Friday, June 17, 2011

We're Here - The Move From Hell

I don't mean to offend anyone, but I have to call a spade a spade.
So we moved.
It was possibly the single worst month of my life. Everything that could go wrong did. It has been an epic disaster that we continue to slog our way through one day at a time. I'll try to bring y'all up to speed.

It was the day before the move. I was packing up all the last minute and "Ack! I forgot to pack all that!" stuff. It was late afternoon. Jeff was at work and the kids were being happily babysat by a movie while I packed. (Don't judge! Sometimes the tv babysitter is a true necessity!)

I realized I was running out of boxes so I paused the movie, packed up the kids and headed out to get a few more at Home Depot. It was a quick trip. It started raining on while we were out, so I ran the kids into the house then headed back out in the now pouring rain to get the boxes from the car. I was carrying the pile of boxes flat across my arms as I rushed to get inside and out of the rain. 
Before I knew it, I was propelling forward, out of control. Unable to see the ground due to the boxes, I had stepped on some of the gumballs that had fallen from the sycamore tree in front of our house. My ankle rolled and I went flying. As soon as my hand hit I heard awful cracking sounds. I had never broken a bone before, but I knew that is what had just happened. I sat there a little nauseous and shaking in the rain.
It took a few minutes before I could get up. I was soaked, muddy and in PAIN!
I made my way inside and cleaned up a bit. I called my husband at work. He could run by, (one benefit we used to have is we lived a block outside his jurisdiction)but they were short an officer that night so he couldn't come home. I took off my rings (it was my left hand). I debated waiting to get it seen, but with the move in the morning I knew that was going to be even worse. My husband came by and looked at it. He thought it was only sprained or bruised.
I looked at the time. The Urgent Care Center near us closed in a little over an hour. The copay for Urgent Care is $50, the copay for the ER, $250. I decided to go to Urgent Care even if it meant they sent me home with just a bruise.
I called my 18 year old daughter, who was on a date. I told her what had happened and asked if she could come watch the kids while I went and had my hand checked. She headed over (boyfriend in tow) and I went in.

A couple of hours later I was headed home in a temporary cast. My hand was still swelling and the pain was getting worse. It was definitely broken. I was under orders not to lift anything and to keep my hand elevated for the next few days at least.

This was taken 4 days after the fall. It shows the swelling, but not the bruising. that hadn't really come into it's full glory...

And we were moving in the morning.
And we had painting and cleaning that still had to be done.
And it was still pouring rain.

The next day things didn't improve. With all the rain most of our volunteer movers had mysteriously vanished. My brothers were busy working on the house, which was by now behind schedule and over budget. We still didn't have an occupancy permit. I couldn't do anything.

My poor husband and his good friend did most of the moving by themselves. Both of them were so sore by the end of the day!!! I felt awful for them! But it was a little funny to see the realization that they are indeed approaching middle age and cannot do everything they used to do!
The one good thing, my parents were out of town, which meant we could stay at their house for a few days since there was no way we could stay at the new place.

The new house was all kinds of a disaster. There had definitely been setbacks and miscommunication. It all involved family so that made it more difficult to deal with. It was filthy, still full of work stuff and things that had been stored over there. Work I expected would be finished was not, and I found out it wasn't going to be done. I discovered several major problems with the house I hadn't seen before. I realized two of the rooms we hoped to use would be unusable. I had to rethink how we were going to use the space.
I worried that this whole move was a huge mistake.

Several other things happened.

We had a major big-time financial setback that was mostly my fault.

Then, my 18 year old daughter, angry about the move, decided she didn't want anything to do with helping us, and she wasn't going to move in with us either. Her reasons were hurtful and misguided, and frankly, in my opinion, mostly stuff she used as an excuse for her real reason, which was, I have much higher expectations of her than her father does. I think highly enough of her to expect her to live up to her potential which, yes, requires work. I wanted her to have a summer job, to take classes at the community college and do some things to further herself. I think that a summer that consists of no more than sleeping late, taking a couple of vacations, sitting on her father's couch watching tv, playing video games and hanging out with her boyfriend is unacceptable. She thinks it is normal and I am out of line.
No matter what the reality, if I was right or wrong, or she was. It hurt me deeply.

Couple that with a huge amount of pain and the stress of moving into a disaster and I plunged into a major depressive episode.

I have had issues with some depression before in my life. It had been a really long time since I have dealt with it. It is getting better day-by-day. I am looking at seeing someone about it now in order to ensure that it doesn't happen again. It was really awful and scary.

My hand is getting better and I am able to do more.

I am moving forward and trying to make the best of this so-far-disastrous move.
("This will not become The Money Pit. This will NOT become The Money Pit." I chant to myself over and over - Positive thinking will reap rewards, right?)

I am determined to make this a Good Home.

Lately it has been mostly about cleaning (when I say this place was/is filthy I am NOT exaggerating! There is dust/dirt 3/4 of an inch deep in places)and figuring out which rooms will be used for what. I think we finally have that part settled.
I want to move on to the decorating as my budget and my kids allow, but right now I am overwhelmed and I seem to have encountered a major mental roadblock. I am working out how to best deal with it  For now, I have scrapped much of my color palette for walls and have decided to pretty much paint the entire house white with grey-ish beige (greige) trim. A consequence of finding out that much of our trim is pretty banged up, much is painted (perhaps at one time with lead paint) and I just need to make things clean and cohesive. I really want pale blue ceilings, but my husband hasn't quite gotten on board with that idea.

Due to my gimpy hand and missing sewing machine pieces, I missed the deadline for the Solids-Only Challenge my Modern Quilt Guild was having, but I am going to finish it anyway now that I can use my hand more. I was only able to complete a couple of the blocks prior to being knocked out of the mix, but I really like how they look so far. I do think there is probably an easier way to do this, but hey, it's all a learning process, right? I'll share my progress here shortly.

I'll leave you with some of the good things from the last few weeks that remind me why I love living in the city!
The kids playing in the fountain at Tower Grove Park. A gorgeous Victorian era park we can walk to that brings together people from all walks of life

The Zoo (Free!!!) and all the Forest Park attractions (also Free! Including the Art Museum and Science Center) an easy 5 minutes drive away

Concert at the Band Pavilion at Tower Grove Park

Weekly Summer Kids' Concert Series at Piper Palm House - also at Tower Grove Park  
This is just some of what we've been busy doing, and a bonus- I've just gone through just 1/2 a tank of gas in 2 weeks!

I'll be back more regularly now, though probably not daily. It is difficult, as the kids are sleeping in the room with the computer right now while we work on some issues with their bedroom.


Marianne said...

I am so sorry about your experience. That is absolutely awful. At least it can only go one way from here and that is up. As in it can only get better now. I have never lived in a city, or maybe I do live in a city. Getting confused here, but it looks like a wonderful place you have moved to. I hope you hand feels better soon and that you get everything in order again.
I will be off the grid myself for a while now as I am leaving for Norway on Sunday and will be gone for 7 weeks. I hope your summer turns out wonderful.

Nancy said...

wow...Morphy's Law sure hit your house big time...So sorry about the hand..and the rain..and everything..

Can't wait to see what you did with your solids...