It's official! The moving truck pulled up last Friday morning and by 8 pm the crew of five strong men had finally finished the heavy lifting (BTW - I highly recommend "Big Family Movers" who never once complained about the amount of boxes or the GIRTH of my antiques AND came in UNDER their bid price. Who does that, especially in Piedmont?)
Now the work of unloading begins . . . By midnight, I finally called "uncle" and headed for an overdue bath.
That's when things got really interesting . . .
"Aunt Julie! THERE'S WATER COMING THROUGH THE KITCHEN CEILING!" my niece shouted.
We'd bought a "fixer" so we knew going in that the systems weren't exactly up to par, but silly me, I'd failed to realize that the tub was just 'decorative' and that the plumbing wasn't hooked up correctly. (Up to par? How about SUB-PAR!) Unfortunately, when I drained the bath water, it found its way through the light below and onto the kitchen floor (OR what's a bucket for?)
By Sunday, after the washing machine had flooded the basement, the fuses had blown repeatedly, and my teenage son has disavowed me, I'd begun to doubt our decision to move. (Yes, there's a "BIG PICTURE" plan here, but the short term doesn't look very promising.)
I'm loathe to admit it, but what, exactly, have we done !? Leaving Shangri-La and a home we loved for yet another major restoration project? "Breathe," "pray," and "EAT CHOCOLATE " was the timely advice from most of my good friends and colleagues. (Have I said "thank you" BTW? I really appreciate your support.)
In between hyperventilating, I have to remember that here's what we HAVE done:
In short, we are planning for our future.
Ahhh yes, that's why we did it - for sound financial reasons that should serve us well for years to come . . . even if the present day seems daunting.
As for the remodel? It's going to be a massive mess, terribly inconvenient, HELL to live through, and will no doubt, run WELL over budget. So what else is new? It's also going to be very exciting; a chance to put our stamp on yet another home and garden.
As I explained to my unhappy son, "It's either a total POS or it's an opportunity. The choice is yours."
OR as I have often reminded my clients, "These are the problems the rest of the world aspires to!" (It's time to take my own advice.)
Our previous home is now in the hands of an extremely capable, younger family who have the energy to keep up with a large property, while we concentrate on restoring the very neglected house and much smaller yard we have just acquired. It's a cycle Cliff and I understand well and one we appreciate.
In the meantime, I'm remembering a quote I love (unfortunately I don't know who said it): "Life consists of two kinds of experiences: those that are great and those that make GREAT ANTECDOTES!"
I'm clearly in an "anecdote" phase. How lucky am I? (Pretty darn lucky.) "Eat, pray love," and then, give gratitude. If nothing else, I'll have great copy for upcoming Perspectives!
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.