And for once I was SuperMom

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

On Sunday after church we went into our new house.  Without a real estate agent, an appraiser, we didn't have to tell anyone that we were coming, there was no one there telling what we could and could not do, or the terms of this or the terms of that.  We walked up, turned the key in the lock and walked in.
It smelled.
Like smoke, and other people.  It looked like dirt, smoke, and other people.  We had friends with us who had taken on an extensive renovation job for their first home purchase.  They found a stair that looked as if it had once hidden drugs.  They picked at wall paper with us.  They marveled at the stained rug and made suggestions about how it gotten so dirty so fast.
Eventually the went home and we were left alone.  Scott started picking at the corners of the floors and pulling up whole sections of carpet.  He found linoleum underneath.  Then he found more linoleum underneath.  Then he found glue.  Then he found sheets of black paper underneath.  Then he found slats of wood.  Original wide pine floors.
I dug my fingernails into corner of walls and started peeling wallpaper.  My three year old comes up to me,
"Yeah, I can help," she says.  I point to a corner of decrepit paper and let her pull.  She lasts for a few moments and then runs away.  I stand in my Sunday best and peel almost a complete wall of paper in one pull.  Then I find more paper underneath.  It looks old, from a decade I can't pinpoint, certainly one I didn't live in, and maybe even one my parents didn't live in.  I dig a fingernail into that paper, tiny pieces flick off.  Not the big large satisfying strips.  That stuff is gonna take more work.  I give up.
We leave, I have dirt patches on my black dress, dust in the corners of my eyes.  My toes hurt from being pushed in the corners of my heels.  I am happy to leave to change clothes and put my exhausted baby to bed.  Eager to stay because I want to take more away.  Peel off each layer of former owner and make it mine.

"So you're all moved in right?" my dad asks on the phone.
"Um, no, we won't move in until October..." my voice trails off, my throat closes a little over the words.  The out loud, real expression of what we're going through right now.  I told him when the contractor would start.  He said that sounded like a lot, my voice cracked, and I admitted how stressed out I really was.  He was comforting and conciliatory, like a good father.
I could it all by myself, with Scott and me and our duffle bags, but with two little girls it just gets so complicated.  So harried.  So much crying, mine and the girls.

This morning Scott and I had 'the talk,' the real, out loud, talk about when we are moving where and how we are going to get through the next few months, while we lose our temporary housing and in between while our new house will be livable.  In a week we will move out of the dorm that we are staying in.  We will spend three weeks in a cabin in the Adirondacks, then we will spend the month of September in Colorado while he leads a wilderness expedition and I stay with his parents.
It's a lot.  It makes me want to cry.  I am nervous about leaving and not having decisions made for the contractor.  I am nervous about leaving the house with work undone and coming back in October to a half whole house and no where to stay.

In the meantime we have visited Home Depot twice.  I have spent quite a few hours on Craigslist buying new old furniture.  I have Googled 'retro bathroom,' 'vintage cabinet pulls,' 'how to paint laminate cabinets,' and 'bathroom floor tile' just to start.  I have been diverted from completing real tasks to sit and ogle websites of bathrooms and flooring.  So whilst the stress of all of this looms high and mighty in the end it will taste so sweet.  So sweet.

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