Well, we did it (mostly). We moved to town. Are we unpacked (or even fully moved) and settled in? No. But the family and dogs are here and we all have a bed. We had a real dinner – fish and roasted veggies with Italian seasoning and garlic bread- tonight even though we don’t have a table or chairs. The cats arrive tomorrow and larger items, including table, fireplace, my desk, washer and dryer, will be moved when we can rent a truck. Our move coincided with the return of the college students and all the U-haul, Penske, and Ryder trucks are spoken for. Truthfully as we are waist-high in boxes waiting to be unpacked, and school starts for me on Tuesday and the kids on Wednesday and I just found out I have to move out of my office at school and into the maker-space, I can wait another week or two for the rest of our stuff!

We have (with help) chopped down the jungle, pulled ivy off the house and porch, cleaned, painted walls, stripped paint from cupboards and repainted them, covered windows, removed extensive mold from the basement so the plumbers would venture down there, had all new waterlines run to replace pipes that had frozen and split, and made myriad minor improvements. And we are nowhere finished – we need a new kitchen faucet and tub spout (we have water but things leak so no showers yet). The bathroom floor needs replacing and there are still electric issues (ceilings with wires and no light fixtures). The weeds in the yard keep reappearing. We haven’t touched the garage which needs cleaning out and getting electricity restored (the kids think it would make a nice teen hangout spot). The cellar access door is a rotting wood frame with shingles that leaks into the basement. I’ve draped a heavy duty tarp over it for now. Lots still to do here and at the country place (cleaning, moving things, securing it so critters don’t move in, dealing with the garden shed and ‘greenhouse’).  The timing just didn’t work out the way I’d hoped (moving in June or early July and spending time settling in before school).

Things we love about living downtown – we are so close to all the amenities! The library is only 4 blocks away so I can walk to my 2nd job and my son has become totally engaged in the teen center there. There are wonderful restaurants within walking distance and we plan to try something new once a month on a payday Friday. My daughter and I are volunteering at the local animal shelter walking dogs 2 hours a week on Saturday. She hopes to be able to find a job next summer – much easier in town, especially if you don’t drive – and volunteering is fun and a resume builder. The commute to school is much less for all of us. There’s ‘real’ internet (meaning it doesn’t quit on you all the time and more than one person can be on at a time) which is actually cheaper than rural internet (more competition and choice in town).

Loving on Shelter Dogs

The sweetest dog!

As you might imagine this move has been expensive due to all the renovation costs and has taken an enormous effort on all our parts. I have definitely met my DIY match! My new job at the library (more about that another post) pays slightly better than the grocery store and should help to cover the additional living expenses once we have household repairs/move expenses out of the way. In addition to my main teaching/coaching job at school, I will be working 4-9 pm three evenings a week and 5 hours on Sunday at the library. If you would like to help us out a bit, we’ve added a few  things to our Amazon wishlist (thanks to all who have already sent us a housewarming gift). School starts on Tuesday for me and Wednesday for the kids. The college girls head to classes in about 10 days. I could really use another week or two but will have to make do as I can.

Below are some before and after pictures of the work we’ve done.

Rusty medicine cabinet

A little Rustoleum fixed that!

Laundry Room

Laundry Room with cleaned & painted floor

Japanese Knotweed growing back

Smothering the knotweed with cardboard and mulch

Old pipes removed

New flexible waterlines installed

Mold in the basement

Mold Abatement Team

No mold here!

Jungle in the backyard

Backyard with bird feeders

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4 Responses to Townies!

  1. Jean says:

    Hope you are well – how is it going in town?

  2. You’ve done an amazing job so far especially considering you weren’t able to get in earlier in the summer when all the kids had more free time. I’m fighting our jungle of weeds as well, that they keep springing back with vigor is awfully frustrating.

    Best of luck as you continue working both jobs and tackle the rest of the to do list.

  3. Peg M says:

    Congrats on getting semi-moved in and having accomplished a ton of work in just a few short weeks ( while proving one’s worth at a new job no less!) . You have all done an amazing job! I am guessing you have showed the “before” and “after” photos to the owners. Now that the school year has started, perhaps it is time to turn the rest of the critical DIY jobs over to pros. You have already done plenty (saving the owners $$$$$) . You have devoted hours upon hours of labor to this remediation/ renovation effort. Time to enjoy the benefits! Is it still a one-year house sitting rental? With one full time and one part- time income producing jobs, there may now be some time to breathe and enjoy raising your children in your new environs. A 4 block walk to work- ideal! Two hours each Sat helping at the shelter with your daughter – wonderful! Once a month dining discoveries- yum! It all sounds great, especially when you add water and heat with ease. You have a lovely porch- think of the mud that will remain outside! You no longer need to drive hours each day- what a stress saver! It all sounds wonderful to me. You have the luxury of taking what you need and leaving the rest at your country home or try freecycle or hitting the garage sales for affordable seconds.Is this location closer to your daughters’ colleges? I hope you all are glad to try town living for a year.

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