Monday, July 28, 2014


Stairway to a heavenly deck
It all started back on a cold, dank Saturday in January.  I picked up a copy of the most recent MDIslander (it was enjoyable then because both my boys lived far, far away, and I am dull, so there was no danger of any of our names appearing in the Police Blotter.  Again.).  An ad for a new real estate listing caught my eye, and when my fella (hereinafter referred to as Aquaman -- rather than what the neighbors call him 'Poor Bastard') came home later that day, we drove by the house, and instantly loved it.  Several thousand deadlines,  documents and dollars later, we are the proud owners of the most perfect home.
 As soon as we got word that our offer was accepted, I started packing things I wouldn’t be needing between Valentine’s Day (the day our offer was officially accepted) and Mother’s Day (approximately when we would be closing).  I quickly determined that such things as decorative martini glasses (not the every day ones), snow globes and the spring wardrobe could safely be tucked in boxes. 

My packing process began as a system that would make Martha Stewart salute me.  Every breakable thing  was wrapped in bubble wrap before being lovingly nestled into a sturdy box with others of its kind.  The box was then securely taped and labeled with the contents and exact destination – for example, the first 12 boxed were labeled ‘decorative martini glasses/2nd floor/ living room/ left corner.   
As those of you who have purchased a home know, the paperwork process does not always run smoothly.  Fairly early on, our banker was frequently and earnestly hopeful that the ‘one more document’ needed from an attorney would be forthcoming and we could close soon.  Of course this same banker is hopeful we will live long enough to make 360 equal monthly payments.  The first few times I, being the impatient type, interpreted ‘soon’ to mean NOW, and continued packing.  After a while, I decided to cease all packing until we had a definite, set-in-stone closing date.  We set up the guest bedroom at the Fabulously Appointed Bungalow (hereinafter referred to as FAB) as a staging area, stacked the carefully packed, taped and labeled boxes therein and went about our normal lives.

When we got the word that our closing would definitely be Good Friday at 3PM, I was somewhat skeptical, but returned to packing, somewhat.  By the morning of Good Friday,   I realized that no one had called to postpone the closing, and it might actually happen.  And (show of hands, who’s surprised) I was not nearly ready for the exodus from the fabulously appointed bungalow.  Oh, mentally I had the Ranch To Be Named Later (hereinafter referred to as RTBNL) all furnished and decorated,  but for a poor white gal I own a lot of crapulence, and Aquaman added a whole lot more when he moved in.  And it all had to be transported to the RTBNL.
Once the papers were signed, the oil in the tank paid for, the key was officially in Aquaman's hand (I tend to lose things like that)  and the champagne cork was popped, the packing process took on both a frantic pace and a rapid decline.  Instead of bubble-wrapping each plate in my entertainment closet, I’d wrap a whole stack before stuffing them in a box- they may be wrapped in bubble wrap, maybe newspaper, maybe an old sweatshirt.  Labeling spiraled from the detailed notations to ‘Dishes/Kitchen', then just 'Wherever' .  You could track my mood by some of the labels; i.e.  ‘HOW MANY F*&%ING COOKBOOKS DOES ONE WOMAN NEED?  It should be noted that I was too lazy to actually draw the asterisk, ampersand and percent symbols so I just used the real letters.   Realizing I would eventually have to unload all these freaking boxes, I started labeling them with random street addresses (so if they fell off the truck they would not be returned to me).  It was about them that my Sharpie privileges were revoked, so the contents of the last dozen boxes are pretty much anybody’s guess.

A sure sign I was growing weary of the packing process was when I opened the liquor cabinet, pulled out 2 open Hornitos tequila bottles – one silver, one gold.  Each had about two shots of the good stuff.  I know you are all thinking ‘You didn’t mix them together did you?’  Oh no, I was lazier than that.  I dumped them down the drain.  I began to regret that decision about an hour later when I remembered I hadn’t yet tackled the Large Lad’s festering pile of stuff in the basement.   Tequila would have made that a far more pleasant experience.
I did find that heavy black trash bags are the lazy gal’s best moving pal.  Sure, they can be used to dispose of things (and are opaque so my fella  cannot see exactly what I have decided I only want to haul as far as the dumpster) but they can be used to pack things such as linens and  coats – and if they are mistaken for bags of trash and end up in the dumpster, so be it.  Marden’s gets new shipments of linens and coats daily.   

I was not allowed to follow behind Aquaman while we made multiple trips to from the formerly FAB to the RTBNL, probably because I said in my outdoor voice that if anything fell off the back of his truck I would just run over it.

 On Easter we got the RTBNL basically set up (TV, bed and coffee maker) so we could sleep there while we finished moving.  While Aquaman worked at the RTBNL, I finished packing and cleaning the  formerly FAB.  Oh look, I chattered to no one in particular.  2 saucers – why are there 2 saucers in the back of the cupboard.  Now there are 2 saucers in an opaque trash bag.  I realized about the time I stuffed a lonely water glass in a camo boot which may or may not belong to the large lad and may or may not have a mate, that packing had hit rock bottom. 

I crammed our remaining possessions in the back of my Jeep – still chanting the ‘be careful it’s a lease’ mantra, steam cleaned my way out through the kitchen, and closed the door on the formerly FAB one last time. 
We’ve made 3 equal monthly payments (only 357 to go!), and we have definitely made progress toward making the RTBNL our home.  Oh sure, there are still boxes to be unpacked, but those are what I call the ‘Christmas boxes’ because I will be as surprised as anyone when I unpack them.  The one I tackled yesterday contained 2 faded throw pillows, a can of tuna,  the tassel from Golden Boy’s high school graduation and 2 boxes of pineapple Jell-o.

Yes, those are 8Track tapes
We’ve made a definite dent on cleaning up the yard, we’re adjusting to DirecTV, we’ve got a decent garden going, and are frequently dazzled by the new blossoms from the plants the prior owners so lovingly left behind.  But perhaps the best sign we are making the Ranch our home is that we have already started a junk drawer – complete with 2 dead batteries, a cluster of pens,  most of a pair of reading glasses and an outdated phone book.  All things I found in a box labeled …well that’s not important – I don’t think Martha would be proud.

We want to send a heartfelt Thank You to both Island Housing Trust  and Bar Harbor Savings and Loan for making our dream possible.  No thanks at all go to the Maine State Lottery.  

1 comment:

  1. Awesome. Once again, awesome! I not only loved reading this but I love anything and everything real estate. Not so much on the packing, though. However, I can relate. Especially about finding a can of tuna mixed in with the pillows. So me.