About a week before we moved into our new house, Lee and I took one of our many drives by to look at it and hope and dream. Sometimes we would pull into the driveway to pretend it was ours. Sometimes we’d get out and stroll around the yard.
One day as I was walking along the sidewalk where a small brick retaining wall outlines a bed of ivy, I saw an old sundial. I read the inscription, and fell in love with the sentiment etched into the metal. “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”
I am so happy to finally be in our new house. After all the ups and downs, I wasn’t sure if owning this home would ever be a reality. But Friday afternoon, we sold our old house to a couple who seemed as excited about it as we were when we bought it four years ago. I think they’ll treat it well. An hour later, we signed the papers on our new house, and were finally handed a set of keys. When we stepped inside, it felt like home. It felt right.
Just because the sale went well and we’re ridiculously excited about our new house, doesn’t mean everything is all fun and fluff. We hired movers to help us get all of our tons and tons of stuff to the new house, and it cost twice as much and took twice as long as expected. But as they were moving our washer and dryer, and then carrying a huge armoire up the stairs, I thought to myself, “this is why we are paying you. It’s worth every penny.” A downpour halted the process for a while, and the crews were unloading until midnight.
It didn’t help that we moved during the hottest time of the year. Into a house with a broken AC unit. I have never, ever, ever been so hot for so long. There are two AC units, and the one for the upstairs portion of the house is broken. We knew this when we bought it, and arranged for repairs. But when the close date kept shifting, we had to reschedule, and now we can’t get it fixed until Wednesday. The downstairs AC works, but it’s struggling to keep the house cool because of the upstairs issue. I’d say it’s been a little above 80 degrees downstairs, and about 4 billion degrees upstairs. So hot you can’t breathe. So hot if you blink you break a sweat. This means we haven’t unpacked nearly as much stuff as we should have, because it’s just too darn hot.
This also means we’re currently on night four of sleeping on an air mattress in our living room. It’s better than sleeping on the hardwoods, but it’s still an air mattress.
When I’m hot, I really want a cold drink of water. Well, we are having the kitchen completely remodeled, and so we told the seller we didn’t need the appliances. So she took the refrigerator. We have no fridge, therefore we have no drink of cold water. Lee and I went to Home Depot last night to talk about our plans for the new kitchen. The woman advised us it will likely take 2 and a half months to complete. That’s 2 and a half months without a fridge and a stove. We bought a dorm fridge, and stocked it with only the necessary items: bottled water, beer, and pre-mixed white russians.
The animals have taken everything quite well, except Luca has run into a bit of a snag. In our last house, we put a cat door in the laundry room door so we could keep Millie away from her litterbox and food. We planned to do the same here, so yesterday Lee installed the new door. It has to sit a little higher off the ground, and means she’ll have to jump a little to get through. But this cat can practically jump onto our chandelier if she’s motivated, so I didn’t figure it would be a problem.
I sat behind her in the laundry room, showing her how it opened and encouraging her to jump through. She put her front paws in the opening and stuck her kitty head inside the kitchen. Then, she scampered through the hole. Halfway. My cat is so fat she got stuck.
I know I should have helped her, but I was too busy laughing. She kicked and flailed with her back feet and all I could think of was that Winnie the Pooh story where he gets stuck coming out of a hole and has to wait until he loses weight to free himself.
Luca finally plopped through to the other side, but I’m worried the whole experience traumatized her. She’s gone through it twice more (if she jumps through quickly instead of crawling through she doesn’t have time to get her love handles stuck in the door). I hope she continues to brave the kitty door, while I cut back on her food.
Millie still needs a fenced in backyard, and we’re working on that. But meanwhile, I think she loves the neighborhood. I know I do. I took her for a walk at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and was met by several joggers and other neighbors out walking their dogs. Everyone waved. Most followed the wave with a pleasant ‘Good morning.” We walked to the park behind our house, and even though there were several other dogs there, the park wasn’t full of dog poop. People clean up after their animals. They say hello. It feels more like a real neighborhood, and is very refreshing. I came back from our walk winded and sweaty into an even hotter house, but it’s a small, temporary price to pay for a place we look forward to growing with for a long time.