new wind in his face and the cool grass against his tummy here for only four days, it will have to be enough.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
  • October 1st: Nyssa comes to say good-bye to Max. We sit, we cry, we rub his head, we offer all sorts of steak and chicken and hot dogs but to no avail. It is time.
  • October 2nd: My precious Max is longer in pain...his new yard empty. I put away all his things, wash his crate, empty his waterbed, launder his linens...cry a lot.
  • October 3rd: I have to take all six of the cats to the vet for shots in preparation for their move and let him know that Max is gone. Flowers arrive from the veterinary oncologist. I cry some more.
  • October 6: My parents take their ragdoll cat, Maggie, to be groomed. Three hours later I receive a call for them to come and get her... she is too hysterical and is hissing and biting and no one can handle her.
  • October 8th: I pick up Max's ashes and his clay paw print. It is strangely comforting to have the beautiful marble urn with me.
  • October 10th: Maggie finally gets a bath and nail clipping at my vet.... under sedation. It is the big day... all the cats move to the new house at the same time. We introduce them to the garage first, then other parts of the house after several days. They like the stairs... up one staircase and down the other.
  • October 15th: I start getting ready for the big garage/yard/moving sale at the old house.... target date... November 3rd. The living room at the old house is full of boxes to unload and the decision is quickly made to have the sale inside, setting up in the garage, living room, dining room, kitchen, den and the large study. I set up nine, eight foot tables along with three square folding tables and five smaller four foot rectangular tables and one very, very heavy ten foot table in the garage. I used all the kitchen counters and even some of the cabinets, the corner kitchen hutch (which stays with the house), all the cabinets and shelves in the garage and all the built in bookshelves in the office. Did I ever mention that we had an obscene number of books? Nyssa sold her Barbie dolls and I had some of my Cabbage Patch collection to go as well. Of course the stuffed animals were everywhere as well as four hot curler one seems to use those anymore. I often despaired of ever having it together.
  • October 25th: My brother arrives for a week and spends his first night in his new house. Success!!! He likes what I have done so far. He helps label all the books and "stuff" for the sale but has to leave the day before.
  • October 29th: Stephen orders Stickley furniture for the new dining room... The first garage organization man comes to pitch his product.
  • October 30th: The guttering company comes to give a quote... the second garage organization company comes to pitch their product and the blinds man comes to measure for the eating area, the den and Stephen's room.
  • October 31st: Decisions made for guttering to be done in the spring, the garage system... to be done the week after Thanksgiving and the change in the garage steps making them better suited for our elderly parents. At dusk we have a very special time at the edge of the preserve behind the new house. Nyssa, Stephen and I speak of three dogs... Dixie and Dottie who lived long lives and left us a few months before Max found us. They loved the woods, so it was only fitting that we mingle their ashes with those of sweet Max and let them play together forever in the trees and the brush. They were all rescues, they were all good dogs, they were all special. Stephen sang "Memory" (yes, I know it is from 'CATS') and "O Danny Boy" in which he changed the words to "O Maxi Boy". Their ashes clung to the brush until the winds came and they became part of the earth again.
It was also the first Halloween here and Stephen didn't want to run out of candy.... he loved giving the candy out...but there were not as many as expected, so Nyssa took a LOT of candy back to William and Mary.

Look who mowed the yard!!!! Posted by Picasa
  • November 1st: Stephen's Stickley sideboard is delivered. When he answered the door, the young fellow handed him a pink carnation... with a very red face. Apparently, most deliveries are made when the "lady of the house" is there and the furniture company has the drivers give her a flower. Oh, well... not this time... I almost forgot... Stephen mowed his lawn for the first time, after I showed him how to operate the mower. No edging, but he did mow!!!
  • November 2nd: Stephen flies to Europe... Christmas in Paris. And now there is more to do.
  • November 3rd: The big moving sale... 7AM until 4PM. Hurricane Noel has evolved and interacted with a strong front to set up the season's first Nor'easter with only misting rain, but with 50 mph winds from the northeast... it is cold. The flow of people is steady, not overwhelming but never really dead either. While we sold a lot of stuff and made over $1000, it was still difficult to tell that people had actually moved out of the house already... there was SO MUCH STUFF! One idea was.... leave it and have it again next week.... NO! NO! NO! It took three weeks to put it together and one week to box it up again. We finally have most of the left overs distributed to various charities. I have some books to donate to the library for their book sale and we kept Mom's cookbooks. Nyssa is going to help her SELL them on the internet. The tables have been returned and now the preparations to sell the house begin in earnest.
Stephen said I should sleep in for several days after the sale....(peels of laughter!) not likely. One thing just leads to another. Why, this week alone there have been sessions with the security system guy, the fireplace man and today... they tore out the garage steps and built the new..wider steps, lower rise and platformed version. Tomorrow the painter comes and hopefully by next week, this will be done. You see... the garage people are starting on November 28th.

So, you see... I really haven't been neglecting you on purpose.. I have several posts started, but by the end of the day my knees and hands and eyes are just begging to go to bed.... I will do better... at least I hope to do better.. and send more pictures as things start falling into place. Thanks for all your encouraging comments!!

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