A buck, a doe and a fawn stand in the headlights of an oncoming Mack truck. Our family took possession of the new house on March 4th. By the next day, we had broken it. 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, after spending 12 hours demolishing things, I stood at the entrance to the common bathroom and started to hyperventilate. Hours before, there had been working fixtures in the room: a shower, a bath, a sink, a toilet... walls. At 8:00 p.m.? NOTHING. We'd had the house for 18 hours.
"I... I... I have to leave now," I said to David. (He and our friend Jamie had now moved on to ripping up the old floors.)
"I... I..." A wave of nausea hit. "I can't... I... I need to go..."
I staggered back to our old house (we had two weeks of overlap before our house deal closed), dropped my dusty paint clothes and ran a bath - in my working bathroom. I threw in multiple couple of cups of Epsom Salts and immersed myself in the cast iron tub. I was in desperate need of a Calgon moment.
So we're just a wee bit behind where we thought we'd be. Not a problem. The door to the basement hasn't happened. At present there is an egress door - which means we can totally pretend there's a twister and run down to the basement with our pets. Right now, we're leaving that door open and can see into our 150 year old cellar - how many people really get the chance to see gravel and dirt and lopsided jack posts? That's Canadian history right there folks! And really? The living room from which you access the basement is pretty much a fortress of boxes, so seeing the basement isn't really even an option yet. It's like a surprise part of the house."Wait, don't look yet, not yet... and now... open your eyes!"
I can walk between unfinished studs from our bedroom to the now plumbed bathroom - we had a killer plumber who did the job in half the time expected and left us with ALL our fixtures working! I got to have my hair shampooed and conditioned in the kitchen sink - scalp massage courtesy of David - as the caulking for the shower sets. I don't know where.my... (insert random nouns here) are, but that just means it's like a scavenger hunt - every day. Last night I found pants!
We had Professional Tetris movers. Swear to God. They managed to get a 2 tonne, 4 foot wide wardrobe up a 30 inch set of stairs and over a knee wall without damaging walls or killing anyone. Christmas decorations are now packed into the secret eaves hidey hole which will afford us quite the adventure come December this year. And that computer program we used to figure out where all our shit was going to go? Mostly worked and after the move we only had to give away two more major pieces of furniture - which, when you are downsizing from 3000 to 1500 sq feet - is pretty freaking remarkable.
My Dad took two for the team. He came to help with construction and it was only on day 2 that he required two staples in his head from whacking it on the angled ceiling of our story and a half house. And then the silly bugger CAME BACK and continued to build. What do you give a guy who does that for you?? David's Mom painted and cleaned and packed and kept me moving when everything in me wanted to sit down and bawl like a baby. AND she stocked our freezer with enough meals to ensure that we didn't have to cook during the 10 days of renovations and we can still now defrost something and not worry about dinner. David's step-sister brought lunch, made us treats and housed us for three nights until we could find our bed linens.
That is not to say that last Sunday, when we were really IN the house for the first time, David and Rissa didn't witness my collapse on the floor of our impenetrable bedroom and my subsequent flailing as I tried to locate a paper bag into which I could breathe. But... even in my wee cottage of a new home, covered in boxes with many rooms remaining unfinished, I have this space...
Not quite a Great Room - doesn't have the sq footage to be dubbed thus. We're calling it our petit grand room. And do you see that- in the midst of my kitchen area? It's a turquoise fridge. A cheap-ass fridge-only unit that I took to the autobody shop and, in spite of looking at me like I was insane, they painted for me. I have a turquoise fridge. It's all going to be okay.