Adventures in Moving with Bob and Kathy

Part V: The Adventure Continues

May 2, 1999

Hello again everyone,

It's official: The Rude Ranch has been moved ---- we think. At this point Bob and I are just happy that we survived the last 8 days. We had a lot to do last week we were selling a house, buying a house and moving, but we had everything planned out, we even created a project using Microsoft Project to make sure we didn't forget anything. (Hey we're still computer nerds by trade, so had to do something like this)

At that time our only sticking point was that we were moving stuff out of our house on Saturday and we couldn't move our stuff into the new house until the following Tuesday. (We figured it was enough that people were going to help us move for free. It was asking too much to expect them to take time off from work on a week day to help us move there's not that much pizza and beer).

The original schedule for our move was meticulously planned out as follows:

Thursday, April 22: Last day of work for a while

Friday, April 23: Finish packing up the Bowie house, start to drain the fish pond. Start packing up at the Crofton Condo.

Saturday, April 24: Pickup rental truck, move furniture out of Bowie house and into truck.

Sunday, April 25: Bob's father's birthday, more packing

Monday, April 26: Finish draining fish pond, pack fish and load into borrowed cargo van.
6 pm: Walk through for new house
7 pm: Walk through for house we were selling

Tuesday, April 27: 2 pm: Sell Bowie house
4 pm: Buy Harwood house
Kathy drives fish to new house and sets up temporary ponds
Bob gets moving truck and brings to new house

Wednesday, April 28: 9am: House cleaners for Harwood house arrive
Kathy's father arrives to help move

Thursday - Sunday: Clean the Crofton condo, start unpacking and arranging furniture.

Here's what really happened:

Thursday, April 22: Left work on time, amid a chorus of "Good Luck"s, with Bob and I saying we WILL see you Saturday, right?

Got home to find that someone had puked in the dining room. (At least they made it to the carpet), and that Abbey and Blackie had managed to trap Boomer in the second bedroom. Boomer rendered his opinion of his "pen" all over the doorway.

We also got a call from our realtor, the realtor for the people that were buying our house was too busy doing "realtor stuff" to do the termite inspection. Our realtor set it up, but couldn't let the inspector in, could we cover it?

Friday, April 23: Steam cleaned Boomer's indiscretion from yesterday. Started draining the fish pond with the hose. We only flooded the side walk a little when the hose pulled out of the storm drain. We finished moving all of our furniture from the third floor to the second floor with no major bumps, sprains, pulls or scratches. The walls along the stairway faired pretty well also. Picked up the food and beer for Saturday and finished all of this before 7 pm. We were ahead of schedule!!! No fur got sick or had any other accidents on the carpet at the condo!!! Life is good!

Saturday, April 24: It's a bright and sunny day a good day for moving furniture. We load up our food and beer in the camero and pick up our 27 foot Ryder truck at 8 am. We are at the Bowie house and backing the truck up the driveway by 8:30. Oops, the next door neighbor is blocked in and needs to get out. Ok the truck is in position by 8:37. Bob and I start loading the truck. Oops, we forgot blankets and rope to protect the furniture. Ok, a quick call to Bob's mom to bring blankets and I go the hardware store for other essentials.

Once more people arrived, we ended up with a very efficient set up: Bob and his baby sister were in the truck stacking and packing while the rest of us alternated between bringing boxes and furniture to the truck. The loading proceeded with relatively minor incidents: At one point Bob's sister was stuck behind the kitchen table in the truck. Although we had to do a little reloading, Bob didn't think she wanted to spend 5 days in the truck.

There was also the incident with the king sized mattress. Ok it really probably would have been smarter to have more than one guy at the bottom of the stairs to catch the mattress after we stuffed it down. However, I checked with his wife and made sure his insurance was paid. Besides, his wife was helping to stuff the mattress down the stairs.

It wasn't until about 11:30 that we realized we had a problem: there was about 4 feet of room left at the end of the truck, and we had at least 9 feet of stuff to load, plus stuff from the Crofton condo. We reluctantly put a few more things on the truck and put everything else in the garage. We fed everyone, then headed for the Crofton condo. (We figured we should at least load the heavy stuff while we had help) We loaded the couch and a few boxes, thanked everyone profusely and parked the truck. Hey at least the house, the furniture and the people all survived.

Sunday, April 25: Had to borrow Bob's sister's cargo van a day early to finish getting stuff out of the house we are selling. Getting a flat tire on the cargo van put us a little behind schedule, but we'll survive.

