But I’m getting too far into the day. Let’s start at dawn. I throw bedding into the washer. I need to do this before the movers come at 8. Yes, sure, the farmhouse has an old washer/dryer combo in the basement, but right now they are buried under construction. Best to move in with no dirty laundry.
(Clean but wet. Ah well...)
8:15: movers are here. I had asked for two and a small truck and I got a “free upgrade” of three (and a big truck). If I were to keep a tally, I’d say that right at the outset, there were two mishaps on their part. But, moves are like that: you cannot expect perfection. Shifting a residence disturbs, breaks, chips, splashes, spills things. It’s inevitable.
One of the movers tells me – I know your neck of the woods... I use to misbehave there as a teen. Great. I am moving to a neck of the woods where teens go to misbehave.
At the farmhouse, we see the remains of the most atrocious April weather ever.
At least it’s not raining. I tell the movers that our floors are fresh and immaculate. They reassure me they have runners. (So I want to know – why don’t they just step on the runners? I follow their every stride with a rag in hand, mopping up bits of snow and mud. Stay with me, immaculate floors! Stay with me! These guys will be done soon!)
The movers tell me they can’t get the bed frame up the stairs. I say – leave it alone, leave it alone, we’ll do it ourselves! I can’t wait to have these guys out of here. Andy’s grand-son-in-law (or some such familial connection) is in one of the side rooms painting and staining. I like having Andy’s team here. They respect the floors. They work calmly, systematically. They like each other, too. I feel calm being in their presence. But the moving trio is making me perspire. And it is a cold cold day.
The tough moment comes when I see that they have put a major rip through the floors of the upstairs lemon room. The lead man tells me – it was there when we got here.
Well now, you would not say that if you knew how we all babied these floors. We counted down days before allowing slippers to gently navigate across the boards. Nothing touched those well restored planks. Certainly not a sharp object that would gash a deep ten foot line across the center of the lemon room.
This was my glummest moment. I admit it, I ran down to the sheep shed where Ed was hiding for the duration of the move (who can blame him). And, like the hero that he can be, he went off to talk calmly to the men. They admitted fault, wrote up a damage report and I’m sure the company will cover the resanding refinishing remessing with the floor upstairs, should we choose to go that route.
But at this point, we were done with the moving crew. I assured them that if they would just unload the truck, we would finish up the job.
Why did you tip them? Ed asks.
Because. They did their work according to the parameters of what they have to do. They made mistakes. So be it.
In a funny twist, when I handed each his tip, the head guy said – oh, you could have used this to cover the damage we did!
No, I couldn’t.
With the movers gone, Ed and I get down to work. Quiet work. (If you’re wondering – I took a day off from law work for this, even as one never really takes a day off... ) Building, unpacking, putting together disassembled pieces of furniture.
I am thinking how cool it is that I never really had to buy any furniture for the farmhouse. That even though it’s twice the size of my condo, I could fit things nicely and not have to supplement. Indeed, I sold pieces: dressers, chairs – they all went.
I am also thinking that we are geared to a steady pace of work here that knows no frustrations and perhaps no end. With the help of Andy and his grandsons, the interior will soon be done. After, Ed and I will tackle the entrances, the porches, the peeling paint outside and the rotting wood. At a slow pace, if need be. Because we both have other agendas too: his – well, it’s his and so I’ll step back and comment on mine: what is it? I’m still fashioning it. From scraps of time.
What a year “57” has been! Lots of learning. And that’s a good thing.
Images of the farmhouse? Well, there are rooms that are far along to being done, and there are those where we're not quite there yet. From today: