Well, we moved. We’re still sitting amidst piles of boxes, but we finally have keys to only one residence, and that residence is the one in the country. The last two weeks have been so hard for us in so many ways, and even now, we can’t take a breath. Let me back up a little though. Warning: this is going to be long. And probably negative.
Last I wrote, we were in the midst of a whirlwind of packing the old place and prepping the new one. With those preparations came more and more discoveries about what a crap state the place was in. J cleaned everything, and I joined her, and it was rough. My brother showed up one day and helped us paint. The next day, J hired the boyfriend of one of her students to help her paint. The next day, she had a whole crew of her own students helping out. This got expensive very quickly. One wonders how much it would have cost us just to hire someone from the beginning. Alas, lesson learned. So the paint was better, but the house still smelled awful. It was this combination of wet dog, dog piss, and pot smoke. We got some N.ature’s M.iracle carpet shampoo and did the carpets again, which made it better but not completely. It had to be good enough though because by then we were moving in the next day.
We hired a couple of guys after placing an ad on CL to help us move, but surprise, surprise, we couldn’t get a big enough truck for all of our shit, so the guys filled up the truck, and because we couldn’t afford to keep them on or to pay for the mileage on the truck, we were left with multiple carloads of our crap to bring over. Not what we had in mind at all.
All told, it took us almost five days to move our things here. I kept imagining us as ants toting bits of things from here to there. This was so hard on all of us, but especially BG. On moving day itself, we tried to keep him out of the fray, so I took him to the new place early, and we hung out getting things done; then once the truck arrived and he saw some familiar things coming in, we went back to the old place where we hung out and he saw that our stuff really was moving into the new place. He only needed this once, though. He didn’t need this time and again.
Since then, we’ve been in a bit of a downward spiral. Moving meant lack of sleep and exhaustion from so much activity during the day anyway, so when you add extra duties on top of that, it can be too much. We also had to split our forces because we had no one to watch BG, so J would go to the apartment to pack more and clean while I would stay behind, unpack, and toddler wrangle. On one such day, I was utterly wiped out. It was a sucky day. BG was whiny and clingy and cranky. We all were, as a matter of fact. I decided I needed to wash some of his clothes, that maybe a bit of normalcy–some laundry–would help. We don’t have a laundry room inside here. Instead, it’s out the front door, and into the garage. I have been afraid of the garage. It’s nasty–the one place we had no time to clean (it will take a week solid when we do). It’s fully of cobwebs, and what we thought was mouse shit. So I opened the door to this garage, already feeling creeped out, got the laundry in, and started looking around for a couple of boxes I needed to bring in. And then something caught my eye, and then I screamed. There was a fucking rat hanging from the rafters. A RAT. It was dead, caught in a trap, but I didn’t care. I ran out and slammed the door. Sadly, I had to return a bit later to fetch the clothes, and when I did, I found that the washing machine had flooded half of the garage. Holy hell. Holy fucking hell.
We have since learned that there was a rat problem in this garage before. This is the country; things like this happen, right? Apparently the tree that was allowing them to get in is gone, and we also have our cats, who are expert hunters, so we’re hoping that this was just a straggler and that this won’t become an issue. Oh, I’m positively chilled just thinking about it. Fortunately, we have a very helpful and generous neighbor who came over and helped us dispose of the thing and who helped us change out our washer and dryer (so glad we didn’t sell ours!), and who even gave us a bottle of wine. Nice, nice guy. I’m currently using his internet even–a long but far more boring story about four-hour windows for technicians to show up.
So this move has really sucked, and just two nights ago, my wife and I were sitting on the sofa crying and planning our great escape. Ultimately, we’re in a one-year lease, but we’ve got a landlord who won’t maintain the property, so we could find a legal way out at any time, I’m sure. In the meantime, we’re trying to make it home. Now that we’ve done some cleaning in the garage, I’m not even scared to go in. It’s going to be okay.
What isn’t going to be okay is this: we’ve lost one of our cats. The first night we were here, all of our cats (we have three) wanted to go out. Actually, the two older ones did. We opened the door to let them out onto this little patio in front of our house, and the youngest (a ten-year-old) bolted. She has been an indoor cat for three years, so she had no collar, no tags. Nothing. Our oldest boy cat bolted too. We saw and heard nothing from them for two nights. The morning following the second night, our boy cat came home. But there is still no sign of little Zoe. The sad thing is that she was always a little feral, so she doesn’t trust people and won’t go to them. We’re afraid that she just keeps running farther away. So far, there have been no neighborhood sitings. We don’t have much of any hope of seeing her, and now that the dust is clearing from the move itself, we’re really starting to mourn. So are the two older cats. We all miss our little cat.
I think we’re going to be okay. I talked to my mom last night and she said she had visions of us in some shack with a dirt floor. It’s not like that at all. It’s an okay little country home–not anything much like what we’re used to, but it has great paint on the walls, clean carpets, and it’s in a beautiful location. More importantly, it’s gotten us to this great community where we’ve already had some wonderful interactions, even just going to the market. It’s all going to be okay. It really, really is. At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.