In the last eight days we've sold a house, bought a house, and bought all the necessary furniture for the new house. We're looking to add a couple of big screen TVs (around 55") and odds and ends like table lamps, but we're pretty much there for all the big stuff. I've also worked five of the last eight days, and about to start another four day stint tomorrow.
I ought to be utterly exhausted, but somehow the adrenaline is still flowing. My job at Wal*Mart is novel and fun enough that, though physically tiring, I enjoy it and in ways look forward to going in. We have been looking at furniture for a few weeks in various stores, and finally settled on Riley's Real Wood Furniture for, well, all the wooden stuff. That's the bedroom set (bedframe, dresser, chest of drawers, night stands) and dining room furniture (table and six chairs), two coffee tables and matching end tables. It's all very nice quality and built to last with a pricetag to match, but hey, we hope to be still using it all fifty years from now. The 15% discount for a big purchase didn't hurt either.
Appliances we haven't been looking so long because, frankly, we don't get that excited by washers (washing machines) and dryers. We went to Sears today and picked out an Energy Star high efficiency washer from GE (General Electric) that uses 50% of the water and 40% of the electricity of a normal washer, cost about the same due to the sale price, and we get a $70 rebate from our Electricity supplier for buying one, so in the end works out cheaper even before we've plugged it in. The matching dryer isn't "energy efficient" because dryers are by nature big electricity suckers, but with a big load capacity it is more efficient within its class. At Sears we also bought a 14 cu ft chest freezer to keep in the garage, and a nifty black fridge with icebox for my den. The kitchen fridge/freezer, hob/stove and microwave we are buying with the house.
We have two recliner armchairs already in the apartment, to which we are adding two 3 seat sofas and two 2 seat "loveseats" (in England we'd just call this a 2 seat sofa). These will be split between the family (TV) room and the living room. After looking round various stores we settled on buying these from Big Lots, a slightly lower end department store, because we liked the material (and price) which is more cat-proof and easier to clean than the suedey feel of our recliners.
While we were at the register paying for the sofas and loveseats, the manager remarked to Beth that we must have a really nice house, and this reminded us once again (though we remind ourselves daily) how very lucky we are. The sofas qualified for a "hold" programme where people can pay fortnightly over a period of six months before they get the goods. We bought all four items, at once, with cash. Moreover, we have a house big enough to fit all the furniture. I'm guessing the average Big Lots customer is not quite so fortunate.
I have been very lucky in life, especially in the last six years. Just meeting Beth was one of those events that sounds like a film script. Being laid off (accepting voluntary redundancy) a year ago from a job I had held for fifteen years, having the means, desire and opportunity to move to America to start a new phase of life. Receiving an offer on our London house on the very day (indeed, almost the same hour) that the house we have chosen here in Eugene would have slipped out of our hands had we not received an offer. Having the means to buy two cars so we can get around without having to rely on irksome public transport. So many things had to come together for Beth and I to get to where we are, and in just over a month we move into our dream home.
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