Greetings to all from our new home in the Big Valley. I guess This is the Right Place after all. I was telling Mark that I don't think I've ever lived where I could see the city lights before (other than my brief stay with my cousins in East Wenatchee who had an amazing view over the river). From the windows of my house I can see three shining temples at night and from my dining room chair (if all the curtains are open) I can view two amazing mountain views, one east and one west. The west view actually looks out onto a newly landscaped gated community that will have waterfalls, etc., and it has some of those metal silhouette statues of elk, etc. right by the entrance across from our house. I am completely loving the rural feel of this neighborhood that I loved so much in my last neighborhood, only this one (as Boston pointed out yesterday) doesn't have the horrible stinky mink. I also realized that our new place has a big weeping birch tree right in front--my favorite kind of tree. Mark and I almost planted one at our old place for our 10th anniversary but didn't ever get around to it.
So, today I am allowing myself a few minutes to record some of the things I've learned about moving into a smaller, older house.
1. I am a drawer girl. My old house, (I was astonished to actually realize this) had TWENTY-THREE drawers in the kitchen alone. One drawer I never really even used except for a couple of Mark's creppes pans from France. It was fabulous but pretty inefficient (plus my poor junk drawers never got cleaned out because there was enough room for anything and everything.) Over the last couple of days I have been magically fitting 23 drawers into 5 drawers. Amazingly, almost everything fits that I need for actually cooking stuff, my kitchen is almost all unpacked, and I'm still saving one cupboard to expand into when I feel too cramped. The smaller kitchen is better in some ways--one way I was excited about was that I no longer have to wipe down a table AND an island after every meal. Also, my number of footsteps is cut down by at least 2/3s. Luckily, it feels very open because it doesn't have any kind of bar or anything that people have to walk around. Anyone want to buy three nice bar stools? I'm still without any kind of junk drawer (maybe that's not such a bad thing...) or a spot to put the kids' coloring books and crayons and stuff. Any suggestions? Time to buy a hutch, I guess! My DI pile is taller than I am. Luckily I have plenty of pantry storage, bathroom storage, closet and a huge storage floor over the second garage, with lots and lots of shelves.
Just no drawers.
2. You need to use primer after you spackle.
3. Can openers need to be packed in the same place that you put your toothbrush and underwear so you can find them right away. But if you don't, they are great excuses to meet your neighbors.
4. Buses are severely taken for granted.
5. Nice people live everywhere. I already knew this one.
6. Gas stoves are not for "geniuses" like me who have trouble with simple things. I've already had three minor explosions and made the baby cry. Probably from my screaming. When the boys came upstairs to find out what all the ruckus was about, Macy told them "Mommy make big fire." I finally got it to light without much fanfare last night for dinner. At least this year I won't worry about cracking my ceramic top when I can two cases of peaches.
6. The Lord only gives you what you can handle. Last night, after feeling like I finally had the kitchen under control, we decided tackle the washer and dryer. Mark got it all hooked up in my new "open mud room" in the 2nd level garage and I put on some shoes and a coat to start my essential load of whites. It was about 10:30. The hot water steamed happily into the garage when I lifted the lid to add some extra bleach. I went inside for my bowl of ice cream, and when I came back to check on things, nothing was happening but a pathetic little click sound. This click sound made me kind of sick to my stomach because I have heard that sound before, last year when we had to replace our old washer. Mark came and checked it out and we looked up some troubleshooting online, guessing that the jostling with the move had cracked something or unbalanced something too bad. Sure enough, the exact problem was described and recommended that a certain internal part (very hard to do yourself) be replaced. I sighed, rubbed my aching back, and emptied out a newly packed big plastic tote that I could chuck bleachy wet laundry into while Mark agitated it with a big long stick. I fished out all of the clothes, wrung them out the best I could (the bleach and steam and cold reminded me of hot tubbing in the snow) and Mark carried the tote inside where we dumped it into the tub to rinse. This part I remembered from watching on Law & Order last year (something about leaving zero carbon footprint). I peeled off my jeans, ran the tub, and tread the grapes. It was actually pretty fun. Then I wrung them out (again) and Mark put them in the dryer while I finished up with a shower. We were up until midnight making plans of what to do about it today.
So, Mark left for work, I went to get the clothes out of the dryer, and had to peer one more time into the murky depths of my rogue washer. I turned the knob one more time and pulled.
Prayers work wonders.