One more week and I move back home! It will be 5 ½ months since the fire ruined my house and sent my son to the hospital. Luckily, my son had only minor injuries. Unluckily, the house had major damage. In the end, it will cost the insurance company more than $100,000 to restore. It’s been the longest 5 ½ months of my life, and when I move back, the house still won’t be completely done. The lease on my rental house ends this month, so I’m moving, ready or not. I told Mark, my contractor, that I could live a few days without a complete kitchen, but the bathroom better be working! Every day I drive by the house hoping to see progress. Usually I stop and peek inside, but lately there have been so many trucks, workers, and activity that I fear I’d hinder the work that desperately needs to get done. So I drive slowly past and just wave. They know me by now.
Packing up and moving is always a hassle even when you don’t have a lot of stuff to move. Since living in the rental house, I have accumulated quite a bit. I’ve replaced most of my kitchen – dishes, silverware, glasses, pots and pans, various cooking utensils and most recently, a set of knives – and it’s a rare pleasure to have everything new and matching. The dishes and glasses I lost in the fire were the survivors of three or four different sets collected over the years. My pots and pans had seen a lot of meals and had the grease stains to prove it. I hadn’t had a set of knives before, thinking it wasn’t that necessary since we were a vegetarian household, but the rental kitchen package included a wooden block of 10 knives in various shapes and sizes and to my surprise, I found it quite handy to have such a selection. I’ve replaced some of my pantry and quite a lot of grooming supplies. I have a printer and a laptop and a radio clock, too. Oh yes, and most of my music and DVDs and some new books. About half of my clothing and all my linens are still with the company that is cleaning them, but somehow I have acquired more clothes in the last month or so, being so dreadfully bored with the ones I have. It’ll take a few carloads to get it all moved back to the house, but I’ll do it gladly. I’m going back home!
On Friday I stop by and go into the house. Mark is checking up on the progress, too, and half a dozen men are working on baseboards, flooring, and other jobs. Several cutting machines are sitting in the front yard and driveway, the kinds of machines you could work on and lose a finger or two if you don’t pay attention. Just as I get out of my car, another truck pulls up – my kitchen appliances have arrived! They won’t be hooked up until later next week, but Mark assures me the fridge will be plugged in early enough for me to transfer my fridge foods in time. I’m going to have to clean the fridge in the rental house before it’s taken away, so the food is moving before I do. I try not to think of all the tasks I need to do next week for the move. “Have you seen the bathtub and shower tiles yet?” Mark asks. He eagerly leads me to the bathroom to check out the work. It looks fabulous, I must say. The grout isn’t in yet and everything still needs cleaning, but I can visualize the finished product. I wander outside where the men are starting to clean up, happy to begin their weekend. I thank them for all their hard work, and I leave, happy to begin my last weekend in the rental house.