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Good bye city life!
Finally got to visit my ever-lovin' and much missed husband, if only for 2-1/2 days. Boy did we have a romantic time too.
Because of my "faulty" hand and torn rotator cuff, I asked a gentleman to help me with my carry-on. A very nice woman said she'd help and we wound up sitting next to each other. Turned out she was masseuse and gave me some ideas on how to help myself with self-massage, Epsom salts, etc... Most I knew, but she was very nice and we chatted away the entire 50 minutes.
She lived in Scottsdale where Steve is working. When I told her where I would be she said, "Oh how wonderful, you get to live in the country. I've always wanted to live out there."
Hadn't thought about it that way, but I guess that's why Sarah, Sam and I will be making 30 minute treks to get our produce at our familiar "Sprout's" market and 20 minutes for any needed Costco runs.
As soon as I landed and connected with Steve, we sped off to dinner w/ the family. Then he took me to see our new home.
You'd think w/ the advent of digital cameras that I would have been prepared for the colors that the former owner put on the walls. But NOOOOOOOO.
Mucus green, slate bluish black, rust orange, dark espresso and yes, mustard yellow simply do not come out and show you the beauty that is theirs unless you're standing there in person.
Plus, most of you out there know my complete and utter aversion to cultured marble. Well, lucky us-our master bathroom not only has shower walls and tub surround made of the stuff-my tub is molded from it.
Can you all guess what our first huge project will be????
Anyway, Steve and I picked out the new paint, started the painter on that task. We picked out and ordered new window coverings for the few areas that don't have nice plantation shutters covering them, we picked/bought and hired the contractor to put up the new backsplash in the kitchen and we picked out and bought the room fans for those without those items as well.
I do like my new kitchen. I have more work space than I thought and Steve ordered the lazy Susan for the corner cabinet that needed it. The room sizes are nice and our new office is narrow, but will do quite nicely. Our front porch has a beautiful desert view and our grandsons were happy to hear that across the street is a nice park for them.
By the time I get back there permanently in about a week-the home will be much more to our liking (except the master bath).
I wish Steve and I would've had a bit more time to spend just catching up, but at least we finally got to see one another. Came home to a de-termited house (you'll note I am no longer saying home), a very upset Pepper and wishing I had something other than salmon patties in my freezer to use as my protein until I leave. LOL
I was also able to see Sarah and Alex's newly remodeled and beautiful kitchen as well as Adam and Sam's beautiful new home. We helped Sarah with Aidan's cavity filling (there's a story waiting to be written!) and picked up Dylan from K-garten.
Before we knew it my bag was re-packed and we had just barely enough time to have a bagel and coffee together before Steve dropped me off at the airport.
A little FYI-Steve is "shutting me down" on the 14th, so this will have to hold everyone until we get settled.
My plans are to be up and running and able to post before Thanksgiving, but now that I will be a "country girl"-best to figure in Murphy's Law and wish you all a wonderful and blessed holiday right now.
What I've Learned
This entire experience of moving from a home I loved has given me some insights on the enormity of what exactly it takes to undertake this task when you've lived in a structure for almost a quarter of a century.
What I've learned:
1) It doesn't help to complain. No one cares and it doesn't change a single, solitary thing. You're still going to have to move.
2)No one's spouse should leave to start a job and leave the other half home by themselves. It's lonely, frustrating and yes, rather scary.
3)Getting the various parts of the move to coincide with the date of the close of escrow is not easy.
4)Before you open up the estimates from the moving companies-you should be in a sitting position and in a chair with extremely strong arms because you will probably experience a mild coronary. (After my husband had his, he made me call and rent a U-Haul and try to enlist the assistance of viable family members to load it)
5)Because of insurance-do not expect any charity to come into your home and pick up donations. They won't do it no matter what kind of surgery you've had and no matter how unable you are to get it out on the curb or driveway. ( I tried to plead with about 6 different people and got nowhere)
6)If you are the remaining spouse who has been left to "close up shop"-the other spouse who has missed your hand surgery and partial recovery really has NO FREAKING idea that when you say you can't open up his file cabinet, tape a box or change the bed sheets that you really, really mean-YOU CAN'T DO IT. They only remember what you could partially do before they left.