Good News! The settlement time on the house we are selling has been moved from 2 pm to 10 am on Tuesday!

Monday, April 26: We get up bright and early to finish draining our fish pond and move our fish. We still had about 900 gallons of water to drain so we knew it would take a while, but hey, we could use the filter pump to move things along. OOPS, the output valve for the pump won't fit the garden hose -- ok so can use the pump from another fountain. It's a smaller pump, but faster than not having any pump. When we come back 2 hours later there was still 700 gallons of water left. Its 11 am, and we had to be done by 5 pm. We did the math --- we started bailing the water by hand. By 4:30 we managed to catch the fish (fortunately no one witnessed the sacred fishing catching dance, or heard the words of wisdom uttered when I wiped out and landed on my butt in the middle of the pond.

By 5 pm we had sloshed the fish into the van that would be their home for the next 48 hours. We barely had time to feed the critters, shower and head to the new house for the walk through. The walk through went ok, the whole house needed extensive cleaning, but that was ok, we had cleaning people lined up. The grass hadn't been cut but the owners said it was to be cut the next day. The carpet hadn't been cleaned, but they were supposed to be cleaned that night. Minor things, we thought.

In the meantime, the walk through for the house we were selling was happening. The place was empty so we figured all had gone well. Turns out the realtor and her clients hadn't made it that far. She eventually called with "grave" concerns about the closet wall, were we had moved the hanging bar. She accused us of "stealing" the closet. Our response was "huh????"

Tuesday, April 27: This is it!!! This is the day Bob and I complete what will be two of the biggest financial transactions of our lives. To start, we had to repair the two "holes" in the closet in Bowie, no big deal, we do that on our way to meet our realtor to go to settlement on this house

To say that the settlement company we had to use (once again the buying realtor's choice) was inconvenient was an understatement. Bob and I are 30 miles due east of Washington DC, the house we were selling is 30 minutes east of DC. The couple that was buying the house lived 20 miles northeast of DC. Taking these facts into consideration, the buying realtor picked a title company convenient to her -- in the heart of Washington DC, in one of the worst areas -- even the churches had bars over the doors. Our realtor reluctantly said good bye to her Lexus, and we were "buzzed" in. After identifying ourselves, we were informed that our settlement date had been moved to 10 am Wednesday by the other realtor. Apparently she forgot to call and tell us this. Fortunately, we didn't need the proceeds of this house for closing on the other house. "Could we just sign the papers, get our checks and get out of this *&!!@# place?" No, the realtor has the papers and she's not here.

It didn't take us too long to figure out that this wasn't good. Unfortunately, we would have to come back the next day.

At least we had enough time to eat lunch before we had to go to another settlement company to buy our new house. Actually "slosh" would be a better description --- game plan was for me to drive the cargo van loaded with fish, while Bob drove the rental truck with our furniture.

Settlement was at 4 pm. Bob and I arrived at 3:50 and were the first to arrive. The fact that no one else had arrived yet made us nervous, considering the events of this morning. But we figured "what were the chances of us getting skunked twice?" Apparently pretty close.

Our realtor showed up at 4:05, still ranting about the morning. At 4:15 the selling realtor called: she had locked all her keys in her car and would not be able to be there. Could our realtor pick up her commission check and drop it off? We were still missing another important party --- the people selling the house. At 4:30 they called: Their son had hurt himself in a store, they had to stop at the emergency room first. This wasn't looking good at all. Eventually the sellers showed up and the process started -- then we had another small problem: even though we didn't need the proceeds from the sale of the house, we had to prove we sold the house. That wouldn't be a problem: we were going to settlement the next day. The title company would hold our papers 1 day.

Eventually it was over: the papers signed, the T's crossed, I's dotted and keys and garage door openers turned over. The title company gave us a bottle of champaign and sent us on our way. the fun began, we had to unload the fish so they could get fresh oxygen and the 27 foot truck so we could reload it with the contents of the Crofton condo.

We thought things were going well --- until we arrived at the new house at the same time as the carpet cleaners. This was a definite problem --- we couldn't put the furniture on the wet carpet, we also couldn't leave the furniture on the truck, plus we had people coming to help us unload in 20 minutes. (yes some people will still work for free food) So Bob and I made an executive decision: the living room carpet wasn't too bad, we would stack (ok heave) everything in there while the carpet was being cleaned elsewhere in the house. (Mental note: Its not a good idea to put the toilet paper in the far corner of the room and stack furniture around it.) We thought we would have plenty of time to arrange furniture later in the week.

