I was up early, and by 8:30 my hair was standing on end from too much caffeine. It’s bad enough having to spend the last night in your Dream Home alone, trying not to think of all the reasons why you never should have sold it. Bad enough to see all the boxes, the furniture taken apart, the mattresses on the floor. Worse to wake up alone, have coffee alone, then run around yelling at yourself for forgetting things you should have done the night before. The trouble with yelling at yourself is that no one yells back so you end up even more frustrated.
No sign of my sister, but two honking big trucks rumbled into my driveway at 8:31. Five guys came with the trucks, all of whom tromped through the house with me noting all the things with patches of green painters tape streaked across them. I reminded them about the armoire…last on so it could be first off. They were initially jovial and joking when they found out no appliances were being moved, but they hadn’t seen my cabinets yet. The horse cabinet weighed a small ton, as did the carousel horse it housed. The aforementioned wall to wall floor to ceiling armoire came apart in four sections but each section was enormous and heavy as only solid oak can be. They started wrapping and padding and slogging things into the truck while I directed and watched and paced, anxious to get over to the New Quirky House to see what was going on there.
My sister arrived with her friend at 11:00, said friend having decided that since they were heading in a northerly direction anyway to get to my house, he might as well take the opportunity to drive a few bazillion miles out of their way to have a look at a used car he was interested in. Really? For punishment I made him carry all of my computer equipment to my car, something that had him looking at me like a deer in the headlights. Apparently he hadn’t expected to come help with a move and actually have to move anything.
I left them in charge and zoomed off with my packed car to the QNH where I was met by Kitchen Guy, who was furiously trying to get my office desk trimmed down and fitted into place before the movers arrived. The desk had only sat in the garage for two weeks needing to be altered to fit the new room, but hey. Day of the move is fine. Not much else going on. *snort* Bathroom Guy met me there as well with some fun news. Apparently his plumber had come to do the new waterworks for the main floor bathroom, but he took one look at what had been there for the past umpteen years and backed away like he’d had a peek under Darth Vader’s mask. Apparently the last renovater had neglected to put any sewer vents on any of the pipes, which meant sewer gasses had been coming up into the house all that time and nothing had been flushing or draining properly. He was blatantly amazed that the whole system had not backed up before now and painted a lovely picture of flushing a toilet and having all the icky water flow into the washing machine on it’s final rinse cycle. Charming. Since the work required to fix the problem…ie, rip out every pipe and drainage dufus in the basement and install new ones that had proper slopes and proper vents…was way above his pay grade, he happily left Bathroom Guy frantically phoning around to find a “master” plumber capable of doing the work. Remember when I said the house inspector had passed everything with flying colors? Plumber Guy said he should have seen the problem with the drainage pipes if he’d been wearing sunglasses in a dark room.
So…the plumbing would be delayed, which meant the drywalling and tiling in the bathroom would be pushed back, which meant I’d be moving in with no facilities on the main floor. Okay, well…I could manage for a day or two, bum knees and all.
Meanwhile, I shifted and moved small mountains of boxes around again to make room for arriving furniture. I also hit the beer store and the bank and the grocery store. Around 3:30 the trucks rumbled up the street. Whilst backing up into the driveway the first truck did a Titanic on Cabinet Guy’s truck, slicing through the front fender and leaving a gash like an iceberg. Cabinet Guy was not amused, especially since this was the third time a vehicle of his had been sliced or diced when it was parked and he was nowhere near it. I guess that would make me sort of twitch too. But that meant everything had to go on hold until the owner of the company showed up and discussed insurance blah blah blah. My sister arrived with the trucks, announced she was exhausted and was leaving, good luck, nice house, and why do you have no kitchen or bathroom?
Breathe in, breathe out.
Insurance matters settled, the Moving Guys start unloading. They used two doors, front and side, so it wasn’t long before I lost track of what was going where. Armoire did come in first and the sections*just* cleared through the narrow doorway. Kitchen/Cabinet Guy was there with his drill and shims to re-assemble the units, but as he had done two weeks before with my enormous attached bookcases, he sort of left the honking long piece of crown molding and base pieces on the floor so that they could be tripped over seventeen times.
