Finally, finally, I am moving back into my home. It isn’t completely ready, but as long as the bedroom, bathroom, and living room are functional, I can wait for the rest. Mark the contractor would have preferred another week to get everything done before I move in, but David the landlord isn’t willing to lease the house for less than a month at a time. Bruce the insurance man doesn’t like this (or the landlord) very much, but there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it. I’m just glad to be going home.
I’m almost as busy now as I was during the first weeks after the fire. There is quite a long to-do list every day. I’ve dropped by the house after work every day to check it out and talk with Mark. Sometimes I have to make decisions right away, usually because a previous choice has not worked out for some reason. The day before the move I begin to take boxes over to store in my bedroom closet, one of the few finished clean places in the house. Inside and out, six or seven people are hard at work, finishing up windows, cleaning floors, touching up paint, inspecting the carpet and more. An inspector pulls up to the house to check on the gas again. He can’t finalize the sign-off until the appliances and water fixtures are up and running, but we’re almost there. He seems quite satisfied with the work so far, which is a relief, not only because of the time crunch but also due to my post-fire paranoia about gas leaks.
The dogs come with me to visit the house for the first time. They haven’t been there since those first few days after the fire and I’m not sure how they’ll react. They seem to recognize the street as we drive up to the house. I keep them on a tight hold until we get to the backyard and I can close the gate securely. They run around joyfully, sniffing the perimeters of the yard, and eventually settle down in their favorites places next to the gazebo. It was as if they had never left. When we return to the rental house, they are exhausted and go off to nap. I’m also exhausted, but there is still a lot to do be.
I make a couple more trips back to the house, mostly to transfer my freezer and fridge foods. On my never-ending list for tomorrow is to clean the rental refrigerator, so I need to empty it out now. On my third trip to the house, I see a huge trailer attached to the restoration company’s truck. My kitchen has arrived! All the cabinets for the kitchen and the bathrooms are unloaded. Once a few are unpacked, Mark brings in the sample pieces of granite for the counters. I thought we had narrowed it down to two or three last month, but he has about eight of them. If I want the counters to go in before the weekend, it’s decision time now. I narrow the choice down to three and then choose. The house is getting more crowded now, noisy, too, with all the drilling in the kitchen and everyone talking on top of each other. I figure it’s a good time to slip out and I head back to the rental house for my very last night there.