Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Displaced Persons

Like I said, moving is hard. Moving into an unfinished space is even harder. I liken it to camping. Long term. Last week felt a lot like camping. At least how I view camping - I'm not that fond of it.

You have everything you need. Somewhere. You open up box after box looking for the one thing you need (or bin if you're truly camping. Cutlip camping anyway). You see lots of interesting items but not the one item in question. Finally after a long frustrating search, you find it. Hurray! Two hours later you are in search again for an item. You know you saw it in your first search, but you can't remember in which box so the process of searching is repeated. Several times. Every couple of hours. We have not located the camera, the boys' piano bags, and...something else that I can't even think of at the moment. They're probably together in a box mark lawn ornaments that won't be opened until spring at best.

Thankfully, unlike camping, we had a working refrigerator to keep the food cold and not soaked with melting ice cubes. Like camping though, for the first couple of days we had no running water in the kitchen, no dishwasher, no stove and no microwave. All to say, we ate on paper plates and got subway a couple of times. Tom and my dad quickly got to work getting the kitchen in proper working order so that we could have some semblance of preparing meals.

Within the first couple of days we got the kids' bedrooms all set up and unpacked. Within the next couple of days, I finally got the master unpacked. The bedrooms are the only finished spaces in the house, so we could actually get everything set up. It has been so nice to get those spaces looking and feeling livable.

The kitchen is the next almost finished space. This past weekend and then again on Monday, our cabinet guy, Dave (friend from church, in case I didn't mention that already), was working on installing the last of the shelves, pulls, and little extras. There's still some more work that needs to be done, but some items are on back order and it's Thanksgiving week - time to rest and relax with friends and family (for others, not necessarily for us). But the kitchen is looking fantastic and I pretty much have everything unpacked. I even found my favorite spatula - it was MIA until today.

The rest of the house is a different story. We're living on bare concrete slab for awhile. We have a couple of walls to build and part of a brick fireplace hearth that needs to come out before we can have tile laid. At least I am on a mopping reprieve!

Another big thing to be thankful for is brand new washer and dryer  - a gift. Thanks, Dad! The kids, especially Jon, our button-pusher, loves them! He's actually taken over doing the laundry. Livvy helps with the sorting of the clean clothes. They will be stacked as soon as Tom has some time, that'll give us more space in the laundry room now and when the room is enclosed.
Jon watched it for a full cycle the first one or two loads.

She's just goofy!

Tom still has some electrical work to do as well. We currently have wires hanging from the ceiling in several places - outlets, switches, and thermostat need to be relocated.  We also still have some demo to do. Everything takes time.

Last week most of Tom's time was spent at the Peaks house finishing up things that needed to be fixed, and/or replaced before the renters moved in. I joined him for two very late nights, painting, cleaning out the garage, and mopping the floor one last time. I was planning on cleaning the house all last week during the day, but Jeanita and her teenage kids (friends from church and fellow homeschool mom) blessed me by thoroughly cleaning every room in the entire house - they wiped down walls, mini-blinds, toilets, etc. They vacuumed the floor so that it left a cool pattern and even folded the end of the toilet paper into a triangle!! Wow!! So blessed!!

Ever since Saturday, Tom's been working on a place for the dogs. We were originally thinking we would just get an invisible fence. It turns out, though, that we live in an elk thorough fare and we don't think the dogs would mind a little jolt if they could go sink their teeth into an elk or two. We don't have time in the present to fence the entire yard, so Tom is building them a little dog run in the back corner. Hopefully it will keep them contained until we can build a proper fence. I'm half thinking these dogs are a little more trouble than they are worth, but I can't convince the kids or Tom of that.

Saturday was also the day that the renters moved into the Peaks house. It's good that we don't have to keep going over there while living here. Emotionally it was getting taxing. I miss that house. Everywhere I looked there were memories. Every mark on the wall, stain on the floor. A memory. It was home for eight years. When we first bought that place and fixed it up, we knew we'd have to leave it in order to get our sweat equity out of it. I just never thought it would be this hard.

It doesn't help that this house is not finished. That it's significantly smaller. That it doesn't back forest. It's a stepping stone house. It's a place to build a temporary house for Tom's mom and dad. It doesn't feel like home. I'm not sure it ever truly will. One of the kids asked tonight if anybody would cry when we left this house. Most thought not. Except from missing a tree or two that they've claimed as theirs. God may have a different plan than we do. We certainly want to be open to that. But we're hoping and praying that God has something else planned for us as far as living arrangements in the next 18 months or so.

So for the time being, I/we feel like one(s) without a home. I have nice house to live in. To fix up. To do life in for awhile. To make work. But it's not home. Not yet. Maybe it will someday. We'll see.

Until the next project is done, Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope you all enjoy your day with friends, family, and turkey. Tom's working and we are just not set up for a big feast yet, so we'll be eating out. Maybe Chinese. Maybe Freddy's. It's all about making memories. "Remember the year we ate out for Thanksgiving..."

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