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Monday, May 11, 2015

Occupy the Building Site - We've Moved In

A portion of the packing material
Despite delays, complications and other frustrations we have finally moved in. There was a problem with some paperwork, but J, the head carpenter said “The city has assured me that they will not stand in the way of you occupying the house, as in their eyes, you never lost occupation.“  Obviously the city did not see the house minus most of the roof, windows, functional plumbing, heating, electricity and a frightening number of exterior walls. The rickety garage would have offered more amenities. The house was incomplete, though habitable so we took the plunge. All the to better enjoy the company of the carpenters, electricians, painters and etc. still finishing up.

Sunset: after railings, and in the midst of exterior painting
We hired a local firm to help us with the move, and they were much better than the national company we used previously, who were maliciously incompetent. Everything seems to have survived unscathed this time. These folks were genuinely enjoyable to have around while they packed up the fragile items and artwork. Their careful use of paper and boxes was a pleasant surprise.  If it didn’t need wrapping they didn’t wrap it.  That’s not to say we weren’t up to here with boxes and paper, but they didn’t use six sheets of paper to wrap one chopstick either. Despite the deluge on the morning they came to load up our household goods, we had a beautiful, sunny weekend to spend unpacking, all the while wistfully eying the decks that were off limits, due to a lack of railings (did I mention delays?).
Though we still had the views.

A pot rack, at last!
Now we understand just how amazing the storage was in the condo.  It lacked a pot rack, but it had a closet big enough for a tandem (a little out of the ordinary), and it also had a window seat with storage cabinets underneath, two small attics, more than ample closets and cupboards everywhere, plus a storage locker! It's been over month and we still have boxes of linens, and clothes with nowhere to go. A couple things we were sure would fit into certain places don't (never underestimate how much space the trim takes up!). D. did a master plan of the kitchen storage, but at the critical point of unpacking he couldn’t find it. Right now cooking feels like a treasure hunt as we search for each ingredient and most utensils. 

A friend of ours generously helped us unpack a large number of books into the built-in shelves on the main floor.  There was a delay in settling into the music room as the shelving unit that was originally in the closet (and would have been perfect for keeping the instruments off the floor) vanished down the same hole as the toilets. We also had to wait for a thermostat to be moved so the bookshelves could go up. But that (or the path to the door in various states of being dug up and replaced) didn’t deter us from rehearsing in it.

Where the sidewalk ends?
Still in progress but not a mud wallow.

One small bedroom somehow acquired three bookshelves and all the luggage, and the other seems to have become the repository for unhung pictures, mirrors and chunks of packing foam that won't fit in our tiny garbage bin - neither room has a bed yet. The office / ham shack is filling up with desks and boxes of radio gear waiting for the antennas to go up. That may or may not happen before they finish painting the exterior; an on again, off again project depending on weather and the work on the path. I'm doing my best to ignore the 'storeroom' which is neck deep in boxes of CDs.  The shelves for those were only levelled last night.

If only they would sort themselves onto the shelves.

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. . .  but if you move the mailbox a couple yards, forget about it.  It was up next to the front door for weeks before the mail carrier finally told the head carpenter that she won't deliver anything until we move the mailbox closer to the street.  Ironically, the only mail we received was a notice from the Post Office confirming our change of address. After the mailbox was moved, I  went down to my ‘local post office’ as instructed, to retrieve the mail and ask them to resume normal delivery. The man at the counter said, "you have to go to the annex" (which was due to close in twenty minutes).  I zipped over there on my bike only to discover they couldn’t find our mail, and there was no hold notice in our mail compartment in the sorting area. They took my phone number and promised to call after they spoke to the mail carrier.  The impression I got was that the mail carrier is all knowing and all powerful.  Indeed, once the clerk spoke to her, our missing mail was found, and service resumed.  All that trouble for a few bills. . . and a pair of slippers with non slip soles.
Our illegally placed mailbox in the corner by the door.