7)There is nothing better than realizing that once you know that escrow is at the point where there will be a final day in the house-you no longer have to put away that dish towel on the work island, you really can leave your water glass on the bread board and you'd better eat the remaining salmon burgers in the freezer.
8)You know that somehow, with your remaining hand-there are a lot of items you will have to put into special Ziploc bags before the termite tent is put on and that you will have to put all your meds/open cat food and make-up in the back of your car and park it in your relative's driveway until your return several days later.
9)Calling all the utility servers, the newspaper, the trash company and whomever else has provided you with services throughout the year all need to be notified and that every single one of them will be "busy and need to put you on hold for the next available customer service rep".
10)And last, you see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and it seems to actually be the sun you never expected to see-it's just in a different place.
Well, that was fun
It's been a little over 3 weeks since my hand surgery. While it thankfully wasn't near as painful as the physician's assistant who did my pre-op appointment told me it would be, it wasn't exactly pleasant either.
The healing is typically slower than I'd like, yet the limb no longer looks "gross" as both my husband and grandsons insisted. The extreme bruising is about 80% gone and the scar is looking much less raw and open. So all this is a good thing.
Last week I started occupational therapy. It took over an hour and I left with a customized splint to wear at night and a couple of sheets of exercises, as well as a "recipe" to make myself a rice heating bag.
Like the trouper I am-I did it all, every hour on the hour, I gave my scar a massage and 5 times a day I'd do the exercises-plus the 2 heat treatments. After 2 days I was sore and my "bad" shoulder hurt from all the massaging and stretching.
Then came appointment #2. The OT took one look and put a heating pad on my shoulder and another on my hand. Thankfully, she was duly impressed with what I accomplished in the week since we first met. This week, because of my shoulder, I was told to tone down the times per day, concentrate on the massage and she adapted the split to fit my less swollen hand. She added a little piece to it to help the scar be "self-massaged" since the shoulder pain was turning me green and giving me a headache.
Since last week, our house is officially off the market, the inspection behind us and the appraisal as well. I've had 3 moving companies come out to estimate the cost of the move. I've also called all the utilities and given them a closing date-November 16th.
After we got the estimates and had our minor coronaries, Steve and I decided to rent a truck, hire either my nephew or one of his friends to help load and the same men who are helping our son, come and help us as well. My sister has volunteered to help me drive out there with Pepper. I'll fly her home the next day.
My goal was to be in Arizona by November 1st-I'll be there, but just for Halloween and back on the weekend. While I'm there and Pepper is at the Pet Hotel, the house will get the required tenting.
It's working out fairly well at the moment-seems I'll be in my new home just in time to celebrate my birthday.
Not a bad way to start my 55th year.
Living in a Model Home
This place is no longer our home. It's not the place where our kids grew up. It's not the place where we celebrated many, many of life's major events in our family's existence. It just isn't.
Everything is gorgeous. Everything is pristine. Everything looks as if I'm waiting for HGTV to come in and say-"You too can have a home like this.", while taking a multitude of pictures and videotape to put on-line in their "how to get this look" section.
But what it isn't is a home. My home.
It's hard to feel the same about this structure that I once never wanted to leave. That I thought I'd be watching our grandkids coming to visit in and grow up around. The kitchen I just wanted to enjoy and cook elaborate meals for everyone to savor.
The bathrooms I worked so long and hard to make my own and show my style and think "spa hour" for me, now have me thinking-"If I use the whirlpool, how hard will it be for me to not only get out one-handed, but scrub it clean before I leave for the next viewing?"
My precious hand-scraped new wood floors that had me living in a nearby Residence Inn for 3 weeks will soon belong to someone else. Not for me to enjoy past the close of escrow.
The yard my kids ran around in and shot hoops around will be someone else's to take care of throughout the local water shortages. Our family run day care and pre-school that was a major part of over 150 kids' lives-all part of a past that will be but a memory. The slope that we dug a hole in and planted a pretend crypt for our cat Snowy's toys will be lost to us physically, in a matter of weeks.
Our shepherd Lucky and our lab mix Sunshine-will their spirits stay here-or will they find us in New River, Arizona? Will we find it harder to remember all their wonderful traits if we can't look out into the yard they so lovingly protected?
