Parting with a good thing is always such a bitter sweet sorrow, but sometimes we have to let go of the sides of the pool in order to swim across to the other side. In January I was helping a friend move thinking how fortunate it was we weren’t moving (haha, joke’s on me). Literally the next day we were told our landlord had to sell our home and we had 30 days to move. Oh boy.
30 days to pack a 3200sf home.
30 days to find a new, suitable home for 10 people.
30 days to save the money and get the help to physically move a home our size.
And then there is cleaning the house to turnover to the landlord- we weren’t prepared financially or physically- or emotionally. I loved my home!!! I was heartbroken.
The owner needed to have a builder and her agent walk through the house as soon as possible to discuss improvements needed to make the house as profitable as they could. We had to get the house into showroom status. We were discussing lots of gameplans- helping to renovate, staying there while it was done, but ultimately it all came down to, “Finda new place as soon as possible so we can renovate and sell”.
So much had to be done. Most of the floors were hardwood and the upstairs needed to have the carpets cleaned badly. It was the end of January- smack in the middle of winter still. Everything was muddy and cold. It was a very bad time to try and get stuff sold in preparation to move. I started going through things as soon as I could…
It snowed. Everything was covered in a fine white powder and the kids ran out to frolic in it. So bittersweet. Every day that went by was one closer to the day we would have to say goodbye. I packed and packed and stared as everything was cleaned and serene. And it kept snowing.
We still had houses to look at. There was very little available in such a short period of time for a family our size. Most people wanted way more than the house was worth or the house was perfect, but there was no yard. This was usually the case. Not only did we have houses we needed to look at, but it was Jude’s dedication ceremony at church. This was a big deal to us- we weren’t going to miss it. Even with a snowstorm. We pulled on our snowgear over our nice clothes and dug out a path from the garage.
The drive was treacherous. Cars were skidding all over the road like an amusing xfactor TV show. But we made it. Only a few people showed up to church, it was more intimate but worth it. Those who couldn’t make it were watching the live stream, Meyer family up on stage full screen dedicating Jude. How fun.
As busy as my husband and I were, the kids suffered. Probably not as much as if we were preparing for the Oregon Trail, but I’m sure it felt like that to them. Jude was starting to crawl and everything was a playground to him. I had to stay on task and packing and cleaning and looking at houses took president over things like cuddling and nursing. The house was filling with boxes of things and contractors were showing up tearing out toilettes and sinks and floors out from underneath us. I knew my older 2 girls who home school could not function like this. Emma became quick friends with the contractor and he went from ‘Ron the Builder’ to ‘Uncle Ron’. He even let her help lay the floor tile.
With only weeks to go before we had to be out, we still did not have anywhere to go. There literally was nowhere and no one to stay with. We started looking for temporary homes to let the kids stay at in preparation for being displaced. And our house search went farther, and farther out of our comfort zone radius. We realized we needed to stop renting and start pursuing buying our own home, but we had hurdles to overcome since we lived within our means and didnt have credit cards. Building the proper credit would take time.
We found a few places for the oldest girls to go so that they could concentrate on school while all this packing and construction was going on. Gracie went to stay with best friends nearby. Friends from church offered to take Abbie in and taught her everything from taking care of chickens to how to make smoothies. She got to sleep in her own king sized bed and was in heaven. But most of her days were catching up on school work.
The smaller kids missed the girls a lot. After the first week Emma was reminiscing about her older siblings in videos they had made on the computer. She didnt know it, but it made me cry. I hated having my family split up.
Finally we found a house that was listed to look at in the country. It was on 12 acres and had a barn. How exciting! We went up there after church and the kids had so much fun exploring the property. We could have livestock a big garden, room for the kids to play and be kids. The big selling point for them? The theater downstairs. From here on out it was referred to as the ‘Movie Theater House’. But the house was quite rural and 40 minutes from where we were currently living. Still we had a nagging that this was the one. We really enjoyed the landlord and looked forward to helping him out and fixing up the property.
We had to negotiate terms and figure out if this was the right thing for us. The house was more expensive in rent, farther out than we had hoped, we would have to manage our trash ourselves, the bus stop alone was a mile from the house. Electricity would be more expensive… it was a lot to decide on. and we didnt have much time.
Almost right away, Jude developed a high fever. He was so hot I took him to the ER. 104.6. Ouch. A few days later he developed the telltale rash of Roseola.
I cleaned and cleaned and packed and cleaned… Finally moving day was here.
The new house did not have as big of a kitchen or storage space, but a very tall pantry!
We weren’t without our issues. We went and picked up the 26′ moving van from U-haul, brought it home and started loading. The roads to our new house were very steep (18% downgrade) and the brakes actually caught fire on the way there. My husband had to hose them down. Back to U-haul we had to go to return in exchange for another truck. In the end it took us 3 loads to move our home to the new house.
I had a lot of cleaning still to do at the old house. I had some friends from church come over and help which was a Godsend. I was basically a walking Zombie by this point.
To be continued…