Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Moving day

When we woke up Saturday morning around 7:30, the first or second thing I thought was "It's June 2nd, we need to get out of here!" All of our ingredients and tools for the pancake breakfast had been moved to the new place, as had all of our toilet paper. A cup of coffee down our collective hatches and the work crew ramped back up to ant-like cooperation.

The last of the large household items were disassembled and moved out: the couch and the bed. Toes the cat now knew that this was for real, especially when her litter box left the building. She sought sanctuary behind the dryer and remained there while we transformed from moving company to clean up crew.

Swept, mopped, wiped, and cleaned. Loaded the last of the yard items: cold frames, tarp of horse manure, favorite tomato staff with dried morning glory vine and deer skull ornament, giant cactus, and the sycamore branch that marked the natural alter of our wedding ceremony.

Erika and I took a short walk to the crest of the hill in the pasture, overlooking the route that we had processed down with our wedding guests and took a few minutes to reflect on our love for this place. We made our way back across the yard to the garden and cut a couple of fine heads of lettuce that had voluntarily sprung up and gave the signal to our family that we were ready to hit the road. We went back inside to collect Toes and brought her to the van, a few sad meows when she realized what was going on. She wasn't the only one.

The caravan moved out, I detoured to leave a forwarding order with the post office, and we met up at the house.

Everyone got to work unloading and tinkering around the house. Our dads diagnosed the water heater problem as being a faulty element. With my list of a few specialty hardware items needed from the valley, my mom and I cruised out to buy a new coupling for the burst water pipe and some new water heater elements.

Many things had happened by the time we returned: Erika and her dad had moved a long-standing pile of bricks, my dad had taken care of the leaky sink drain flange, Erika's mom had begun painting the bathroom wall up by the ceiling.

The Dads got to work changing out the water heater elements - very stubborn, those were, and the culprit was immediately apparent...burned out and rotted. I shimmied under the house and reconnected the water pipe with the new fitting. Moms and Erika were tending the flower garden on the south side of the house. Erika bedded some tomato plants, yay!

Dad fixed the leaky tub drain. Mom was cooking up some barbecue sauce. The place was active as ever. I caulked the shower/tub and made a mess of myself in the process.

The fire pit was lit up and things chilled out a bit - this is around 6 I guess. It felt good to step back and see folks congregated on the front porch, mom and dad back by the fire pit. I walked to the top of the yard and just looked down and felt good. We raked the wood embers over a bit and set up a grilling surface between four bricks and a cinder block and mom put the chicken on.

Once the picnic table on the back porch was set, Erika's dad put a bottle of champagne on it. He removed the wire retainer from the cork and went around the house and just then the cork popped itself and rocketed straight up into the air. We had some beautiful toasts. Feasted on grilled chicken, potatoes and eggplant, lettuce from the garden, bread, and finally, cookies. After dinner, we took seats around the fire pit and got the flames up higher. I was sleepy and excited that we were about to spend our first night at the house. Everyone together.

- John

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