Moving day!December 10th, 2010 at 23:54
This post is a bit backdated to moving day because around the time we were so stressed out, a blog post would have been pretty much incoherent.
The house had passed final inspection, and we set a date of Saturday November 13th for moving day which would be after most of the hardscape was done. Fall is an extremely busy time for Catherine’s travel, but it seemed like the best of a bad set of options – at at least Catherine had a little over a week at home leading up to that day (it was sandwiched between trips to New Zealand and England). So many dates had come and gone (the house at this point was almost a year past our most optimistic date, and nine months past what we thought was our “more realistic” date, six months past our “well, it will never take *that* long” date, and three months past the “are we EVER going to finish this project?” date.) Needless to say, we really really wanted to be in the house for Thanksgiving, so we decided to go for it.
For days before the move, Catherine was waking up every night at 2 am from anxiety dreams, and simply couldn’t get back to sleep, so she got up and packed boxes until the sun came up and then went to work. Paul was wound tighter than ever, and Natalie was starting to say she was going to miss the old house, and maybe didn’t want to move after all. The cats were also cooped up inside in anticipation of the move, and were driving each other, and all of the humans, crazy.
The day before the move, the landscaper’s project manager called saying the people cleaning the house prior to our move in had “noticed water pouring out of a second story sprinkler head into [Natalie's room], and it was now dripping out of the downstairs ceiling” and had asked him to call us.
Catherine was making lots of panicked phone calls to the general contractor, fire sprinkler contractor, the solar hot water contractor, the plumber and anyone else she could think of as she raced up to the house from work. It turned out that the fire sprinkler folks had run their pvc fire sprinkler pipe too close to the solar hot water return pipe. Now that the solar hot water was up and running in anticipation of us moving in, the pipes had gotten hot enough to melt the sprinkler pipe resulting in the flood.
The sprinkler pipe was rerouted, the water was drained away, and holes poked in the drywall to let the water all drain out – and preparations for moving the next day grimly continued.
Moving day probably would have been fairly uneventful had the movers actually shown up. But no.
We were scheduled for an afternoon move to give us more time to finish packing in the morning. They were supposed to arrive between 2 pm and 4 pm which was already rather late to start a move, but the only time they would commit to. We were done packing at noon, and we had started taking car loads over to pass the time. As 4 rolled around, and the dispatchers could not get a hold of the crew to get an estimated time, it was looking pretty grim. They were found by the dispatcher some time around 5 pm, but were “not quite done” with the previous job, and at 6 pm they were still pretending that they were coming and “would be there in 15 minutes” but 15 minutes later, called to say they weren’t coming after all – “sorry”. Apparently this crew had had two people call in sick that day, so the last move which should have had four guys had only two, and it had taken all day. Our move was also scheduled to be a four man crew, so there was no way these two exhausted guys could do this alone at that point, but we were furious with the company which could have easily predicted that a short crew was going to be delayed and looked for alternates. These guys had gotten good reviews on Yelp, but they really screwed this up…
We were a bit stuck. We had moved and already unpacked our whole kitchen and set up for dinner that night, so we zipped back to the old house, put Nat’s mattress in the car, grabbed our inflatable bed out of storage, and all of our bed linens, and set up mattresses in our new bedrooms. Our first night in the house was not *quite* how we had imagined it, but we were there, and our senses of humor were still intact.
The next day an excellent, efficient and very hardworking crew showed up at 9 am, and moved everything quickly. It was just a day late, and on the morning of Natalie’s first horse show with California Riding Academy, so she and Catherine left Paul back at home to handle the whole moving crew himself.
We unpacked as quickly as we could, but by mid afternoon, Catherine had to leave for the airport to fly to England for a week.
This is one of those things that is so much funnier in retrospect. In the end, we did have a wonderful Thanksgiving in the house. There are still boxes to be unpacked, and even a few things still to move over from the old house that didn’t fit in the moving truck, but all in all, the stress level is way down, we are really really enjoying being in the house, and we are just methodically working our way through the 1001 not-quite-done-yet details.
More to come on those.