Posted by ryan | Posted in fire | Posted on 03/29/2011
Moving was chaos. I was out of town the entire week preceding our big date so wasn’t much help packing. Laura and her awesome friends (Sarah, Jill, Jorden, Linda) made some serious magic happen by getting so much stuff boxed up (and in many cases: labeled!). Even so, when the movers showed up Monday morning we still had a few piles of truly random household goods.
We were able to get a little extra time, since the moving truck couldn’t make it up the icy hill. We finished packing while they went and got a more manageable (smaller) vehicle. They may have ended up with a knife in a gun fight, but these two amazing dudes from Reliable Transfer dug in, made plenty of trips (it’s a four block drive), and got the job done.
By the end of the day we were moved in and that night we slept in our new digs for the first time.
Everything from the Blue House was moved except bikes, strollers, a couple pieces of smokey antique furniture, and some outdoor gear. With no garage at the new place and a basement dedicated to construction and shingle painting, we’re a bit short on storage. Four days after the move, most of our “stuff” was still bagged, boxed, and buried. In fact, that night when the power went out all around town we didn’t even bother trying to dig around for candles.
On top of the chaos of boxed/bagged belongings, is a stream of all new sights, sounds, temperatures, textures, tastes, light switch locations, appliance buttons, door handles, etc. Even though we knew the layout of the house and have been in here working for so many months, the feeling of living in it is something new and unfamiliar. I look forward to the days when I can walk around in the pitch black without stubbing my face on a wall or falling down stairs.
The house is brand new, and since we’re on a tight budget it’s not 100% complete. Still a good amount of labor to be done, and still plenty of drywall and construction dust being found in nooks and crannies. I think I can taste the gypsum in the air. We’re spending our free time finding those nooks and adding finishing touches to make it more livable: installing towel bars and toilet paper dispensers in the bathrooms; sanding and oiling wood trim; putting up shower rods and curtains; adjusting cabinet doors; etc.
And then there’s a few/typical bumps in the road. For example first run of the dishwasher found the drain hose not fully connected and the sink cabinet filling with water. So guess who got to crawl in there and fix ‘er up? This guy (me).
For Laura and I, we know it’s *our* home so the feelings of unfamiliarity aren’t too scary, especially as we imprint the structure with our essence and get to know the place.
For Meadow, it’s different. After the fire we were able to frame our situation as an adventure. She took to the adventure and enjoyed living in the Rainforest Cottage for a week, then Baranof Hotel for 10 days (she still calls it “our hotel”). This same momentum carried her into the Yellow House and made a reprise when we had to up and move to the Blue House. But as she’s aged she’s gained more awareness. She was against leaving the Blue House, but warmed up to the idea when saw her new room:
Mommy did a great job making Meadow’s new room a perfect 4yo girl’s sanctuary. Nevertheless, a week after moving in, Meadow asked me: “when are we going to move again?”
But overall, the daze of moving is wearing off and we’re starting to settle in. Indeed, I’ve already fallen in love with a few aspects. Here they are, in no particular order:
Warm Floors in the Morning
Even though the battle against construction dust wages on, it’s nice to get out of bed and walk around in barefeet. The floors aren’t hot, but they’re warm enough so that they don’t feel cold in the morning. And you definitely notice the temperature difference when you step on a non-radiant surface, like the stairs. Meadow also enjoys cuddling with the warm floors:
When the power went out the other day, we didn’t have to run for long underwear and blankets. Even with eight degree temperatures outside and 50MPH winds, there’s nary a draft inside. For more about the awesomeness of our liquid-foam insulation, check out this post.
Yes I’m biased since I did the electrical myself, and yes there’s a few adjustments I’ll be making. But overall I love where we put lights, switches, outlets, etc. I’m also confident in my work. When you have precious cargo you happily triple check all your connections. In fact, when the inspectors came through they found a few plumbing issues the plumbers had to come back to fix, but they found only one minor electrical issue (made me add an outlet at the end of a kitchen cabinet).
The Red Kitchen
Laura’s custom designed kitchen had to fit into predefined geometry since we re-used the old foundation, so it may not be ideal placement/size, but we sure do love it! The best part for me is, never in my life, have I had *new* appliances. What a treat! Although, I must say, modern appliances are so over designed! The buttons on the stove are so easy to press, I reset the clock whenever I wipe it clean. Same with the dishwasher, if you lean up against it you might start it. And the microwave: who needs quick-start buttons for Hot Dog, Mac & Cheese, and Chicken Nuggets. I didn’t even know you could make Mac & Cheese in the microwave.
Permanent Lodging for My Family
Probably most exciting of all, is that we’re back in a house we own, enjoying the process of turning it into a home.