Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Moves

Last Thurs after I disconnected the computer and the TVs I loaded them into the Suburban along with Jordan the dog and Pouncer the Wondercat. On my way out of town I stopped by the cable company to drop off the cable boxes, remotes, and cable modem and then hit the road.

Jordan travels well; she’s made the trip to and from Lewes many times. Pouncer was a different story; he hates riding in the car. Pouncer has only left the house 3 or 4 times in the last 8 years, to go to the vet and be boarded when we were on a 2-week vacation. But there was no way around it – he had to get to Lewes in the car.

For well over an hour he howled and moaned, making sounds I’ve never heard from a cat before. I tried to reassure him with a calm tone and kind words, but it didn’t have much effect. For the last hour or so of the trip he did ‘maintenance moans’, not nearly as desperate as those before, just enough to remind me he wasn’t happy. We arrived at the beach house and I dropped off the pets, got them situated, and Joe & I headed to the new house for our walk-thru with our realtor, then to the settlement office.

The settlement went quickly, as we signed our names a thousand times on papers we’ll never read. Then it was done. Joe & I had dinner and then I headed back to VA. I had to meet the movers Fri morning. Joe stayed in Lewes so he could meet the cable installer Fri morning.

Fri I got up early and began packing the last minute stuff you can’t pack in advance: the shower curtain, bath towel, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste. At 9:15 the movers called to say they were traveling slower than normal due to the icy roads, but had just crossed the Bay Bridge. Having made the trip a thousand times, that told me they should be there in a little over an hour. Unfortunately, they did not arrive until 11:00. It was bitter cold and very windy. It was difficult to be outdoors for more than just a few minutes.

The 4 movers came in two 24-foot trucks. For the next 5 hours 3 of the men carried everything outside and the last man packed the trucks. During this time I closed up some boxes I’d left open in order to toss in last minute items, and then I carried out to the Suburban some awkward items that wouldn’t pack well. Finally at 4pm we pulled away and headed into the city. I tuned the radio to WTOP for the traffic reports every 10 minutes. Just my luck there was a disabled car blocking one of the westbound lanes of New York Ave – the route we needed to take. New York Ave was bumper-to-bumper. Instead of the normal 30 minutes to get through the city, it took us an hour and 45 minutes. Lucky for the movers, who were being paid by the hour. We arrived in Lewes a little after 8:00.

Because of the cold, wind, and darkness I agreed that the movers could take the trucks back to their heated garage overnight and then deliver the stuff on Sat. They were scheduled to move our stuff out of the beach house Sat morning anyway. With a little schedule juggling the dispatcher told me the movers should arrive with our VA stuff at the new house between 12 noon and 1:00. They’d call before they left, she promised. At 1:10 I hadn’t heard from them so I called the office. They were running a little late but were leaving then, I was told. They arrived at 2:30 and began unloading the stuff. Fortunately the weather was much better – around 55 degrees – since I had to stand outside and tell them where all the stuff should go. They finished unloading at about 4:00. Then we drove to the beach house, only about 3 miles away, and began loading up the furniture from there.

It was not our original plan to move all the furniture from VA and the beach house to the new house. We thought we’d have lots of time after we’d move to the new house to sort through the stuff at the beach house, decide what we wanted to keep, and arrange for the rest to be picked up by relatives or donated. But when the beach house rented in just 3 days and the new tenants needed to move in on Jan 31, we didn’t have time to do anything. It all had to be moved out. The movers brought the contents of the beach house and unloaded it at the new house by 6:15. After having been on my feet for 2 days, I was exhausted.

We decided not to try and stay overnight at the new place, which was in a total state of chaos. Instead, when the movers left we went back to the beach house to care for the pets, washed up, and went to dinner. Then we went to Wal-Mart and purchased some curtain rods and curtains for the bedroom and bathroom windows, and then went back to the beach house and slept on an air mattress.

After a brief breakfast Sun morning we headed over to the new house with a priority list.

The first thing was to get our bedroom set up. We cleaned the floor, attached the mirror to the dresser, moved the dresser and armoire into place, vacuumed and placed the rug, attached the bedrails to the headboard, put the mattress and box springs on, and made the bed up with clean sheets. Then we shirred the curtains onto the spring rods and squeezed them into the windows. Since the windows have lovely trim and crown molding we didn’t want to cover them, so we opted for the light curtains on spring rods mounted inside the window casings.

