Tuesday, July 24, 2007


We have moved. Mostly.

There are still odds and ends left in the old house. Things the movers wouldn't touch. Every last one of my plants, indoors and out. Electronic equipment not packed in its original box. (Who does that?) Gasoline cans. The grill. All taboo items according to the moving company. Then, of course, the entire contents of the coat closet that I forgot to pack.

The kids and I spent part of yesterday carrying things to the new house in my car and in the back of my daughter's truck. I went alone yesterday morning. Just as I was pulling out of the subdivision, rain started to pour. And I mean pour. The kind of rain that makes you think perhaps you should pull off the road for a minute and wait for the deluge to pass.

The new house is a jumble of packed, partially unpacked, and empty boxes. We finally have television, telephone and internet. The weekend was very quiet without them. The new refrigerator has not arrived, so each time we want milk or ice or butter, we have to go out to the garage to the old refrigerator. I am questioning the wisdom of leaving the fridge in the garage while we don't have one in the house. It seemed like a good idea when hubby mentioned it, but in practice it is quite annoying and inconvenient.

The children have adjusted well. I can't say as much for the animals. On Friday the cats found the highest point in a back corner of the house and perched there all day. They were draped on top of each other, the way they used to always sleep when they were kittens. When I climbed up on a counter to try to pet them, Streudel hid behind Lucy and looked at me as if I were an alien. They have mostly gotten over it and have started eating normally again.

Jack is a bit lost. I think I am probably confusing him more by taking him back and forth with me every time I go to the old house. I don't want to crate him every trip we make, and leaving him loose in the new house is out of the question. There are too many lovely things to chew. He does love the old back yard with its big trees and grasses and flowers. As soon as I let him into the house, he runs directly to the back door and sits patiently waiting for the door to open. I think he misses the squirrels.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

my luck is changing

Cold air in my Toyota for $50 less than the quote. Four perfectly inflated tires on my lovely daughter's truck. Jack is all better. Packed house. Perfect walk through. Completed closing. The movers will be here at 9:00 am on Friday. Sweet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Murphy's Law

Moving preparations are going extremely well. I have been pleasantly surprised at the level of my children's packing competence. Granted, we just did this ten months ago, but I remember doing much more of it myself last time. The living room is so full of boxes that only a path in front of and behind the seating is still passable. The walls are bare and the windows are down to the blinds and curtain rods that were already hanging when we moved in. Even the garage is ready. So, of course, something else had to go wrong.

Driving along the turnpike a few days ago with the air conditioner full blast to combat stifling heat and humidity in this suddenly seasonable Oklahoma July, we smelled smoke. The kind of smoke that comes from mechanical failure.

I drive a Toyota Avalon that came equipped with a climate control system. Not one light will come on. The heater won't work. Not that we really want it to. The fan won't blow, not even hot air. The outside temperature display no longer works. It's not that it is registering zero, or even the wrong temperature. It is completely blank. In other words, complete and utter failure of the climate control system.

The garage called yesterday to say that the compressor failed internally causing the entire climate control system to lose power. We need to replace the compressor and the dryer thingy. At the bargain price of $800. Of course it's no longer under warranty.

Hubby went off to work in our lovely VW Passat with perfectly functioning air conditioner. That leaves us with only daughter's truck for transport. The air is nice and cold. However, it seats three. There are four of us left in the house. Of course.

I walked out this morning with keys and purse in hand to run out for a gallon of milk for breakfast. What I found was a flat tire. Completely flat. I guess it no longer matters that the truck only seats three as it is now useless to me. The kids can have juice for breakfast. Or water. Or soda. I frankly do not care as long as they stay out of the gin and the wine. I am reserving those for myself.

The good news is the Toyota will be ready this afternoon. Thank the Lord for small favors.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

moving toward home

It is pouring rain this morning and the house is dark and quiet. The children are still sleeping at five minutes until 9:00am. I know I should wake them but frankly I am enjoying the solitude. We are supposed to pack their rooms today. In about a week we'll move. We are nowhere near ready for the moving vans to arrive. I confess that I have never been ready for the moving vans until the night before they arrive. Well, once I was. But that was due to the fact that it was a corporate move and the moving guys did all the packing as well as the loading and unloading. All I had to do was make sure the house was neat, pick up the baby, and get out of the way. That was many years ago, the baby was my almost grown daughter, and I have forgotten completely what it was like to have the luxury of someone else packing up my belongings.

I remember all too clearly our move last year. It was really a chore. We had lived in the same home for twelve years. It was a three bedroom, two bath, two car garage house on a corner lot and it was filled to the brim with all of those important and not so important things a family collects over time. We had a big garage sale and I still had to box things up and move them out just to put the house on the real estate market.

Before we knew we'd have to move away from home, we had started looking for a larger house, something bigger with another bedroom in our same school district. I knew we needed more space but I don't think I realized just how small our house was until we moved into this one. There is so much space here that I felt a bit lost at first. In fact, I missed my little gray house. I missed my beautiful soaking tub that sat under a skylight in redwood decking. I missed the vaulted ceilings and the natural light that filled the house. I missed the walls I had stripped and painted and papered, the woodwork I had stained, the tile floors my husband had painstakingly laid. Oddly enough I missed the intimacy of the smaller space. I missed lying in bed and hearing my boys murmur to each other across the hallway.

I think what I missed most of all was the feeling that the little gray house was my home. This house is not my home. It is roomy and has storage to die for, but it isn't mine. I can't change the fixtures or the wallpaper in the extra bathroom or the carpet. I can't rip out the horrible bushes the homeowner didn't tend for years. I can't change the kitchen counters or tear out the wall between the laundry room and the half bath to make it big enough to turn around in. I have wanted to do each of those things since the moment we moved in.

I am not looking forward to the logistics of moving. I most definitely am not interested in packing or unpacking. I don't want to get the kids up and make them work the next week of their summer away. But when it's all over and I am sitting in a house full of boxes waiting to be emptied, I know I will feel happier, more content. We bought a house. And once again, I'll have a place to call my own.