Moving DayI'm sure a lot of folks are tired of hearing me talk about moving and buying a house. I guess I have focused on it a lot with the purchase and the packing and the move. Today the movers came. I wish I'd been better prepared and had everything packed and ready but I opted to skip the kitchen and bathroom to avoid having to find more boxes and do more packing. Hopefully I won't regret that in the next few days. Other than Thanksgiving, I have the rest of the week to get everything out and get the house "broom clean". The carpet is disgusting. What perverted soul put white carpeting in a house situated in a city forest setting is beyond me. I tried to clean it. You could put bleach on it and it wouldn't come clean. Now that the stuff is gone you can tell how grubby it is. And it is old. It was old when I got there and now, seven years later, it is really old. I hope they replace it for the next tenant and pick a color that doesn't show dirt like white. Not to mention white with a brown padding that will get a brown stain if you spill water on it. Yes, water.
Moving Day started early for me. I woke up at 1:30 AM but I was packing until 9:30 PM and just didn't have the energy to get up and pack more with so little sleep. I, instead, listened to my audio book until 3 AM and then got up and started packing. The movers were due between 8 and 8:30 AM.
Yesterday, I also took apart the dog house that had been Lucky's. I put it off for a long time and it was full of old straw. I had no idea how tough Dogloo makes their dog houses. I guess they figured a dog would flip the top off if the latches weren't secure. It was frustrating to say the least. I'd get one latch released and two of the released ones would lock back. It's a large or extra-large house so it wasn't without effort to hold it and release the locks. I tried to find someone who could use a very nice doghouse before I moved but couldn't . So, it came with me. Maybe I will find someone to come get it or maybe I might find a dog to fill it again. Hard to say right now.
I decided if the movers were at all worth their salt they deserved a bigger tip than I'd determined on Saturday. I went to the bank around 7 AM to get more cash and figured they would be there around 8-8:30 so came home and put out some cookies and made the coffee in the new coffeepot. They showed up about 5 minutes after I started that--complete with grinding the beans fresh. I told them there was hot coffee if they wanted and some homemade cookies. The three Hispanic guys were like rabid dogs attacking the house and filling the truck. I don't know how it works--maybe they get paid more if they work faster or the estimate allows them only so much pay no matter how long it takes so they work fast and efficiently. They never touched the coffee--a wasted effort. They didn't eat a cookie either and suddenly it was time to head off to the new house. I told the one who appeared to be the team leader to take a few cookies for the ride over. He grabbed 3 for each and went for the truck. I offered to lead him over and he accepted. I could see him eating something on the way--hopefully cookies. :)
When we got to the new place it was the same as before. They worked at a fast and steady pace. They would ask where I wanted things. Mostly the boxes went into the garage. Unlike Angi, I wasn't that solid on where I wanted things so I figured if they were in the garage I'd work harder to find them and get rid of excess boxes. Could have been an error in judgement. I may have to leave the TV on until I find the remote. And a few other essential things are absent and in some mystery box but I did make sure the computers and parts were packed well and came with me for the most part so I'm good there. I need a wireless dongle for the desktop PC to minimize wiring and put it where I want it but I should be able to find one of those easy enough.
When they still had what appeared to me a good amount to go, the team leader came in and we did the paperwork and paid the bill. He had it for 3 1/2 hours, I think. Once we got that done, he seems to work even faster and they got the rest off in amazing time. When they had the truck empty (I did look since I heard 3 horror stories about lost items if the boxes aren't counted or the truck verified empty) I went out and handed them a couple of bags of cookies and thanked them for their hard work and pace. I gave them $20 apiece and they seemed very happy. The $20 probably made them happier than the cookies but maybe not. :) After I gave them the money and cookies, the leader told me they finished faster than anticipated and I would get a $78 credit on my bill. Maybe it was only a coincidence but I wonder if I would have gotten that credit without the tip? I did hear from one other customer that he got money back when they came in with a better time than he'd paid for (at that time they had you pay in advance). So, maybe just a coincidence.
I went back over to the house to make sure everything was shut and locked and to put out the final trash pickup for tomorrow. My warm and comfortable house looked forlorn and echoed with emptiness. I felt separated and distant--it was no longer my home. I hope the next tenant loves it there as much as I did. But, I have no regrets about leaving--it was time and I look forward to all that this house will bring to me. I already enjoy my new "office" that has a huge window looking out at the yard. I will enjoy feeding the birds and probably will end up chasing cats and squirrels again but different cats and different squirrels.
I will miss so many things about that great place but there are things I will not miss. Pine needles getting into everything--even parts of the car that appear closed. I will probably still have some of those pine needles like dog hair for years to come. Shoddy maintenance. Always the cheap fix. A rusted lamppost? Jam a pole in the ground beside it and clamp the post to the pole to keep it upright. Looks great from the street. Talk about curb appeal. Tree overtaking the mailbox? Don't chop the tree down--shave that side off so it looks incredibly stupid and ugly--more curb appeal. Cracked shower wall? Smack some goop on it and it's all sealed. Looks ugly and sticks out like it is bloated, but it's fixed. Being at the whim of the landlord for yearly inspections and repairs (well, that's stretching things to indicate they repair things unless forced to to avoid damage).
Things I will miss. The smell of the evergreens. Clean and spicy in the morning. The dance the big trees do when the wind blows. At times too windy and too much motion so I would lie in bed waiting for a CRACK and a tree coming through the roof. Mossy stones for the path to the door. Wild blackberries growing next door. The sweet smell of the Confederate Jasmine when it blooms. Looking out at the backyard and feeling you live in the woods--forgetting the closeness of the neighbors. Watching the squirrels play and race around the trees--so high. Watching the birds feed and listen to their amazing songs. Watching Ms. Raccoon yearly with her brood. Green, green, green during the wetter times of the year. When it snows, seeing a winter wonderland. The ghosts of my cat and dog running around and enjoying the yard. I looked yesterday and saw Lucky with that big smile on his face running to the house. I looked again and saw Biff ambling around, heading under the deck and his private world and the mysteries there.
There are no ghosts here--only new adventures and discoveries. As soon as I finish moving.