The night before last I slept in the new house, and with Vicki away there hasn’t been any cooking or dish washing going on, so this morning’s shower was probably the first time anybody but Laura has used the hot water since the engineer’s inspection on Tuesday. And this morning I discovered that the water in the tank was stone cold – the pilot light was out. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the pilot light went out because of something the inspector did. I don’t know if Laura had had any hot water during the last couple of days – this wouldn’t be the first time where something wasn’t working right but she never bothered to tell anybody in a position to fix it – or if the tank just cooled down overnight.
I’ve got to say, though, that crawling around on my hands and knees lighting the pilot light, and then taking a sponge bath with tepid water, is not my favourite way to start the day.
Vicki and I spent our first night in the new house. We’re not moved in or anything, but since we had to be out of the old house yesterday for a few potential buyers to tour it, we decided to just come over here and make a night of it. That’s also a good way to make sure the old house stays presentable. It’s just delightful to wake up in this big new bed in this bright and sunny room, with the birds singing outside of our window (and our birds downstairs singing back to them).
Buddy is a little out of sorts, but that’s at least partially because we forgot to bring his food.
About the only drawback is the fact that the TV is back at the old house, so I have to follow the Tour via the cyclingnews.com web site, and there are no three prong plug sockets downstairs so I have to run the laptop off of batteries if I want to sit down with the birds. Not that I want to leave this bed any time soon.
Yesterday was another back breaking and knee hurting day of getting ready for the move. This time the target was the Video/DVD/CD shelf and the book shelves. I went through the videos and DVDs and put the ones that belonged to me and I wanted to keep in one place, the ones that belonged to me that I didn’t want to keep in the garbage, and the rest in semi-categorized piles for Vicki to sort out. The biggest problem was the stuff oriented to little kids. The real crap like “Babysitters Club” and like was tossed, and the quality and semi-quality stuff like Disney movies was kept. The second biggest problem was the pile of about 15 unlabelled tapes. Most of them have been kicking around unlabelled since I moved in here 9 years ago, and Vicki has been saying for the past 9 years “I’m going to watch them and label them”, but of course nobody ever gets around to it. And since our VCR is currently doing this weird “flash of death” thing, we can’t watch them now. So they’re stored away where they’ll go another 9 years without anybody looking at them. Oh well, such is life.
After all the fun of the video collection, I moved onto the rest of the book shelves. It’s amazing what crap gets tucked into our bookshelves and forgotten. I found a girl’s swimsuit in a plastic bag with original price tags on it. I found plates and knives and forks. I found old board games that nobody has played in 10 years. Lest anybody think I’m picking on everybody else, I also found about a dozen print outs of manuals and installation instructions for computer programs that I’d obviously meant to get back to later and never did, all tucked in random parts of the bookshelf. I found school binders full of blank paper. I kept a stack about two feet high of various types of blank paper, but threw out a shocking amount. I found one of our missing copies of “Pronounced Cathouse.org” (sorry, I don’t have the actual title in front of me – I think it was a take off of a Lynryd Skyrnd album cover), which is a priceless treasure.
All in all, I think I filled up about 6 or 7 garbage bags. I also threw out a gigantic Sun workstation monitor that I borrowed from work (if anybody asks for it, I’ll claim I dropped it when moving it, which I came close to at least twice) a Mac LC-III and two old SCSI drives, and two bird gyms. And we moved a van load of boxes and two computers to the new place.
Vicki, besides doing the incredibly angst-full job of sorting videos, also worked hard up in Stevie’s room. I believe that the last time Stevie’s room was cleaned up, it was done by a chap named “Hercules”. I wouldn’t have taken on that job for any price.
I spent the afternoon cleaning up the basement. Or rather, I’d planned to clean up the basement, and what I managed was the two computer desks and a tiny bit of the bookshelves. I filled up about 4 garbage bags and a recycling bin. I’ve got two boxes of books and CDs and the Windows box to go to the new house. Oh, and one of the computer desks can go.
I’ve put a monitor back on my Linux server (since it’s not needed on the Windows box right now), and I’m posting this using elinks. Kind of weird.
I can see the progress, but unfortunately I can also feel the pain in my knees and legs, and also all the work left to be done. It’s so discouraging. I feel like I’m going to have to take a week off work just to get the house good enough to list, and then another week to get ready to move.
Last night we picked up the keys for the new house. I drove down our driveway, and we walked around the now empty house and for the first time it really felt like ours. It was great. We poked and prodded and discussed what we were going to put where. I wish we could just magically transport everything there overnight and start living there full time.
Here’s the weird thing, though: Normally I’m the pessimistic one, and it’s Vicki’s natural optimism that gets me through the day. But as we were going through the house, and especially on the drive back to our soon-to-be-ex-house, I had to keep reassuring Vicki that this is the right thing and we’re going to be so happy here. I was bubbling with enthusiasm, but Vicki was crying. That’s not right.
Even stranger was that we were looking at some of the things that need fixing, and future projects, and I was even enthusiastic about them. Normally me and spending money on household projects, or even worse, working on household projects go together like pure sodium and water. Ok, bad analogy – I don’t explode, I wince at the expense and try everything I can to avoid the work. So maybe we go together like oil and water. But I found myself actually getting enthused at the prospect of taking this beautiful period house and making it more period and more beautiful, and maybe a little bit more comfortable at the same time.
I hope I can convince Vicki that this is going to be a good thing. I know I’m convinced. Except for moving out of the Rupert house when Shani kicked me out, I can’t think of a single move I’ve done that wasn’t an improvement in my life, and which I didn’t look forward to before hand and be glad of afterwards (at least until it was time to move again.)