While this post is NOT about the circa 1970 British blues/rock band Ten Years After, it is about moving in and ten years after. I’ll answer the question, “After what?” a little later.
The last three weeks have been, well, chaotic. As I wrote last time, I was moving from the old house to the new one the way Johnny Cash built his Cadillac: “One piece at a time.” Which is a lot harder to do than it might seem. At least, it was for me. Not harder physically, although there was plenty of toting and hauling. In fact, with apologies to Ned Washington and Dimitri Tiomkin, I came up with my own version of the Rawhide theme:
Movin’, movin’, movin’,
Keep them boxes movin’,
Movin’, movin’, movin’,
Pack ’em up, move ’em out, move ’em in, pack ’em out,
Pack ’em in,
OK, great poetry/song lyrics they’re not. I still felt rode hard and put away wet a lot of days.
And then there was the delivery of all the new furniture and laundry equipment that extended over a two week period, maybe longer than that, and included some stuff not being delivered because it showed up at my interior designer’s warehouse, or at my house, broken. Not all of that has been resolved yet.
And then there’s that 10 year thing. And the 18 year thing. And the 23 year thing. You see, it’s been 10 years since I last moved–to the house I’ve now left and which I HATED for the first two years I was in it. Ten years is the longest time I’ve lived in one house since I left home to go to college. When you’re in the military, you get used to moving every few years. There’s a kind of rhythm to it, even if the moves come at irregular intervals–after one year at one place, three years at the next, four years after that, and so on. To go ten years without moving almost never happens. You may move back to the same place several times, as I did, but not stay there for a full, uninterrupted decade. But that’s what happened here.
The 18 year thing is the fact that I bought the land the new house sits on 18 years ago, in 1998. And I first saw it 23 years ago, in 1993. So there’s been this tremendous build-up to getting the house designed, built, and moved into that I didn’t really recognize until it came time to move.
And then it hit me.
So for the past three weeks I haven’t had the mental energy to blog, which is why I’m only now writing this post.
But the good news is that I’m now in, and with the help of good friends Ryan and Pam, got the last, biggest pieces of furniture and plants, including a ten foot tall yucca, moved a few days ago.
And my first night in the new place came on August 28th, ten years to the day after my first night in the old house. (Yes, I looked up the date. I knew I was coming close to it and it wasn’t hard to find the exact date.)
While all of this moving was going on, other things were happening too.
Two of the things happened at the same time. I’ve written in the past about how I wasn’t thrilled with the tile backsplashes in the guest bathroom, so I asked the company that was cutting up the granite slab we used for the counter top to make some pieces as an alternative backsplash. They did and when they came down, while the pieces weren’t as close matches to the counter as I would have liked, I went ahead and had them put in. This is how part of the new pieces look now.
At the same time, the guys brought down the slab that forms the top of the desk in my office. It includes a cutout for the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for my computer but that had to be done on-site. The separate company that made the base of the desk had already created the cutout and box in the under-deck, so what was left was to cut the slot in the granite.
And waddayaknow? It fits!
(That pristine look didn’t last long. Now it looks like a working desk. Cluttered, in other words. )
The other thing that happened was a test to support the LEED certification. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. We’re going for a rating that says we’ve done a lot to conserve energy, water, building materials, etc. It’s the reason why every light bulb but one uses LEDs, for example.) This particular test, called a blower door test, checks to see how air-tight the house is. The way it works is, with all the doors but one and all the windows closed, a special door is put into the one open one.
That big fan tries to suck air out of the house while special equipment measures how much is being pulled.
The results for this test…
…suggest this house was performing at the rate of a house half its size, in square foot terms, and probably even less given how high the ceilings are in many rooms and how big many of the windows are. This is all good, and since HVAC performance is a big part of the LEED rating, it bodes well for the house achieving the “platinum” rating we’re shooting for. I’m not sure when I’ll get the final news on whether or not we achieved it.
So now my attention shifts from moving in to getting the place organized–the office is a mess, and there are still pictures to hang, more furniture to be purchased and/or delivered, bedding to buy, etc.–and getting the old house ready to go on the market. Those stresses are a lot easier to manage than the ones I’ve been dealing with, and I think friends will no longer be worried about my health.
The new place already feels like home. And after 10, or 18, or 23 years, that’s a good thing.