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Sunday, 18 April 2010

Move Day Three - 11:17pm : Settling In

Woken at 5:15am by Ghost nibbling my toes, I was able to exit the bedroom without waking Beth and took the two scoundrels downstairs to be fed. I sat at the kitchen table updating yesterday's blog, and contemplating the first task of the day, fitting Beth's spare wheel. We initially thought there wasn't one and we would use mine, but Beth found it tucked behind some trim. I witnessed dawn coming up, and the sprinklers watering the lawn front and rear.

Beth came down about an hour later. We agreed that the Tempur-pedic bed is very comfortable, and we had both had a good sleep, at least until the cat attack. I showered and dressed, and tackled the spare wheel issue. I haven't changed many car wheels before, but remembered the lessons my father gave me and was able to get the spare on without mishap. It was a little flat, so I tried pumping it using the shop's air compressor, but couldn't get a good seal. Eventually we jacked the car up again and used a bicycle pump to put a few precious pounds of pressure in.

While we were in and out working on the car our older cat Elbie took the opportunity to wander out and start exploring his new environs. After the scare he gave us on Christmas Eve we wanted him to get to know the house better first, so we carried him back in, and then started looking for Ghost who had vacated his sunny perch by the back windows. We looked everywhere inside, then Beth walked up the road while I checked the back garden. No sign. OK I thought, he'll either find his way back or he won't, and we can't look everywhere and go knocking on doors early on a Saturday morning. He does have a collar with nametag, and our phone numbers.

By 9:30am we were ready to set out in convoy, Beth's car limping along on the emergency tire and me following. A couple of miles away on River Road is a Les Schwab tire center and we pulled in there, discussed options, and eventually left the Mercury with them while they changed the front two tires and adjusted the pressure on the spare. We headed on to the apartment and filled my car with yet more boxes. The apartment was looking almost empty by now, but there would be a couple more loads before it was completely bare.

Just as we were finishing up Les Schwab called to say the car was ready, so we drove back, Beth collecting her car and returning to the apartment, while I went on to Sweetwater to empty my load and grab some empty boxes for the final odds and ends at the apartment. Elbie was being attentive, so I poured him some dry food and suddenly Ghost appeared, stretching and yawning. He'd hidden in the space under my reclining chair, somewhere we hadn't thought to look as he's never done that before. Whether the big house was spooking him, or possibly the sun on the cat tree was too warm, we shall never know, but of course we should have realised that while calling would never find him, but he always responds to the sound of food, especially food being eaten by Elbie.

I phoned Beth to let her know the good news, then set out again with a car stuffed with empty boxes. Beth had been busy at the apartment, and we quickly loaded up both cars to bursting, then vacuumed the carpet and did some cursory wiping and cleaning. We will return tomorrow for a more thorough clean, especially of the bathroom and kitchen, before handing over the keys and hopefully getting our full deposit back.

Back to Sweetwater in the two cars, we unloaded in blazing sunshine, then settled in the kitchen with some reheated pizza as lunch. We wanted to take the afternoon putting things away and getting straighter, but by now I was so exhausted again I had to go and catch up on sleep. Beth kept going while I snoozed for a couple of hours and restored a few sputtering synapses.

When I awoke a couple of hours later, Beth had done some organising, and also cleared space in the garage for my car. I would like to use the garage as an actual garage sometimes, and she had driven my car into its new home for me.

We took a couple more hours getting things into place. I vacuumed my den and put the seven folding tables  in place, and Beth helped me carry my mini-fridge up. I carried up the three heavey boxes that comprise Beth's sewing workstation in the main house, and she laid the pieces out in Bedroom #2 ready for assembly.

As the sun started to lower in the West we ordered a Papa John's Pizza each. Yes, more pizza, but we haven't got the kitchen organised yet, and anyway had no energy to devote to cooking. We watched part of a Bones episode while eating pizza slices, then headed out to the shops on West 11th for some house essentials. First we went to Target to return a faulty lightbulb, and get a couple of iHomes. I bought one iHome back in December, which comprises a radio, docking station for my iPod, and alarm and sleep functions. I liked the model and wanted a couple more, one for my den, and another for the kitchen/family room. As it turned out the model was now on clearance, and about $30 less than I paid for it previously. I also got a wireless mouse for my laptop, so that when we're watching Hulu (an online service providing free viewing of old TV episodes of many series)  I can operate the controls (stop, go, volume) at a distance.

Across the road to WalMart for various hardware items, electrical items, and bathroom items, as we now have two extra bathrooms to equip. I won't bore you with all the details, but one necessity was a curtain and rail for the big plain glass window above the bathtub in the master bedroom. If there's one place I can guarantee being naked it's getting into or out of the bath, and there are a few houses with windows facing that side of the house that could, with a ladder and powerful binoculars, get a free peepshow.

Back home, and we unpack the new supplies and relax in our living room. I'm not sure why Americans call it that, but for us this is the area in the front of the house where we have put two three-seat sofas with muted lighting. It's our quiet zone, no TV or radio, just conversation and reading. I'm now sitting on one of the sofas while Beth lies on the other one using her iPod Touch to check out the internet. We can hear the frogs in the creek out back, muted by the closed windows, and Ghost is chasing himself up and down the cat tree we put in one corner. Elbie has found a quiet corner in the family room. The kitchen is piled with bags and boxes, the garage ditto, Beth's shop is filled with my den stuff, and our walk-in closet has many bags of clothes unopened since we started packing in London back in August, but it's starting to feel like home.

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