We moved into our new home on Wed. It's an interesting process. You take your whole life and put it in cardboard boxes. Then you take it out again. Unfortunately, you are left with all this cardboard. The boxes aren't all that much problem--you hack at them a bit and they lie down flat. But the crinkled paper that filled them takes up acres, and about the only thing to do with it is to stuff it back into the boxes.
It was kind of fun to go to an East Coast closing again. In California, house closings are hygenic--you never see the other party face to face, in most cases. Escrow companies manage all the documents. They screw up (as Diana's did, repeatedly, when selling her house). But it's a single point of contact. Closings on the East Coast involve lawyers. In the worst case, the sellers, the buyers, the seller's bank and the buyer's bank all need to be represented, although often the same lawyer represents you and your bank (!). Everyone goes into a room and the lawyer is sitting there with a stack of paper 3 1/2 inches high in front of him. He starts dealing it out like some kind of Las Vegas poker dealer. The only thing missing is some fishnet-clad waitress offering you a drink. You sign your name 350 times, on increasingly bizarre pieces of paper. The great moment arrives--the selling couple (as nice as they can be!) hand over the keys to the house, and, more importantly, the garage door openers. And we are off.
Diana goes back to the hotel and starts gathering up a month of crap. The next day is moving day. She moves a bunch of stuff over to the house, with the help of the boys. While there, she meets someone from the gas company who says that there is a "small leak" at the meter, and he has turned the gas off. It will be back on "by evening".
Moving day starts early for me--4AM, when I wake up obsessing about the fact that the movers didn't call yesterday and confirm that they were coming. At 5:30, I get up, shower, and I'm off to the house at 7, to meet the mattress deliverers. The boys are getting new beds, since they outgrew their old ones and we trashed them in CA. At about 8AM, the mattress deliverers arrive. They start backing up the driveway, and suddenly I notice that their truck has snagged some wires. I run down the driveway shouting "Stop". It appears that the wires are just stretched, not broken. We get two new beds for the boys installed in their rooms. Diana shows up, and I head out to get some breakfast. When I return, the movers have arrived.
Cardboard boxes fly into the house--they actually have a ramp that goes from their truck up half a story to the screened porch, which is on the level with the rest of the house. When the porch is too full, they scatter the boxes throughout the house. "Where does this go?" they ask about a random unmarked box. I peer into it, and see that it is kids clothes. I direct them to the appropriate room. They deliver it to some other room. Over the next several days, we find office files in the basement, kid's clothes in the living room, and God knows what is in the attic.
Did I mention that it was raining, and that the rain turned to snow? And that the gas was still off? A call to the gas company turned up that nobody knew anything about it. The temperature in the house was 50 and falling. Another call--they found out what the problem was, and somebody would be out. At 6PM, another call--nobody had come out, and the temp. in the house was 43 and falling (it didn't help that the movers had had the doors open all day). Finally, the gas people came about 7:30, and the house started to warm up.
The next morning, we woke up to a bright sunny day with snow and ice everywhere, and what seemed like a half-mile of lines down over our driveway and in the street. We had power, so we knew that it must have been phone and cable. On Fri., I took "the morning" off to wait for the phone people. They finally finished at 4PM. Diana was off to a professional conference--terrible timing, but she has been trained in one field but hadn't been able to find work in CA in that field for over 10 years in California (prop 13). Out here, the field is very healthy, and she's off to get connected with her peers. The boys and I have been wading through boxes all weekend, trying to get things organized. As you might gather, I finally got my computer set up. Yay! It's time to see about getting people fed and do some housekeeping chores like replace every electric socket (they are so old the plugs fall out of them!), hang a light over the kitchen table, etc. And the phone wiring! Don't get me started!
Soon I'll take a more appropriate picture for the top of these entries. But for now, I'll sign off with a special thanks for weathering this long hiatus.
Thank you for reading.