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).
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.