Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oh, So Far Away

I admit that every morning at the crack of dawn I still feel the impulse to go outside to feed the horses.  Then I remind myself that they are 760 miles away at a boarding facility.  At sunset, I still have the urge to go put them in their stalls and blanket them.  When I look out the window, I see them waiting by the gate, and then I realize it is just their freshly washed blankets hanging on the fence.

My husband has a job interview in Arizona today, so he drove one of our cars down and is sleeping on a chez lounge cushion in the new house.  He called me when he arrived to give me his impressions of the area and the house.  I think the Phoenix traffic scared him.  It's been a long time since we've had to do real city driving with accidents all around us and rush hour traffic on freeways. 

His negative comments regarding the house were that the carpet was dirty and uncared for, there was a weed problem, one of the ceiling fans didn't work, the freezer wasn't intelligently designed like the one in our current house, the office got hit with direct sunlight in the evenings, the neighbor to the north was closer than he saw in the pictures, there was wasted space in the master bathroom, and the closet in the smallest bedroom was smaller than the closets we have now.

His positive comments were that the office was bigger than the one we have now, the laundry room was a really nice space, the 2 car plus RV garage and all its built in cabinets was awesome, the view was incredible, there was really nice tile in the bathroom, and lots of storage.  I had to ask him to describe the house to me as he walked through it, because I couldn't remember much about my visit to it in February.  I basically bought the house for its land, not really caring about the house itself.  I found out later that the master bedroom had two walk-in closets -- something that the owners didn't show us, because they didn't want us there and were trying to rush us out of the house.

I asked my husband if the two walk-in closets were as big as our current one.  He said no, probably not.  Then he said, "Wait.  There's two?  What's this?  Oh my God!"

He was previously in one closet that was smaller than our current one, then he found the second closet.  He said the second closet was huge with shoe racks for enough shoes to satisfy someone famous.  The walk-in closet had a window with one of the best views in the house.  I said, "Maybe I'll make that my office then."

He also found a third bathroom, which got me really excited.  The specs on the house were inconsistent, so we were unsure how many bathrooms it had.  Again, the owners neglected to show us the bathrooms.  I have dreams in which I live in a house that has so many rooms that each day I find a new room, fully furnished, so it's like living in a new house every day.  Those are some of my happiest dreams.  I'm all about space.  I'm always searching for a space where I can have peace, quiet and privacy, even when I'm unconscious, so it was fun listening to my husband over the phone walking through this house and reporting to me on what rooms he kept finding.

He said that every time he walked outside a bunny hopped past him and a flock of quail fluttered about.  I love having jackrabbits, quail and deer around our current home, so it's nice to know that there is some harmless wildlife around our new home too.  I'll just have to be cautious about rattlers and scorpions for now on.  I suspect we might start seeing some javelina too.

Despite being busy interviewing for a job and looking for other jobs, my husband offered to stop by the boarding stable to check on the horses for me.  It will be interesting to hear about their reactions when he arrives.  I want the horses to make the connection that we are moving with them and this separation is only temporary.  Lostine has had so many owners that I'm sure she's thinking she will never see us again.

The dogs miss my husband and keep waiting by the door for him to come home, so when he calls I put him on speakerphone.  They respond to his voice.  Midge cocks her head to the side as he speaks to her, but instead of looking at the phone, she looks at the door.

I'm making progress with the packing and collection of more donations, but the trash is starting to worry me.  We've made so many trips to the dump already and it looks like when all is said and done, we'll have another 8 loads.  Our last load already scratched up the paint on the bed of my brand new truck (even though we laid down padding) and I really don't have the time to keep making trips to the dump, so I'm probably going to hire someone to do clean up.  I'm just debating whether to have them get started now or just do one big job after the movers haul off everything we want to keep.  It'll be difficult showing them what needs to stay and what needs to go right now.  You can barely walk through our garage.  But I don't want to have to stay in this house once it is empty for very long after the movers leave in order to let the clean up crews in either.

