No, the post title is not the title of a new book—though it might make a really fun spoof. I have had hardly any time for even thinking about writing. You see, Hubster just woke up one day and said, “I need something sportier.”
He was talking about a house.
Okay, technically, that’s not what he said, but Maxwell Pig’s line somehow seemed to fit the moment, because his sudden action on a desire he’d been vaguely harboring for a few years was, you know, sudden. Being the cautious one, I implored that we take things slowly. We were talking about a big commitment financially, emotionally, physically… We bought our first house over twenty years ago. It doesn’t seem like that long, but I did the math, and it’s true. We put a lot of work and a lot of love into updating it, and there were still projects and hopes lined up—including the addition of a garage (which one really needs in northern Utah). My youngest daughter grew up there. Having moved around quite a bit when I was young, I dreamed of buying a house and living there forever. Like Hubster’s parents. Like his grandparents. And probably their parents…
We looked at several houses to get a feel for the market. Or at least that’s what I thought we were doing. Then BAM! We were making an offer and putting our first house on the market. All in a matter of days. It wasn’t ready. *I* wasn’t ready. And yet there I was, sorting through our two decades of accumulated stuff, packing and giving away and throwing away. Not only did we not want to bring useless stuff with us, but we were downsizing a little. Bye-bye to my craft room. Bye-bye to the guest room. Bye-bye to Hubster’s never-finished-photo-studio.
I’ll tell you, decluttering on such a scale sure gives one a new perspective about the life they’ve lived and how they might be spending the future!
Faster than I could credit, we were signing the closing papers.
We didn’t get the keys, and that ended up taking a little longer than we’d hoped. We made the 50 minute drive with the Forerunner packed to the gills and me making jokes about trying to keep the front tires on the pavement. Our excitement, which went up and down with each obstacle and “one more thing” we’d encountered, hit an all-time low. We’d first viewed the house through rosy glasses. Hubster was sold on the garage (ANY garage); I was enamored with the large kitchen/dining/family room area, which could actually accommodate our growing family for get-togethers and holidays. The inspection revealed far more grime than we’d previously noticed. Stepping over the threshold with our belongings to put away, we discovered the real truth of the matter: The people who had lived here before hadn’t cleaned anything during the two(ish) years they’d lived here. Nothing. Not. One. Thing.
“Eww,” was the word of the day. The week! I’d have been so embarrassed to leave my house in that condition! It took Hubster and me four hours to clean the top half of the kitchen, including the microwave and the kitchen sink. Then we discovered we’d missed a cabinet. Yikes. Mostly, I just wanted to cry. I’d just spent the last couple weeks packing and cleaning our old house, and now I was going to have to deep clean the new one. I’d expected to have to wipe things down and make it “my” clean, but not to this extent. Thank goodness for my sweet sister in law, who bravely and unselfishly tackled some very nasty bathrooms—and still managed to keep her sense of humor.
A neighbor loaned us his covered trailer so we could start moving the boxes and smaller things while saving most of the furniture for the weekend and the much-needed manly and muscular help. We fit a lot of stuff in that thing, which we hooked up to the little pick-up truck my father-in-law so graciously loaned us. Our only serious mishap was “two” theme: two flat tires, (nearly) two hundred bucks for new ones, and two hours of sitting on the expressway. “Could have been worse,” Hubster said. “Could have been raining.”
Naturally, my imagination supplied MUCH more gruesome and drastic “worse” scenarios. I’m a writer. A key developmental tool is the question, “What’s the worst thing that could happen to your character?” Thankfully, we were not at the mercy of a ruthless author. Our wonderful son and the nifty new cell phone (with Google Maps on it to tell us where the nearest tire seller was located) my #2 daughter helped me get came to our rescue.
On the big day the Moving Crew arrived, along with two big trucks, another (huge!) trailer, several cars, and my darling grandson. He handled the big stuff without even breaking a sweat.
Seriously—a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped, whether it was lifting and carrying, driving, unpacking, making our bed (!), providing pizza (!), posing with the elk antlers, loading up the pantry, or loaning keys and coolers. You all RAWK!
So the bulk of the cleaning and putting the house “together” is done. Hubster may argue; half the garage is still full of boxes, but it’s a work in progress! It took us 20+ years to put it together the first time, it’s going to take a little while to rearrange and polish.
Here is a peek at the NEW family room and my NEW office (please pardon my abysmal photography skills—using PhotoBooth on my laptop, of all things):
Not done yet, but now you know what I’ve been up to since I fell into the rabbit hole. More virtual catching up to do next week. Tomorrow? I’m gonna WRITE.