April 10, 2021

The last hurrah!

This will be the last post of the sordid details of our recent house sale/relocation. We are nearing the end of the process, and I’m sure that you’re tired of hearing about it at this juncture. Prolly not as tired as we are of living it, but so be it.

This last weekend has us tackling the bottom floor. The den had achieved a manageable state, but the garage was frankly a disaster. My office is transitioning back to full time in a week or two, so this was the last time I will be able to take time off to wrap things up, so I did that taking off on Thursday and Friday.

We got out of bed bright and early on Thursday and began the process of de-disastering the garage. The Pilot, MDX and Jessica were moved out of the garage to create some working space for the plethora of “stuff” on the driveway pad. Then the extraction began. Several neighbors strolled by with raised eyebrows and the words “holy moly” clearly in their minds. Yea, it was that bad. We were a bit trepidatious at first as the goal is to have room in the garage for a car.

Time went on, and with the passage, it became clear that it was not anywhere near as bad as we were expecting. The thing that was highlighted though, is there is still some stuff to be disposed of before we can call our journey complete.

One of items in the garage was an old iron bed that Melanie bought when she was in college. Some years back, a friend of mine was arm-twisted into blasting and painting the bed for me as it had gotten a bit rusty over the years. It was top coated a nice grey color (?) and used at the house in Slidell, but it had not been used since. Some thought was given to selling it a while back, but thankfully that didn’t happen as we still have it. So a decision was made to lose the big honkin’ futon bought years ago under the illusion that another bed was needed in the house. The futon was a poor decision as a Queen size was chosen vice the normal full sized, and about the only thing it’s provided has been a Queen sized pain the backside. To my knowledge, it’s only been slept on for a week when Melanie’s brother and sister in-law came to stay with us forever ago. So much for that thought…..

The futon will be replaced with the iron bed with a newly purchased mattress. Thus, this will be Dottie’s room when she visits. We just need to suppress the urge to buy a mattress with a really tall box spring, as the thought is to use pillows on the bed to make it more of a chaise lounge when someone isn’t actually sleeping on it. The bed is actually smaller than the upright futon it is replacing 🙁

So the culling/organizing process went successfully on. I was able to get the toolbox in a place where it was actually accessible, the tool cabinet was placed upon the wall with all the electric hand tools as before, and the big woodworking tools assembled to a state where all the bits and pieces were attached. Luckily everything but the drill press is mounted on wheels, so rearranging for maximum space density is not onerous. The victim of all this to-ind and fro-ing is/was the oak workbench. It just consumes too much space and we can’t justify keeping it. I bought it shortly after we moved to Virginia for the pricely sum of $50, so I genuinely think I got my money’s worth. A nice old Worthington style vice had been mounted on the end a while back, so that came off and the bench will go off into the sunset.

Many boxes were emptied, and when we were done there was considerable more floor space available than when we started. Unfortunately, this came at the expense of the den. We had decided to move one of the chrome rolling racks (we only own 9….) into the den to hold the items that will perish in the heat. Photos, important papers, books, etc. These all came to rest in the den, and all the accomplishment we felt with the organizational progress in the garage was dashed when we passed through the den. Oh well, task for another day.

On Friday, we decided to make a grocery run for the week. We are trying out the groceries around us looking for “our place” and decided to go to Shopper’s yesterday. Well, to be kind that was a disappointment. The store is in a fairly derelict shopping center without about 30% space utilization and is a bit of a sad sack truth be told. I don’t normally have an issue with that as the H-Mart in Herndon is not what I call upmarket, and yet it’s one of my favorite stores, namely because of selection and price. Shoppers was neither of those things. Items were arranged all over the store in no rhyme or reason. There were spice displays on two separate isles, for instance. The breadth of selection was small, and the price very high for what it was.

About the only food we eat out of a box nowadays is a Great Grains cereal by Post. Both Melanie and I find works very well for us as it’s got a lot of fiber and is tasty. The issue is, prices for it are all over the map. About the cheapest we have found a box is $2.79 at Walmart. The median is about $4. It was $4.74 at Shopper, amongst the highest I’ve found. So I use Great Grains as a metric to gage the relative pricing index at a particular store and Shoppers didn’t fare well on this scale. Unfortunately the Giant that’s about a mile from the house is even higher….

Once done, we ate lunch and began tackling the den. This process was very similar to the garage, but because it was raining, it had to be done indoors. I moved Jessica over to the side to make as much room as possible and began the process. We got all the furniture not on wheels placed on slidey castors so we can move them around without damaging the floor, more on that later. The rolling shelves were positioned on the back wall as there was enough room for three of them and we began filling them. Melanie went through a bunch of boxes and was able to set aside a lot of old paperwork for shredding, making a lot of space. The holiday bins were culled and reorganized at which point Melanie’s work was done, and it was all on me as most of the remainder of the stuff to be organized/stored was mine.

This took the rest of the day, and while all my stuff is out of boxes, I’m far from satisfied about the final arrangement, but that is something that can evolve. It became clear that I didn’t have to disassemble the old square table that we have had since we got married as there was room for it, and I got the computer and stuff assembled and functional. The last item is a cabinet with shoes in it that will be replaced by a shoe rack scheduled to show up on Monday.

Sitting down on my rolling chair, I rolled over to do something and the bottom of the chair caught on a raised portion of the hardwood floor and pulled up a big chip. Doh. I knew the clip on the bottom was low, but didn’t think it would do that. Luckily Melanie had freed up a nice rug upstairs, so that got put down, and I’ll have to rectify the chip/scratch at a later date.

Today is a day in transition. The taxes will get done/filed this morning (hopefully) and Meghan and Rob are coming over this afternoon to help me bring the futon mattress down and to the dump with the work bench. Then the iron bed in the garage can go into Melanie’s office and we can go mattress shopping! Yay.

Well, as promised, this will be the last diatribe regaling you with the fascinating story of the upheaval of our lives. The hope is that we will begin to be able to get out and see some things and start enjoying life again.

Until next time,