By five o’clock most of the first truck had been emptied and furniture was being stacked on top of other furniture. Two items would not fit up the staircase to their designated rooms…a couch and a second more modestly sized armoire. Apparently no one in 1880 had large furniture. Five o’clock also marked the arrival of the Clone and mini Clone, both of whom were dispatched to the bedroom to put my bed together. I was determined to spend my first night in my own house, so despite much rolling of eyes and heavy breathing, they shlepped off with screwdrivers in hand and voila, I had my bed together in short order.
Kitchen Guy and Bathroom Guy simply vanished. I have no recollection of when or how they left. All I remember is five big guys walking back and forth with boxes and furniture and, thanks to rather good labelling on the part of the Clone when he was packing most of the boxes, they started to actually *read* what was written on each box and putting it in the right rooms. By the time both trucks were empty and the five guys were rumbling away, the garage was full, every room was crammed full of furniture and boxes. We were able to clear a section of the kitchen table large enough to order pizza and collapse.
Next day was Saturday. I woke to the sight of my armoire precariously leaning on a forward tilt, missing two cupboard doors, and with 9 of the 12 drawers jutting out and unable to close cuz they were shoved into the wrong places. Ditto with my desk…none of the 6 drawers were in the right place. I did manage to find a path to the coffee machine, and just in time. The family arrived to help sort through the clutter and not far behind them, banging on the door, were three Big Guys armed with long black pipes and hammers. Plumbers. They walked in like they had been there before and headed straight to the cellar where they started tearing apart all the piping. Miles of it, it seems, was carried up and miles of new stuff was carried down. At one point someone yelled WHOA and, according to my daughter in law, the house filled with the unmistakable odour of sh*t. After that they cleverly turned off the water to the whole house so that if anyone had to use the facilities, we had to pile into the car and drive to the Clone’s house.
Payton and the DIL attacked the family room, unstacking the jumble of furniture and arranging it so you could weave through the maze of boxes without fear of a couch landing on your head. The Clone and Austin were still making trips back and forth to the DH bringing the “ultra fragile” stuff that had no green painters tape. He also brought my birds, who probably thought they had been abandoned. I still had almost a week to completely clear out the DH, but I had arranged for the Cleaning Wench to go in and give it a thorough once-over…or last-over, as the case might be.
Plumber Guys worked until after 7pm, spending a good deal of time drilling and hammering their way through the rock foundation to lay the new pipes. The water was finally turned back on so at least we had a working bathroom upstairs. There was a sink in the kitchen, but no water hookup yet. Shiney new black pipes in the main floor bathroom, complete with new venting…but no water yet. It would be four…count em…four more days of no water in the kitchen before I whined so much to Bathroom Guy that he hooked up the sink and taps and…oh, the joy! Running water in the kitchen sink. Such a novelty!
Meanwhile, Kitchen Guy came back and said…uh…some bad news. Somehow he had measured half the cupboards wrong. My beautiful custom cupboards were five inches too short, had to be rebuilt and new doors made. I looked around at all the boxes I had already unpacked into those cupboards and he wisely interpreted the red glow in my eyes, quickly assuring me that he would take care of unpacking the shelves and packing them again when the new cupboards arrived.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Did I mention Cable Guy, who came to do a simple install and left five hours later with nothing working? Or the two Cable Guys who came back two days later for two more hours to put in a new main line to the other side of the road, who I insisted should check the TV’s before they left and…nothing was working.
Or the heating? There is only one heating vent for the family room, which is 25ft X 25ft built over an unheated open crawl space. It is the same vent that had once sent heat to the bathroom but had been cut off and rerouted. And yes, you guessed it: the bathroom has no heat at all.
But the worst of it was over…right? What else could possibly go wrong?
On the edge of your seats for Part Four? Why not pick up a copy of The Robin Hood Trilogy? Or The Wind and the Sea? Their predicaments will make mine seem like a walk in the park. *snort* Something has to.