It has been a very rough couple weeks. We didn't allow ourselves nearly enough time with the rental truck. We rented it from noon on Monday until noon on Thursday, but in reality, it had to be back by Wednesday evening, because DH had to work all day Thursday.
So, the nightmare went like this:
Monday around noon, DH and his friend, David, went to pick up the truck. David helped us pack many of the larger things into the truck, before he had to leave, and then DH and I continued to fill the truck until late at night. In the morning DH, David, and I finished filling the truck and DH and David drove that first load up to Tallahassee, while I continued packing boxes and cleaning the apartment. They did not get back from Tallahassee until 10:00 p.m.
DH and I started to load the truck again. We were really supposed to be out of the apartment by midnight, but that was impossible. Around three thirty in the morning, we ran into one of the women who works in the apartment complex's office and told her about how hard we were working, but that we didn't really have any hope of finishing. She assured us that other people had been given extensions when they asked, so DH hooked the laptop computer back up and quickly sent off an e-mail explaining our situation and asking that we be allowed to come back over the weekend to finish cleaning. We then spent the next two hours throwing everything we could into the truck and car. We left lots of things behind, thinking would pick them up over the weekend when we came back to clean, but we had to leave. DH had to start his new job at 9:00 a.m. that morning, so we really couldn't stay any longer. I drove the car, while Blaze rode with DH in the truck. I was beyond tired and almost fell asleep behind the wheel about three times, once on a bridge. After that incident, I called DH on his cell phone and asked to stop at the next rest area. We both took a 10 minute nap, which would be DH's only sleep until after work. We arrived at the new house with only enough time for DH to shower, dress, and go to work.
Blaze and I tried to take a nap, but after a couple hours I was awakened by a leaf blower right outside the bedroom window. I spent the rest of the day unloading the truck. When DH returned from work in the evening, he was only able to lay down for a few minutes, before he had to help me move the last few heavy items into the house. It was 10:00 p.m. when we dropped off the truck.
The following day, DH received an e-mail saying that our apartment had been cleaned out. There are some things waiting for us in storage that can only be accessed on a weekday and will only be held for 30 days. All cleaning supplies and perishable items have been thrown away.
On a more positive note, thanks to the fact that I have finally caught up on my sleep, I really do like this house better than the apartment in Gainesville. It's not without problems. The dishwasher doesn't work and flooded the kitchen floor the first time I used it and the outside light is smashed in a really dramatic way ( "It looks like someone took a baseball bat to it, " was how the neighbor described it). The good things far outweigh the bad, though.
We have unpacked more than half of the boxes and bags and are starting to feel at home now. It's the little thing that make a house feel like a home. There are a few things that I feel must be displayed right away, to show that I am claiming this space as my home.
The first thing that I display in a new kitchen, the toothpick man:
The toothpick man was found at the bottom of a bag of bagels from a bagel shop in Boone, North Carolina around 20 years ago. Since that time, he has hung in each kitchen I have had.
The colorful little bottles must be displayed in some window. These little bottles sat in my bedroom window when I was growing up. They had been a prize given away at a local gas station around 1976.
A more recent addition to this list of territory claiming ritual objects ("recent" just meaning under 20 years old), is one of Ula's childhood art projects.
For Blaze, there is the plaque outside his bedroom door, which is now in its third home,
And for DH, I made sure his candy jar was filled as soon as we moved in.
There have been some improvements here, as well. I gave DH this shower curtain for Christmas, but we saved it until now.
Blaze has more room in his bedroom, so I was able to make this nice desk area for him.