Phew. We made it.
On Thursday, October 29, 2015 we moved from the Not-So-Little House in the Big Woods to the Not-So-Little House on the Prairie. No kidding, I'm pretty sure you can see Kansas from the backyard, but more on that house in another post. Time to end this chapter.
As I suspected, we went out with a bang. I mentioned our water issue: fortunately, that worked out and the well just needed a bit of maintenance to get it back in ship-shape. There was more than a little bit of drama around that, not least of which included a call to the realtor from someone who read my blog, identified themselves only as "a neighbor," and gave it to the realtor... hence why you don't see that previous post. D-R-A-M-A and angry and take-down-the-blog-and-hope-we-don't-get-fired-from-caretaking and more than a little lost sleep. Never mind that I have never once identified where we lived or the name of the realtor on my blog, but feelings were hurt due to my editorial comments and well, I had to take responsibility for that and then get us all moving on.
Anyway, after that, some sort of insect cult moved onto the property and took turns drinking the Kool-Aid, primarily in the spare bathroom. We spent several weeks on tiny-body-disposal. I honestly have no idea how they were getting in, and I've been told that this is a pretty common thing in Colorado, but it was a constant.
After that, we experienced another apparently common Colorado phenomena - the annual hatching of the hornets. We were just inundated with flying, stinging menaces like something out of a Stephen King novel. Seriously, if you had told us the house was built on a pet cemetery, I would have nodded my head and said, "well, that figures." It was that bad for a while.
The mouse battle continued and ended not unlike the ending of Vietnam, where we eventually left and became someone else's problem. No comment on whether or not we should have been there in the first place... allusions only go so far.
Workers came and went, and we packed our things in the evenings, which went quite smoothly, as far as packing goes.
Then we got a call, one week prior to moving, that the next caretaking place we were scheduled to move into had sold. The only other option that we were presented with was way too far away and in an area we know sells very quickly, and therefore was not really an "option" for us. Facing imminent homelessness, we kicked into overdrive, scanning every known website for potential rentals, co-opting our realtor to help, and making mad dashes to tour any and every possible crappy to not-so-crappy-but-rather-expensive house, townhouse, and/or condo available for lease in the greater Colorado Springs area. As I may have mentioned last time, this kind of mad-cap scramble results in blood pressures that elevate to something just short of stroke levels.
We had just about settled on a top-of-our-price-range townhouse when the sister office of our agency came through with a property for us to caretake, and, with three days to spare before Two Men and Truck showed up on the porch, we received confirmation that this place was "the" place. It still took several days before we stopped checking to make sure we could still roll our tongues and feel both sides of our faces...
We saw the new place for the first time Thursday morning, one hour before the moving truck showed up. We ran through, did a quick scan, met the agency staff responsible for the house briefly, unloaded a pile of stuff, and sprinted the 30 minutes between houses in time to meet the movers. Because my husband and friends are smarter than I am and have our best interests in mind, we had two angels of mercy, Chris and Susan, come down from the Denver area, each with their own pickup truck, to help us haul the myriad of lamps and plants and boxes that didn't fit with the furniture. Susan even vacuumed our bedroom and swept the dining room, bless her. Chris hoisted more boxes than I can count and made multiple trips between houses. I had insisted that we not call our friends and impose on them, because we "just" did this. Eric finally said: "they asked if they could help. Let them." Seriously, we could not have done this without them. Eric jokes that we keep a spreadsheet of people who have helped us move so we don't have people help us twice in a row. We don't, but that might just be a good idea... my OCD likes it! Plus, next time, we're getting a UHaul, plus the movers.
The move got done in about 8 hours, plus one last trip back to the old place to finish the final bits of cleaning and grab the last trashcan and plants (of which Eric says I have too many. I counter that plants make a house a home.) I did NOT allow myself to cheap out on the cleaning this time (plus, its in my contract.) I believe I did a darn fine job of going above and beyond, not just vacuuming, dusting and actually scrubbing toilets, but even wiping out all cupboards and drawers, and scrubbing down the inside of the fridge. This was made infinitely easier by cleaning a cupboard as I cleared it out, then sticking a note on it that it had been checked as empty and cleaned (or I would have gone in each cupboard 7,000 times, checking.)
Keys dropped, garbage curbed, we're out. On to the next chapter of this caretaking adventure story.
Post-script: We heard from our homeowner that the closing didn't happen as scheduled. They are now delayed a week. Send good thoughts that way - that chapter needs a definitive ending too!