Ok, Let's put some stuff here.....

Wednesday, April 28: This day was supposed to be the day for Bob and I to really move into "our" house. We would finally get all of our stuff in one place. The cleaning people were schedule for 9 am. My father was coming to see the house. There was the small detail of going to settlement on the Bowie house, but that would be over by 1.

Here's what really happened:

7 am: Bob and I wake up --- no fur has peed, pooped or puked in the condo we are ready to move into our house --- life is good.

8 am: My father arrives and we load his mini van

8:15 am: We load my car

8:30 am: We start loading the rental truck, things are still going well.

8:45 am: My father and I set off for the new house.

9:15 am: We arrive. The maids were supposed to be here at 9 and they aren't. Maybe they got caught in the same traffic we did.

9:25 am: Father falls down the stairs. Doesn't want me to call an ambulance, but his shoulder is hurt. I can't call for an ambulance anyway, we won't have phone service for another day.

9:40 am: Bob arrives with rental truck looking for keys that I had accidently put in my purse. Use his cell phone to find a doctor for father.

9:55 am: Maids arrive --- 1 hour late. Tell them to start cleaning, I leave to go to closing while Bob takes my father to the doctor. Call Bob's mom to come watch the cleaning people.

10:10 am: Arrive at realtor's office. Am told to go home --- settlement is off. The other realtor doesn't like the look of the sprinkler system in the house. The other realtor will not return my realtor's phone calls. I throw a tirade about putting the house back on the market. My realtor calls the other realtor, leaves a message that the deal is off. Its amazing how fast the other realtor called to explain her concerns about the sprinkler system and to still accuse us of stealing hardware out of the closet We agree to having the sprinkler system inspected. Settlement is rescheduled for 4 pm Thursday.

11:30 am: Maids claim to be finished ---can't tell they've cleaned anything at all.

11:45 am: Bob calls. My father has broken his arm ---in several places. He has an appointment with an orthopedic specialist later in the day.

1:15 pm: Realtor calls. She is with the sprinkler inspector at the Bowie house, how do I want to pay for it? And by the way, because we didn't go to settlement on the Bowie house the loan on the new house might fall through.

2:10 pm: Time to leave for my father's appointment with the orthopedic doctor. The appointment if for 3, but the office is in Annapolis and its guaranteed that I will get lost in Annapolis.

2:13 pm: We decide to take my father's minivan to the doctor. I hop in, put the key in the ignition and turn it --- nothing happens. My father had left the lights on, the battery is deader than the proverbial doornail. We move my father into the Camero. Trust me, it is very difficult to get a 75 year old man with a broken arm into or out of a Camero.

Bob heads back to Crofton condo with the rental truck to finish loading furniture. I'm not sure what all happened, but a lot of sweating and grunting was involved and Bob wasn't smiling or smoking a cigarette afterwards.

2:35 pm: We get lost in Annapolis and end up at the Naval Academy football field. At least the football team was cute.

3:00 pm: We find the doctor's office. See 2:13 pm note about getting father out of car.

3:15 pm: My father and I go into see the doctor. He asks for the x-rays to which I say "what x- rays?" On yeah, we left them in the mini van. We take more x-rays.

3:30 pm: The doctor looks at my father's new x-rays. He says "oh my". I'm thinking that it isn't good when the specialist uses a phrase like that. Final diagnosis: My father has crushed the joint between his arm and shoulder. The joint will need to be replaced. The doctor's staff will schedule the surgery next week. Come back Friday for an EKG. We were than given several prescriptions for pain killers. I was a little disappointed to find out they were all for my father. It turns out he will also be our first house guest --- for the next few months.

4:30 pm: It's time to move the critters. Once again we stuff everyfur into the perspective carriers and settle in for a serenaded ride back to the new house.

5:45 pm: We take all the cats (still in their carriers) into the cat room, which was formerly the temple room, and open all the carrier doors. Abbey, Blackie and Mama immediately crawl up into a window and huddle there, looking pathetic. Cali, insulted that she actually had to be in a carrier to begin with set off on an adventure exploring the house. Tia wasn't far behind. Blackie refused to leave the carrier ---so much for the brave kitty.

6:35 pm: Mama discovers a small entryway into that leads her to the wonderful world between the floors of the house. She comes out of the tunnel over the furnace. She manages to turn the furnace switch off when she jumps down.

7:15 pm: We are still trying to figure out why the furnace won't work.

7:25 pm: How the hell did the furnace get turned off?