Notes from the Road, 14

It’s moving day. We just got the go-ahead to start moving in, and I’m doing the first phase late in the day and into the night, since the cleaner was busy in there earlier. Hopefully I won’t have to deal with any interruptions, particularly from the weirdo next door who I caught openly leering at me last summer.

We finally got the all-clear to start moving in, after a comedy of errors and delays that weren’t really any one particular entity’s fault. I’m spending the day knocking out as much as possible on my own.

While we were waiting, I grabbed stuff I knew for sure wasn’t coming with us in the move, and set it on the curb. It was stuff I either haven’t cared about since college for whatever reason, or should’ve stayed behind at least two moves ago.

If I haven’t cared about it in 10 years, and have no plans to start caring about it again within the next month or so, it went to the curb.

To speed up the process, I threw an ad up on Craigslist for the free stuff, and added to the pile all week. Most of what I originally had out there is gone by now.

My first order of business is the curtains and the window treatments. I’ve taken most of those down, washed them, and saved the hardware for this very thing. This way, they’re ready to roll.

I bring the ladder one of the hired hands left behind when they were fixing the retaining wall last November, since it’s taller, and I can reach the top of the window better than with the one we have.

I guess it’s ours now.

I run back to the house to get some candles, and have those running nearby for some more light, and to make the house feel a little bit closer to home.

Even though they’re technically fall scents instead of spring, I pick out my Milkhouse Candles in Caramel Apple and Welcome Home, to go with the whole housewarming theme.

I bring my old stereo with me, along with the small armoire I found on the curb recently, and set it there for now. I fiddle around with it and to my surprise, it works like a charm, even after all this time! I turn the radio to the country music station to keep me company, and hopefully to scare off any would-be intruders.

It’s also my way of christening the house, and giving it good energy to start.

I hit the “Bass Boost” button, and it turned Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard into party tunes. I felt the bass rumbling through the house as the radio played “Guitars, Cadillacs” and “Honky Tonk Attitude.” It kept my spirits up and my motivation as I started moving stuff into the house and unloading a few boxes for use back at the old house.

But don’t worry, readers. Around 9 PM, I turned the music down to a lower volume.

While we were waiting for the go-ahead to move in, I made a plan: After the window treatments are done, my next plan is to get the outside stuff over, including the barbecue grill and the accoutrements. All of that would go in what I’ve decided is my she-shed. Then I’d get my day job stuff over here, along with the armoire since it’s closest to the basement garage doors.

It’s in otherwise good condition outside of some spots I think one of those magic erasers could fix, and a hole someone cut in the back, likely as an outlet for electronics or peripheral cords. I managed to find a way to haul it back on foot while I still had the second wind, very carefully, and in a way I could manage with my bad arm.

I originally had plans to use it for my stereo, and my albums, along with whatever books I can fit in it. The Victoria’s Secret shopping bag I kept them in had collapsed under the weight and the amount of them I had in it.

Instead, it’s gonna be a TV stand, and for the drawers, I still haven’t decided yet. But I’ve definitely got plans for a bit of a makeover for it, that’s for sure.

I’m also gonna get whatever furniture I can find a way to still manage on my own over there too. Whatever I can’t, we’ll hire movers to deal with in the last phase.

Pantry stuff, dishes, pots, and pans are next. The fridge stuff can stay until the last minute so nothing I’ve meal-prepped at the old house that we haven’t gotten through goes bad.

My bike stays for now. I need it for obvious reasons.

Things will definitely be changing in this new house, that’s for damn sure. I did some meal-prepping while I worked on the first phase of the move-in: my day job stuff, enough of the kitchen, the bathroom stuff, and the window coverings.

I saw that this was an electric stove, without an oven dial! I was at a total loss on how to use it, so while we still had Internet access at the old house, I went back the night before to hit up Google to find out what to do with it.

I also had no idea how to use a dishwasher. We’d never lived in a house that had one before, and while I’d seen one at other people’s houses, I’d never used one personally and without help up until now.

I was too embarrassed about it to ask the property manager how to use it when we got the keys, and I somehow forgot about it at the same time.

This will be a house of safety and clean. I want this house to be a source of pride, where the old house was a source of shame for me. That house saw some difficult seasons in our lives, from a health scare that I doubt I’ll ever forget, dangerously cold winters, a freak accident, the stress from my student loans and the turmoil they continue to cause me, several emotionally unhealthy involvements, and a family member’s health crisis.

Maybe this is why I don’t feel as sad about the move as I would have in the past, and remember feeling when we moved back in middle school. That time wasn’t due to any city action, it was all due to a greedy, creepy scumbag of a property manager who got off on actively encouraging other people’s addictions, so it didn’t have to be that way.

I rode by that old house, now officially four moves ago, on my way to the Family Dollar to pick up a few things for the move while I was waiting for the cleaner to get done. Shock of shocks, the old house is now even more of a hot mess than I saw the last time I was in the neighborhood about two years ago when I was out in the middle of the night walking around.

That jackwagon’s definitely reaping what they’ve sown.

The city’s decision on the house was likely a blessing in disguise. We’d had flirted with vague ideas about moving over the years, but never went beyond that. Now that shyt’s getting real, and now that we’re going forward with the moving process, I feel like this is gonna be a clean slate and a long-needed fresh start. I’m still ambivalent about finances, but I seriously hope that changes soon.

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