We’re on a shakedown cruise and the ship is sinking

Well, we did it! We are moved in, amidst boxes, chaos, spotty (1-2 hours a day) internet, and phones with one bar. Communication is difficult. It took a week for the towel racks to arrive and be installed (they came with the house), and this morning our new washer wouldn’t start. I think the electrician explained what was going on with the trip switch, but I’m still fuzzy.

Garfield was ecstatic to be out of the vet’s boarding cage and spent the first night exploring the new house and walking all over me in bed, head butting for attention, purring in my ear, and licking any exposed skin. Thankfully, he’s calmed down a lot and seems to be at home – sitting on his cat tree by my office sliding glass door, looking around. We got the bird feeder up in the hopes of attracting some birds to amuse him.

Finding things is a continual task. “Do you know where x,y z is, honey?” “No, but I thought I might have seen it in a box in the hall…or was it the garage?”

FedEx now has THREE claims from us for things they said they delivered but didn’t. Problem with the address, they said. It’s a new development, we replied. Get with the program. They never located the packages so someone somewhere has some nice new stuff.

All of the appliances are new, so call me a Luddite. I want my old ones back. THOSE I knew how to use. These have minds of their own, plus more buttons and switches to push than the International Space Station.

Let me tell you about our back yard. Planted with squares of sod, with brown lines in between, the whole thing was flooded two weeks ago in a heavy rain. Before we had moved in. The water was up over our ankles and the sod was floating away. Apparently whoever is in charge of drainage for the community didn’t take that course in landscaping school. All of the water from our uphill neighbors plus the streets came barreling down into our yard due to blocked drains and no other barriers or water run-off pipes, seeking the one drain that was open – a honking big monstrosity in our backyard, not indicated on our survey plat. The sod, what was left of it, died. They replaced the sod and deepened the swale leading to our very own drain, and the construction manager said they’d made changes so it wouldn’t happen again. It’s supposed to rain this week. We have our dinghy all ready to go.

With help from my daughter and her husband, the move was less horrific than we had imagined. They packed and kept a lot of stuff for us, and the movers didn’t break anything – well, one bed, but it’s fixed. We are eternally grateful for all the hard work they put in for us, while working and taking care of our none-month-old grandson. They call themselves the midnight elves.

Our new place does not feel like home – maybe when we have some pictures up? It’s still like living in a hotel. But after 35 or so years in one house, with all its memories, this is a jolt. It was a move we had to make, though – the care of our big house with the pool and four acres was too much and too expensive. I’m just not used to being anywhere else yet.

Pictures next time. Wait, where is my phone?



28 thoughts on “We’re on a shakedown cruise and the ship is sinking”

  1. I feel for you. I know what it was like for us last year moving after 13 years from a 300+ years old farmhouse on the edge of an acre of undulating land in central France to a new (2 years old) low-cost 3-bed in the north of England with a back garden that would make a pocket handkerchief feel proud. The estate is still under development and the road in front of our house has just been finished this week.
    But it’s all easy to maintain and super-efficient.
    It will come together for you, Noelle. You’ll put your stamp on it and make it yours. You wait and see,

    1. Thanks so much, Keith. I know it will just take TOT – a tincture of time. I loved our four acres and the trees. It’s a little naked here yet, but we chose the one lot that had greenery on two sides. Right now I am watching a river of mud wash down from the uncompleted houses up the hill from us, through our back yard. They replaced the sod once already – you’d think they’d find some knowledgeable about drainage. We have a landscape architect friend who just shakes his head at what they’ve done.

      1. Most likely cutting corners to save costs.
        I know our house was built to a price, and it shows is so many ways – the thinness of the paint, the materials used in some places and we know that they make a lot of use of apprentices, which is giood, but perhaps they skimped a little too much on supervision.
        When we planned to return to UK there were only a few areas where we could afford a new house – all were with the same developer and all in depressed areas. The alternative was another project. I was 70 when we moved – I didn’t want a project, I wanted a house.

    2. We are over 70 and not ready to move to one of the places called “God’s waiting room.” There are seven or eight of these ‘retirement villages” in our area. The waiting time for anything other than a tiny apartment in an overheated building is years. So we decided to move here, an over-55 community. Small yards but they do the maintenance for a monthly fee. It still feels like a hotel, but maybe when we get some art on the walls?

  2. You have all my thoughts and sympathies. The water issue is a nightmare for you. Your washing machine tripped the mains? Hope you sort it out. My oven did that and I’ve not bothered to sort it out yet. After six months with hob, microwave and breadmaker I decided not to bother until something else electrical needs fixing. I may never get around to it.
    But yes, pictures up makes a huge difference. Doing something that makes it yours is important.
    Lots of love

    1. You are an expert in moving now, Jemima. Thanks for the advice – I should ask my followers to send me their moving disasters – would make for some fun reading.

  3. petespringerauthor

    One step at a time, Noelle. There’s always tomorrow. I hope you have thirty-five glorious years in this home.

  4. I’m happy that you have moved in finally. The hard thing is to let go of things you like but don’t fit, the flat I had in Glasgow was twice the size and my brother gave me his old furniture so I had to let go of lots of things I liked, so difficult. Tiny wardrobe was the biggest problem so I bought a bed with a lift up mattress so I can store all my long dresses here. You will soon get sorted with the new equipment 🙂 I too wish you a long and happy home for many, many years to come.

  5. As if moving isn’t stressful enough, your lawn is floating away! But the worst, hopefully, is over. Now it’s all about making your new house a home. Hang those pictures, cook something yummy, and start planning a bit of a garden. Congrats on the move!

      1. old homes accumulate energy from the residents over many years. We call them ghosts but many of these so called ghosts are friendlies. They wrap us in comfort!
        In your new home you are feeling the “lack there of”. It’s not whats there it’s what’s not there.
        So have a party with many good souls and hopefully some great positive energy will grow from the seeds!

  6. Hope you are feeling settled before the holidays! This year I have so many projects going on in my house that I don’t have room for a Christmas tree. I want to try and get everything done to put the house on the market March 1st. Moving is so stressful!

    1. I had no idea how stressful it would be. Be extra cautious with people coming in to do repairs. We had a ton of them and then 32 showings. But we stayed healthy – leave gloves and masks at the front door for anyone coming inside. And good luck!

  7. Well done for making the move successfully. Noelle, sorry I missed the post, I’ve had a busy November and December. It will take time to make it feel like home. I’m looking forward to some pictures!

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