Our children came here just as they turned 5 and 7. I still think of their bedrooms as spots I love to be in. The chapter books I acted out and read to them until they were almost 11-most kids would have not wanted this to continue so long-but it was as fun for them as it was for me.
This is the home where my husband almost died, this is the home where we had the honor of getting to know and live with our "adopted" son and daughter (Alex and Samantha), and this is the home we were thrilled to come back to no matter where we went for vacations.
Today, as I sit in my office-what I feel is a wish for it to hopefully become someone else's. My favorite pictures are packed and have been replaced with floral arrangements, big baskets and empty space. I feel as if I'm intruding when I go to cook myself some dinner and I'm tired of sleeping in a room that has only my clothes in the closet.
I'm finally more than ready to let go. This house is no longer mine and I really want to go home.
Honesty is still the best policy
As you know we've had her house for sale-as is usual for us, we're a few days late of what should've been a quick sale. Most houses sell fast in the spring and summer, being us-we started just as fall began.
We were encouraged this past week when a couple came in and told the realtor that they wanted to buy the house. They proved they had a sizable down payment and said they could afford the monthly fees.
They spent an hour and a half looking at the house, took up four hours of our realtor's time and then proceeded to find a reputable lender. It was at this point that the problem popped up. Oh, did I mention they came on the day I had the surgery?
It seems the couple, who are self-employed, neglected to actually put their true earnings into their tax forms.
Really? Why do people do that?
If you want to lie about your taxes that's your business. However, I find it rude to take up that much of for people's time knowing that you're "fudging" will make it impossible for you to get a loan.
So back to square one. I'm pretty disappointed. If they had been honest, this whole debacle would never have happened, I'm pretty angry at their dishonesty. They're still searching for that elusive loan.
Our new home has closed escrow and my husband as a contractor taking care of some of the issues that needed fixing. I still haven't seen the house!
In the meantime, people seem to love the house and all it has to offer-the problem seems to be and they want it for about $100,000 less than anything else in the Valley! That's not going to happen.
Case in point, a woman came in and loved the home and the agent immediately put in an offer. It was low AND they wanted it on a contingency. Our agents looked up everything about the offer and the buyer's home-turns out that her condo has been on the market for almost 3 months!
We were going to counter back with a more reasonable number and only give her 72 hours to get her home into escrow-but when we found out that she hadn't lowered the price on it and it was on the market for about $30 higher than the others in her neighborhood-our agent said to just reject it.
So here I am sitting alone with Pepper the tabby while everyone else is together. Yes, my sister's been fantastic and my parents are close by-but that's not my husband or my kids.
This week, besides the house thing, I had three doctors' appointments-all of which I couldn't drive myself too. I'm feeling like a burden. Plus, I finally got the stitches out of my hand-as usual, I passed out while the dozen pieces of torture came out. Sigh.
I know that theoretically I'm home, but what I really need is to be at home physically.
I had hand surgery Monday and now I'm using Dragon speak. I'm not sure I like this-it doesn't work as well as I'd like. My rheumatologist told me I should start using a while back.
I turn it on and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Take this morning, just as an example. I opened up my e-mails and tried to answer several of my notes in the inbox. The first three wouldn't let me even use the microphone! Nope, it kept telling me to dictate. Problem is- I was. It just didn't want to listen.
Any idea how many times I had to say these two paragraphs over and over again before it typed it right? It was 4. Then I had to go back and fix all the spelling! So what good is this, if I have to type it again and again? Some of the things that this program comes up with are pretty funny. But then again, not funny enough for me to have to do the work with a bad hand.
Besides the hand surgery we have looking-Lous all week-I still hate selling my home, but at this point, I'm ready to go to Arizona. I have four doctors' appointments in the next two weeks and I have two stories to cover – but I'm ready to join my husband. I miss him-a lot.
Pepper has taken over the job of "man of the house"; he checks the doors, lies sprawled out in front of the bedroom door at night and jumps on all the windows at every sound! He's feeling the pressure of being alone too.
It's hard paying bills long-distance, it's hard talking over Skype, it's hard just being.
The saying goes, "it is what it is", but I'm ready to finish packing up and start the new chapter of our lives.
And since Dragon speak is giving me more grief-I'm cutting it short this week.
We'll be in October when next I write.