Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Moving - it ain't easy

I don't know why I pictured this going so differently in my mind. As if, some how, if I planned it out just right, it would all run smoothly. Well, it's been anything but smooth. I'm here to tell ya it's been down right frustrating at times. I've gone back and forth between the excitement, disappointment, frustration, and guilt.

I've struggled with guilt over moving the children away from all they've ever known. It has been hard on them. They miss their old room in our old home. They miss their friends and they miss our church. There have been nights I put them to bed and they cry, and it breaks my heart. And it makes me miss it all too. It's hard to embrace the excitement and joy of the situation, when your heart is aching.

And we have been plagued it seems with little mishaps. We looked at two different moving companies and went with the one that gave us a locked in estimate at a less expensive rate. However, the company grossly underestimated how much stuff we had. Two men showed up the morning of the 25th with a large truck. We found out quickly it wasn't ours. They were there just to pack us. In fact, the company had over booked and didn't have anyone to pack us. They asked this crew, who were on their way to Washington D.C. to stop for half a day and pack us. Of course they couldn't get it all done in half a day so another crew cam the next morning to finish packing us and a third crew came in the afternoon to load the truck. It was so unorganized. Each of the crews that came didn't like the way the one before them had packed things and we were not expecting to have to tip three different crews to pack us. Then when the crew with the truck came, they brought a small truck and stated the obvious that it wasn't all going to fit on this one truck. So, they asked us if they could put the rest in the garage and pick it up the next day. We were like uh, no -we have to be out by 9:00 the next morning in order for the new renters to start moving in their stuff on time. And it wasn't like we were just moving a couple hours away where we could come back if they forgot something. We're moving across the country. So, they called a second truck to come. That crew didn't want to be there at all and two of the four men gave us attitude about it. They also tried to say they couldn't get it all on their truck so, Hugh called all six men together and said, "Look, one way or another all of this is getting on these two trucks so make it happen. He jumped in to help and spent the last four hours packing, labeling, and loading the trucks with the men. He even stopped to attend to one of the men who had a huge gash in his arm. (Yes, he's a total sweetheart!)

Then, when we got here the morning of closing on the house, we had a walk through with our realtor and the man who had done the inspection on the house. The previous owners had not done what they said they would in making the necessary repairs. The house was filthy. When I say filthy I'm talking black base boards. They were not careful when removing pictures from the walls up stairs and pull out sheet rock and made holes the size of nickles. The pool, which they agreed would be ready for use on the day of closing was green and slimy. And they had taken things out of the house that were specifically in our contract to be left. For example, we asked that the security system and all components be left with the house. Well, there were just chords hanging out of the wall where they had ripped out the dvr and monitors. Our realtor got in touch with them, but they said they had done all they were going to do, and that they didn't take the monitors, they took their t.v.s and we weren't getting their t.v.s. Well, we explained we didn't want their t.v.s, but we needed the monitors to be able to tell if the security system even worked at all after the way they had left it. (We didn't know until this week, when the security system guy came out here to check everything that the dvr was gone. And we can't run the cameras on the outside of the house without them. So, that is going to set us back about a grand to have it all reinstalled correctly. On a positive note, our alarms work well and our house is as tight as Fort Knox with the security system we have. The security guy said we have a better system than he has installed in some banks. He thought the previous owners were a little paranoid, but hey, at least I will feel safe here when Hugh is working late.

I don't know if any of you have ever had a rough closing day, but ours was so stressful it almost ruined it for me. When we got to closing they owners decided that they were going to keep our earnest money because we had bothered them all day about such nonsense. Thank the Lord there was a third party lawyer there to tell them they couldn't just get hot and bothered and decide to keep the money. They said it was because we moved the closing date, and the lawyer reminded them they agreed to that change so they didn't have a leg to stand on. We had already signed the papers, but had stipulations in that they were to call a plumber and other repair persons while there and give a credit card number so they couldn't back out after receiving their check at the end of closing to take care of the things they promised. Hugh basically told them that if they didn't agree to that we would put our stuff in storage and buy another house. Now, I love this house and I didn't want to lose it, but I would have walked away if that's what it had come down to. I stand by Hugh on whatever decision he makes for our family. Thankfully, they agreed!

So, we have since been busy with movers, repair persons, painters, and the like coming in and out everyday. The second truck was scheduled to arrive on the 13th, but came the following week with someone else's things. They returned the next day with our things. -Thank you Lord! It's just been a little crazy, or at least it feels that way to me. I'm ready for a little rest and for things to smooth down a bit. We've had a stead stream of visitors, so I'm still unpacking, but I got the first load unpacked before the second load arrived. It took me three weeks, so i imagine that about how it will go with this load too. I'm ready to feel settled. It is starting to feel a little more like home and I am so thankful for that. I just didn't realize how stressful this could be. It doesn't always work out as we've planned, but it is working, slowly but surely. I'll share pictures soon as we paint and decorate. We are waiting for Hugh to get his first check in before we start that whole process, but, it will be soon. YA!!!!

Until next time....as my sister Demetria says, "Don't be stressed. Be blessed."

Friday, July 16, 2010

We're Home

We finally made it to Mississippi. I have longed for the day to come when we would return home. I've missed the south, and my beloved Mississippi. It's not just about the people, family and friends that mean so much. I really feel connected to this place, and to the land. The dusty dirt roads, the delta flat lands, the heat and humidity, kudzu, cotton, the bayou, how I have missed you.

I am very much a "bloom where you're planted" kinda girl. I have thoroughly enjoyed each place I have had the opportunity to live. I can find wonderful points about each one of them. I loved living in Kansas City. By the end of my first year there I knew the city inside and out. I loved the shopping, the night life, and all the culture and arts available at every turn. I had a great job. I was still a newly wed. Life was good. Ohio was not a place I thought I'd fall in love with, but, I did. Our family grew there from two to four. Memories were made. Moments I'll always treasure. And the seasons are beautiful there. And life, at least where we were living still has somewhat of an old fashioned feel to it. We flew kites and picniced in the park. Corn hole is still a very popular game at birthday parties and cookouts. Every Tuesday, you can find a group of elder gentlemen and ladies playing Boccie ball in Howland Corners near the gazebo. And in fall, you can find a festival every weekend featuring homemade goodies like apple butter, family hayrides, and corn mazes. I feel like I've made the best of every opportunity I could find that each place had to offer. And yet my heart still longed for home. The place I'm from. The place I belong. -I belong to it and it belongs to me. Have you ever felt that way about a place. No matter where you go, it always draws you back to itself. That's how I feel about the south.

It has been a long journey down to Mississippi. A very long and draining three weeks. There have been many bumps in the road getting settled, but, all that for another day. Right now, I just want to enjoy being back and linger in the moment for a while.

Goodnight my sweet friends. Thank you for staying with me and praying me through all the while I've been packing, moving and traveling down here. I miss you and love you and we'll talk soon. ~Blessings!