Monday, May 23, 2016

The epic move

Well, we are here. Salinger and I.

I've just had four very intense days. Thursday was spent packing, Friday moving the house (eeeeeee!), yesterday trying to organize Wholehearted House and Sunday cleaning my winter apartment and moving Salinger.

Salinger is NOT a fan of moving. He hates driving in the car. But after we got to the ferry I think he figured out that we weren't going to see the vet and he seemed to calm down a bit. After an initial prowl around the chaos in our tiny home, he settled in for a long nap on the bed by my feet.

I kicked back, eyes half-closed, bone bone bone tired. Not a lot more got done yesterday before the fading of the light. I had already put in a full day, scrubbing and packing and wrestling Salinger into his carrier.

I don't have electricity to hook up to my little rig. That is next on the agenda, but I will be roughing it for a number of weeks, if not months. Fortunately, the days are long, so I will have plenty of time to work in daylight. And the dark early mornings are good for thinking, resting and working on the computer (as long as I can figure out ways to keep it charged – I'm working on that).

On the downside, the weather forecast is cloudy and rainy for the next FIVE days. Salinger and I seem to have a knack for moving to this house at the beginning of a long stretches of rain. This will make two out of three years. The first year in March, this year in May (if you'd like, you can listen to a song I wrote about that first rainy/snowy/sleety March here). 

But on the upside, at least it's pretty warm (I slept very comfortably last night) and I'm hopeful that the wet weather will make for some calm and quiet days that I can spend organizing the interior of the house and getting some desk work done.

This morning, Salinger is outside checking out our (new-to-him) land. It's raining pretty heavily. I think he is mostly hanging out under the house, mewing at the door periodically to make sure that I am here and will let him in upon request.

Here is the story of the move:

I decided to rent a U-haul to accommodate some of my stuff.
I wasn't sure how much weight we should try to move
inside the house. And also, it was just hard to maneuver in
my house with 100% of the contents inside it. Everything
became a lot easier once a lot of my stuff was stogged into the van.

The evening sky at Pennybrook. There was a fair bit of nostalgia and
melancholy involved in this move. I felt sad to leave both
Pennybrook and my winter accommodations.
I made a rope corral to keep most of the
contents that we moved inside the house from
shifting around and to keep the weight
over the wheels, as helpfully advised
in an email from Wholehearted House's maker, Adam.
My friend Katy, who helped me pack, was interested
in seeing before and after photos to see how much things
 moved when we hauled the house.
I hope the grass will spring back quickly
at Pennybrook in the spot where
my house and deck sat for two years.
I was going to have my house moved by a local towing company (Adam, sadly, has moved out west, so it was not possible for him to move it). I was feeling pretty anxious about it, and the thought of working with strangers was stressing me out even more.

A couple of days before the move was scheduled, I was talking with my friend who's cut down all of the trees on my land and telling him about feeling stressed. And he instantly offered to move my house for me.

"What!" I exclaimed. "You can do that?"

"Of course I can."

I don't know why it had never occurred to me to ask. I knew he had a big truck and mad skillz.

Anyway, he was amazing. Simply stellar. Every curve and bump was managed with aplomb. And, we took our time; he was totally patient with my anxiety and my lack of experience helping to move very large objects up and down narrow driveways. My Pennybrook landmates were also extremely helpful, especially Jude, who provided both practical and moral support on many fronts.
The bottle jack, hoisting the house off her blocks
and back onto her wheels. (We also moved this
mattress abandoned by another temporary Pennybrook
resident down on to the pile awaiting Big Garbage pick-up).

Heading down the driveway at Pennybrook.
Pretty much the same journey in reverse to the
one I described when we moved my house up to Pennybrook,
with the exception that we didn't have to manage
the curve on the lower part of the driveway because
the neighbours kindly gave me permission to
travel out on their straighter driveway – the connection
between the two driveways is normally blocked off
and I didn't know when we moved in that the barrier
is removable!
Backing up the driveway into The Crooked Wood.
The "after" shot for my friend Katy. Not much
moved except for the things I had forgot to put
down as low as possible.
After some preliminary organizing on Saturday.
In a typical case of two steps forward and one
step back, it now looks way worse than this because
of all the things I've added from my winter
apartment. Sigh.
Salinger, king of the chaos around him.
So, we are here, Salinger and I. There are plenty of blankets on the bed. The propane stove works, so there is tea and soup and fried or baked potatoes any time I want them.

I don't have electricity or refrigeration or running water. I feel like I could sleep through most of the next five days, avoiding the rain and recovering from the move and from the huge amounts of work I did this winter.

It is so quiet here. There are only the sounds of the birds and squirrels, the rain and VERY occasional passing cars.

My to-do list is long. Desk work is unrelenting. And I have so many things to do for the continued development of The Crooked Wood. But that's another blog post.

For now, it is enough to sit with the major accomplishment of having gotten this baby moved and settled here in her (hopefully) permanent home.

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