It's time. I've been away too long and it's time to catch up. So here it is. I'm going to spend a post or three bringing you up to speed on my life the past eight months.
It begins with 'the move'. Our house had been on the market a year and a half. I was going nutty. I was in the process of deciding whether or not to put out a garden (since I hadn't the previous summer and lived to regret it) when, lo and behold, we got an acceptable offer on our house. It really happened pretty quickly. But we'd gotten a couple of less than acceptable offers before, so I was afraid to hope too much. Suddenly there was this offer contract with four names on it, and we'd sold our house. What followed was pretty typical... inspections, appraisal, insurance people stopping by. We had a couple of things to address from the inspection, but other than that, all was set and we were good to go. The buyers agreed to give us 14 days after closing to move.
I'd been packing things all along. We'd staged our house to sell it, and in doing so, we'd put a lot of things away and packed them up. Little did we know it'd be more than a year before we'd see them again. But now, packing began in earnest. I did a lot of it myself because my wife was working. Someone with more foresight would have taken the time to go through stuff and get rid of things BEFORE you pack it so you don't have to move as much. Not me. I didn't trust myself to get rid of things that my wife may or nay not want later, nor did I want to take the time. I was moving!
Our first snag, however, was that we didn't have a new home to move to. We'd looked and looked. By this time we were getting less and less picky and looking at just about anything that might have possibly worked for us. But everything we looked at had something significant wrong with it that made us decide against it. Either it was too small, too expensive, had some serious structural issue, didn't have enough property, had crazy high taxes, wasn't in a good location.... we just couldn't find "the place".
Fortunately, my wife's sister came to our rescue. She lives in the town we were moving to and said we could move in with her until we found a place. Her home is a large building 'downtown' in which she has her art studio and a large upstairs apartment. It was plenty big enough for us to live with her and make do. So the arrangements were made to store our belonging and keep up the search. This really was a blessing because it meant we didn't have to rent a house and end up moving twice. The apartment worked out really well. Wife and I had a bedroom to ourselves, the boys slept on a king sized bed in another room, while our daughter took a cot in the same room. My sister-in-law voluntarily slept on an air mattress in yet another room. We paid her something to help with utilities, but she never asked for it. Plus, she was able to eat with us on several occasions, which was a better meal than she would have fixed for herself!
Our belonging were to be stored in a warehouse in five large crates. U-haul has a business called U-box. You can get as many crates as you need (but the truck can only haul five at a time). The truck delivers them, you fill them up, lock them up, and the truck comes and hauls them either to the warehouse or your new home. In our case, they went to the warehouse for storage. When we were ready for them, they delivered them to the house and we unloaded. It was pretty amazing really.
Each crate could only hold 1500 pounds. Well, who knows how much their stuff weighs? The tow-motor that loads and unloads the crate had a scale on it and if the crate were overweight, you had to unpack and reload to fix the problem. The crates were delivered on a Thursday or Friday and I began to load. Then Saturday morning, some family and friends came by to help finish the job. The truck was scheduled to return the following Monday to pick them up. We left for our new hometown that day with the crates sitting in our driveway. I would have to return on Monday to be there just in case we had weight problems to deal with.
Remember how I said I hadn't gotten rid of much before packing? Yeah, that was my problem. Five crates weren't big enough. The were essentially quite full and I still had some stuff in the garage. Plan B: Rent a U-haul truck to drive back on Monday, load everything up, wait for the crates to go, then drive back to the new hometown and store the rest in a storage facility up here. As is usual with me, I overestimated on the size of the truck, but not by too much. My father-in-law came with me to help load up. I was pretty proud of myself, driving that big-ol' truck on the highway... I was pretty nervous. Of course, it would be one of the hottest days of the summer. But by dinnertime that evening, we were back and unloaded and the U-haul was back at the rental place. Oh, and the crates were all fine, none were overweight! I can't tell you how relieved I was. We had successfully left our old house and with two days to spare before the new owners really took possession.