Monday, September 25, 2017

The awful truth about the new house

I won't open with the awful part because Bleh.  This is the good part: our new house is basically the old house, but improved - instead of sleeping in them like we used to, we now cook, eat, and watch TV in the old bedrooms, and we sleep in a tree fort that's been built on top.  Guess which thing is my favourite?

Well, why choose.  But it is pretty amazing to lie on the daybed in my office and look out at the upper canopy of these trees.

Seriously, that is the view.  In winter, that tree will be green with some snow on top of each bough.  I love this SO MUCH.  And the view isn't so bad from the sofa in our bedroom either.

When I finally got the bumpout into our master bedroom design I was imagining a very generous addition to the footprint of our house even though I only got it for this one small space instead of all the way across the front of the building.  It turns out it's just a little less than three feet out, which is not quite enough depth for a sofa to tuck right inside, and I have ended up with 19 precious inches to share between drapery clearance and walking space between the sofa and the bed.

And this, my friends, is why we have opted for new drapes that barely clear the top of the sofa, so the sofa can push right up to the wall. Also shorter drapes are just so much less expensive.  Bonus!

On the upside, the bed makes a fantastic elevated ottoman for sore feet at the end of a long day hauling boxes up and down stairs.  Sooooo many boxes.

It's three years now since we started seriously planning this project and finding our temporary home downtown.  The house is still not completely finished - at the moment, the work has moved to the back yard (fences and a deck) while we wait for our special-order porch columns and newel posts to arrive (minimum four weeks from order date, AIIIEEEEE.) 

Three years is more than enough time to dream up a lot of mental pictures of how it would be when we finally moved home.  And amazingly, not one of them involved unpacking!

I mean how could I leave that out?  OBviously things weren't just going to magically fly north on their own and settle onto shelves like Disney princesses or enchanted teapots.  But now that I'm watching all that stuff lie around listlessly waiting for me to put them on shelves myself, I am beginning to wonder - seriously, I have been asking other people this question because the answer I get from me is not at all satisfactory - whether my life will ever again be anything but packing unpacking vacuuming.

As I recall, there was some notion of packing so perfectly at the condo end that I would just pick up a box, unload its contents into its precisely planned final home, and send the box off for recycling.  And also, of taking as long as I might need to do said perfect packing.

Unfortunately the condo end costs rather a lot more every month than the typical storage locker, and will continue costing us until we have it emptied/cleaned/listed/rented... so the packing has been rather rushed and still isn't done.  As a result, a lot of what is coming to the house is odd and alone and has no obvious place to go, even if it has a clear(ish) claim to remaining in our possession.

Which brings us to the awful truth.

The other day, I was surveying the kitchen and I turned to a friend.

Honestly, I said.  Look at this kitchen.  It's massive and has tons of cabinets and yet it's nowhere near big enough for me to put everything away.

FRIEND: Maybe you have too much stuff.

ME:  What?  Of course I don't have too much stuff.

FRIEND:  Oh come on.  You have seven sets of dishes.

ME: Erm

FRIEND: [crickets]

ME: Well yes, but the good dishes aren't even in the kitchen, and the two everyday sets are very neatly organized, and the Christmas set is obviously very important and the Easter set is only four place settings.  And the last two are old and going into the attic for nostalgic purposes so they don't even count.

What I didn't mention was that the two everyday sets each have twelve place settings.  But you know what, I have gone through all twelve bowls from the off-white set SO many times, plus at least four from the black plaid set, all in the same dishwasher load?  And then have to dip into the four FiestaWare plates Jan gave me which I don't count as a set because it's four bowls and four sandwich plates.  And never mind that dishes break and I needed to buy enough so that in five years when I am just beginning to be able to face going dish shopping again, I will still have at least eight place settings and can put it off a good while longer.

Still, my unhelpful friend has a point.  Probably I don't need seven sets of dishes, especially if I'm going to store my sweaters and scarves in the kitchen and also, keep a kitchen chicken.

(not the live kind of kitchen chicken, or even the once-alive kind.  but more on that later.)

I probably don't need as many suitcases as I've accumulated, considering how much I hate flying, or all the books I've been keeping, or all the fabric that I now don't need for windows or slipcovers because I factored new furniture and custom made drapes into the renovation budget, even though all that fabric is so incredibly pretty. 

I don't need them, but I also don't want to have to choose what goes.  And now that the house is mostly done and this is the most space I will ever have to live in for the rest of my life, I will have to anyway.


Well at least I should be able to manage to hang onto all the yarn!


Still: we are home, and there are a lot of good looking trees outside.  So that's something, right?

And I'm not waiting around any more to get back to writing a new Hug every weekday either.  This is it, me coming back!  just don't hold your breath for knitting pictures just yet, because I haven't picked up needles in about five weeks except to move them into or out of yet another box. 

Hope you've done better on that front than I have - and have you?


Kathy said...

I'm so sorry Mary but I sniggered all through reading that. Do you think you are alone? When I moved back from France I discarded van loads of stuff. Literally - most to a friend for a boot sale she would be having, (but when I visited recently I noticed quite a few things which either she or her husband have kept, which also made me smile.)
However, I moved into a smaller house than the one I had left and I'm struggling with the same problem. I won't put anything in the loft because that's much too easy and then it never gets looked at again - some removal boxes aren't unpacked yet.
So decided that I'm only going to keep yarn and fabric and the tools associated with them. Oh, and books of course. I now have to dispose of all the 'might come in useful one day' and 'too good to throw out' things like a lot of craft stuff. Will I ever use a bead loom again, tablet weaving cards, really good cartridge paper? You get the picture. The charity shops already have had 99% of my wardrobe.
I recently went to France and before I went I had reached the final stage of everything being organised to have a blitz as soon as I got back but whilst there, back in May, I broke my shoulder and haven't been able to do much since - but now at least I can knit. All of my careful organisation went by the board because I had to arrange a bed for the person who drove me and the car back home and all of the piles were in that room and had to be dumped in the workroom in order to get to the bed. They are not yet reorganised.
So my sniggers were accompanied by sympathy and empathy. Good luck - I look forward to reading more!

Mary Keenan said...

Well I hoped SOMEbody would snigger through all that Kathy and I'm so glad it was you - your poor shoulder!! It sounds so painful! Are you mostly through the recovery stage now, if you can knit again, I hope?
I think the trouble here is that I deliberately had all our storage built in, so that I would not be tempted to overstuff entire rooms, and would be forced to look at the excess all the time. Now of course I realize I need more storage after all, even if I do get rid of things... there is just too much going on here. AND we have two built-in bookcases still not built, which means a lot of books we are keeping that have no home, sigh. We are using our attic for hiding things but as soon as the house looks normal again we will be taking stuff out a box at a time to deal with - fingers crossed we can stick to that, heh