Next came the bathroom. I put up a similar curtain treatment on the bathroom window and hung the shower curtain while Joe gave the bathroom a quick cleaning and put down the new bathroom rugs we’d bought the night before.

Next we unpacked all of our clothes and loaded them into the closet.

Then we worked on the TV room. We moved the sofa, chaise, and ottoman into place, removed some items to be donated, played around with the placement of 2 chairs and a lamp, put down an area rug, and then vacuumed everything in the room. We connected the cable to the TV and breathed a big sigh of relief when it actually worked.

After dinner we went back to the beach house to load up the remainder of our stuff. Since we’d had no time to pack the kitchen, pantry, or closets, the movers couldn’t take that stuff; they only took the furniture. We filled a few empty boxes and several laundry baskets with dishes, glasses, and food until there was no more room in the Suburban. We brought it to the new house and just added it to the pile in the living room.

Then we went into one of the guest bedrooms that also serves as my office. First I set all of my work and personal computer components on the desk, only to find there was no possible way it would all fit. I removed the personal computer components, since I knew I would need to use the work computer the next morning. After hooking it all up to my new cable modem, I just couldn’t get internet access. It was almost 9pm and I was exhausted so I decided I’d figure it out in the morning.

For several hours on Mon morning I disconnected and reconnected the computer components and cable modem, checking all the connections to make sure they were tight and to make sure nothing had been left unplugged. Then I realized that I needed to download the cable company’s internet software onto my work computer using the CD they provided. Ooops – my ‘new’ work computer doesn’t have a CD drive! I talked to a colleague who suggested I use my personal computer, which already had the software on it, since all I needed was to access the company’s network remotely. So I disconnected my work computer and reconnected my personal computer with hopefulness. I still couldn’t connect to the internet! Finally, in sheer desperation I called the cable company for help. After less than 2 minutes the technician told me over the phone that it appeared the modem had not been ‘activated’ when it was installed on Fri. Ugh… all that time wasted! The technician ‘activated’ the modem in seconds and I was in business.

Before I knew it it was 5:00 and Joe was home. It was time to make another trip over to the beach house to load up more stuff. We really didn’t want to; we wanted to start organizing our new house. But with only 2 nights until we had to be out of the beach house, we really didn’t have any choice. So we took the same boxes and laundry baskets over and filled up the Suburban again.

After work on Tues we made another trip to the beach house to load up. Every time we thought we were just about done, we’d open another cabinet or closet and find more stuff. Oh yeah, there was stuff in the garage too. We filled the Suburban but realized we were not done. We unloaded it at the new house and went back to the beach house again. We took a load to the dumpster, then filled the Suburban up for the last time, vacuumed the carpet and cleaned bathrooms, and drove off. We were finished loading! Meanwhile, back at our new house we still had yet to unpack a single box.

Wed after work Joe had his appointment with his personal trainer and I was exhausted so we ‘celebrated’ being done with the packing and moving by taking the night off. When he got home at 7:30 we had dinner and watched TV, then went to bed at 10:00.

Tonight after dinner we tore into the boxes of kitchen stuff like maniacs! We unpacked and put away 10 boxes of kitchen stuff from VA and 2 laundry baskets of kitchen stuff from the beach house! We can actually walk in the kitchen now without boxes scuffing our legs! The kitchen looks really good and I feel really good about our progress.

Our goal for tomorrow after work is to move the boxes and furniture out of the middle of the guest bedrooms, put the beds together, and stack the boxes and furniture neatly so a person can actually walk around in them. I think we’ll tackle the dining room on Sat. We need to move the furniture into place and then unpack the 5 large boxes of ‘fancy’ dishes and flatware, stemware, platters, and serving pieces. Then we’ll have to obsess over how they should be displayed. On Sun Joe’s brother is coming with a van to pick up some of the furniture from the beach house we don’t need/want anymore that’s piled in the living room. That will really help to open that room up so we can walk around in there, too.

Note to self: Try not to have to move out of 2 houses in the same week.

Drag Queen name of the day: Tanya Body

1 comment:

Clarkles! said...

Markles! Sounds like you are getting all settled in.

Are you going to find a renter for the beachhouse?