So, now that the trauma that is moving is mostly behind us, I think I can blog about it a little bit. We had been in the same Lancastrian town for nine years, so a move was going to be difficult. It was needed and most desired, but it would be hard. Mostly it would be hard because this would be the girls first move. So the process began.
We received word on the 9th of June that yes we could have the house we desired and we could move in on the 25th. The list of concerns we had regarding the house would be taken care of--including painting two walls and some clean up in and around the house. The packers and movers were lined up and all was going well. We hosted open house and so many of our friends were able to come and we began to say the good-byes. One of our friends even "gifted" us with exposure to chicken pox--albeit unknowingly sharing htat gift until their little one got sick the next day. *sigh* But the weather was perfect, so the party was held outdoors and everyone had a splendid time.
The packers came and for three days packed the house and loaded the trucks (yes, plural). Again perfect weather was had, so the girls could play in the garden whilst the packing was happening. The last day, they were slightly behind schedule so we left the house 2 hours later than planned, but still early in the afternoon. Until this moment all was going perfectly. Probably too perfectly.
The drive to Robin Hood country should be 2 1/2 hours. Four and half hours later we finally arrived. Yes, we had two extra hours sitting on the motorway due to an accident somewhere up ahead. It was bad enough for us, but probably a lot worse for the lovely folks on the two trucks loaded with our belongings who were also stuck in said traffic jam. Yuck! But we were determined to keep our spirits up. About an hour before we arrived we received a phone call from the letting agent confirming that we would be at the house at 845 the next morning. Our spirits were up! We were about to move into our new home and our new journey.
We arrived at the hotel, had dinner, and crashed for a much-needed sleep. The next morning we arrived at the house about 835. Letting agent was there....moving furniture out of the house that had been left by the previous tenant. He was moving it into the garage--our garage--until she could collect it "in about a month." We have two trucks arriving with all of our belongings--some of which need to go in the garage! Can you say "unhappy?" He eventually got all the furniture out but by then the trucks arrived and we did not have time to do the paperwork. It would have to wait. German and I shoved all the previous tenant's things into 2/3 of the garage to give us some room to put some of our things and then began supervising the unloading.
And those issues that were to be taken care of before we arrived? Well, only one of the two walls were painted, the grass had not been cut (it was taller than Jewel!) and the house was not cleaned (in fact I ended up packing SIX boxes of the tenant's belongings left in kitchen cabinets, bathroom cupboards, etc.) So, you can imagine my mood.
It was another gorgeous day. Too gorgeous in fact. When you are unloading two truckloads of belongings into a three story town house, some cloud cover and cooler weather is actually desired but not to be seen. Nevertheless, ten hours later there were no boxes on the truck and more than a hundred boxes in my new house.
There were things that were not in my new house, unfortunately. One of them was our bed. In the UK, all bed frames are smaller for safety of those moving them and ability to get them up smaller stair cases. We had been lucky in our previous moves that the stairwells were open enough that our American Queen size bed could be lifted over banisters. Not possible in this house. Our plan B was to break the frame, thinking that it was solid wood, and that we could then brace it. But it was solid metal not wood, so breaking it did not happen. Instead, it went into the garage and the next day we went to IKEA! Building an IKEA bed is not that difficult--when you can find the right tools. We had the battery-powered screwdriver, found in the first box we looked. The battery pack, however, could not be found. Twenty-seven boxes later, it was still not found. Forty-eight screws to put a bed together when you are already exhausted is not a good idea. So German and Flower went shopping for a new battery-powered screw driver. Came home with three just to be on the safe side. Bed finally assembled!
Since then things have mostly come together. Someone came and cut down the jungle so we have a back garden for the girls to play in. The grass was totally brown from having no sun for too long, but it is beginning to green with the recent rain. The boxes in the house are unpacked and things are put into place. A couple of things have been hung on the walls, and more are planned to go up this weekend. The garage is still full of the tenant's belongings, which is the bane of our existence right now, so the garage is not unpacked. This would not be such a big deal if it didn't mean that I do not have my freezer, which is stored in the garage, to keep stocked. But I'm surviving.
We are in a lovely cul de sac. All of the neighbours are friendly and we feel quite comfortable here. We believe we may have found the church that we will join and the girls are excited about the friends they are making there. School and home life are much more settled and it is so nice for German to be home each evening. In spite of the hiccups, we have felt God's guidance in each step of this move and are anxiously and expectantly watching to see what comes next. Watch this space!
(I've been holding this post to add some pictures, but I need to do some maintenance on the hard drive before downloading a bunch of pictures. So, you will just have to use your imagination of moving boxes, jungle grass and IKEA furniture.)