Friday, December 4, 2009

moving house

Given the ratio of time spent (conscious) in each room and place of the house, clearly my first priority was to preserve the mountain view from the kitchen sink. 
In the old house, the view as it actually is, 

and the view as I see it with none of the usual distressing kitchen filth in the foreground, 

In the new house, the view isn't nearly as good, but the house is bigger. 

By squinting carefully through my new bifocal glasses (well, progressive lenses really, but still I feel as if I've tottered over some new threshold) the mountains can yet be seen. 

In a Platonic sort of way it should be enough to know the mountains are out there, the shadows on the cave wall are all we have anyway: but I was confirmed in the church of St Thomas, and I need to see. 

Over Thanksgiving it was fourteen-hour days shuttling boxes down the road. Some of the boxes hadn’t been opened in 15 years..  some of those contained letters and photos from our childhoods, couldn’t quite throw them away yet. I’ll let my kids do it. 

Here’s the short list of major fun incidents :
-        washing machine tap snapped on Wednesday evening as I tried to replace it. Memo to self: don't undertake plumbing projects on Thanksgiving eve. The water was off until Friday when I could get to a hardware store for the special extraction tool. The first cheap Chinese tool was made of a metal softer than copper, so it just rounded off – back to the store for a quality US-made implement. That still took a 3-foot lever and all my strength to get the tap remnant out of the pipe threads. 

-        Used the camping water jugs and fetched water to flush loos, etc. I was so fully into camping mode I went to the basement on Friday morning to get a camping pot to boil water for coffee. H asked why I didn’t just use the kettle, I had no answer. Ahem. 

-        Sienna hatch door handle broke on Wednesday evening, so I had to remove the rear cover and open the trunk from the inside, all weekend long, while moving loads of junk. Ebay had a new metal handle to replace the original plastic part, but it's wending its way from Florida. I should have it in good time to not need it for the move. 

-        Dishwasher in new house runs but doesn’t heat water or dry. Handwashing all dishes is just what I needed to do with my free time. While searching the interwebs for a dishwasher manual, I found many references to this Bosch model overheating the circuit board so the solder melts. Tore it open, grunting: by golly one pin on the board was completely dry and surrounded with blackened spatter. Re-soldered it with an added piece of copper wire to act as a heat sink and re-assembled. Now it gets hot but the soap release is sporadic and random. Oh well close enough. You have to wonder about a design that gets the circuit board up to 600 F, hot enough to melt solder. As soon as the cash-for-clunker appliances kicks in for Colorado, we'll get a new washer. The stimulus program has been good to us: $4500 for the old Subaru, $6500 for the home-buyers' tax credit, and now even more money for a new dishwasher. I feel a little guilty but not enough to refuse the moola. 

-        Went to all the outlet stores looking for a new stove for the old house. This is part of staging the old house, the 20+ year-old coil stove is rather repulsive. We moved it with us, thereby providing another opportunity for the taxpayer to subsidize our new appliances. After 3 hours of fruitless driving around, resorted back to the internet in desperation: Home Depot, Lowes and The Great Indoors were all $50-$150 cheaper than the outlets. Bah. Did you know you can still buy a stove with an oven that isn’t self-cleaning ? I had no idea.

-        Realtor said we should re-hang the closet doors in the one bedroom. The previous owner took them off, installed shelves and painted them in bright primary colors for the kid’s room, we liked it and left it. I thought it would be straightforward. Instead started at 7pm Sunday then off to Home Depot at 7:30pm with the project list. It went well until I found my guess that it took ¼” runners was wrong, should have had 3/8”. So then it was only another load to move and unload, got to bed nearly before midnight at least. 

This coming weekend is for the crawlspace and garage. The old house had a two-car garage and 1400 sq. ft, new three-car and 2500 squares: yet the new is quite full and there's still all that other stuff to move. Two canoes and six bicycles out of the garage alone, two more canoes and kayaks from the outside, and on and on. 

The old house looks quite beautiful now. Empty clean rooms full of sunlight, I think we'll buy it. We were happy there. I'm sure I moved the Lares and Penates in one of those boxes, so hopefully they made it intact.