My real estate agent is on vacation this week, but he called and left a message (while I was talking on another phone line, of course) saying that he wanted to put the house on the market next week.  I jumped into gear and hired a gardening team to clean up our yards and asked the painter to start on the exterior.  I at least want the outside of the property cleaned up before any pictures are taken.  Then when the movers get all the furniture out, the painters will paint the interior and the flooring company will replace the floor coverings.  I suspect the house won't be ready until mid-May, but we can still put it on the market.  I doubt there will be a flood of showings.  When I put my mother's house on the market no one looked at it for the first two months.

I'll try to get some pictures today of how the rooms look with all the boxes in them, and the new concrete walkways.  Yesterday was cloudy, dark and dreary, but the sun is shining now, so I should have more energy.  The gardener said his team will remove all the manure in the pasture.  I winced in embarrassment and said, "Actually, we just put all the manure in there on purpose to fertilize the grass." 

He looked at me like I was weird.  That's the problem with us being so country in a place that is turning into a city.  The types of people who live around here and who want to buy a house around here are from squeaky clean suburbs and they frown on things like horse manure, unkempt lawns, rotting fences, dirt roads and gravel driveways -- all things that I prefer.  I suspect I'm headed for a big culture clash with the potential buyers of my home.


Anonymous said...

I'm very happy that things are coming together for you!

I have a suggestion for your trash/hauling to the dump issue, & it should save you time, too. Waste Management has portable dumpsters called Bagsters, you can buy them at Home Depot or other stores, you fill them & WM comes to pick them up. They can hold something like 3200 lbs of construction debris, so they're pretty sturdy. Here is the link if you like.

I hope this helps, & good luck with everything!! When you leave, you should not only stick your middle fingers at your neighbors as you drive off, you should also fling a couple of dog poos over the fence into their yard. :) (with a shovel, of course.)

Jamie (ps, love your blog!)

fernvalley01 said...

the house sounds great onward and upward

Linda said...

My house has lots of rooms in it and as each child grows up and leaves, I get a new place to transform. When I bought it, that's what I liked about it. It sounds like you're going to have fun discovering everything when you get there. There's no telling what those owners left out of the tour!!

lytha said...

this is the first post where i've felt your move is real. now i'm truly excited for you! the blog event of the decade!

RiverBend Farm said...

You are a brave soul having to pick up and move to a distant land. Plus having to live without your precious horses for a while...I think I would go crazy! Hopefully, it won't be long and you'll be posting about all the excitement rustling through your new home!

Grey Horse Matters said...

The new house sounds terrific! Always nice to find new rooms you didn't expect. The closets sound wonderful too.

A dumpster might be just the ticket. That way you'll just have to walk outside to throw everything away instead of making more trips to the dump. Hope it all goes smoothly.

Nice of your husband to go check on the horses. You might suggest he takes some pictures of them for you and us. Don't forget to moon the neighbors on the way out!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

So so close!!!!

Yes with two thumbs up on a dumpster. Will save you time, gas, and damage to your truck.

I bet it's a little bit sad not having your horses there, but I'm also betting they're going to be so happy to see you when you arrive there to take them to their new home!


lilyrose said...

Glad things are working out for you.
The freeways here are a pain in the 'you know what' but you'll get used to them. Everyone drives about 10-15 mph over the speed limit though.
Yup-there is plenty of wildlife out here. The javelina are awful-they dig up your flowers, ect. Rattlesnakes are my biggest worry though. We've had way too many on our property. :( Let me know if you need any info on stuff-feed stores, grocery, ect.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I was thinking of you on Wednesday while riding down in San Acacia. Saw our first rattlesnake of the season...thankfully before any of the horses stepped on it! It was rattling like crazy.

Be careful of those rattlers when you head out on the Arizona desert on your ponies. :)


achieve1dream said...

You're doing awesome. Hang in there!