Monday, September 03, 2007

Life - Moving, Stage 3

Back online. Back on the bike (first ride in three weeks I think). Out of the house.

The last is pretty significant. My fiancee traded her Monday holiday and took it Friday. The walk through got pushed back by 24 hours (23.5 hours but who's counting, right?). We made a few trips to Simsbury to drop things off, a few to my brother's house (actually my brother made them with my friend and teammate Sean) to drop other things off, and two trips to Todd's to drop off car stuff.

I asked Todd, as part of my thanks to him, to drive the Z up to his place. Like-minded regarding cars, he called up and let me know the car's status once he got there. "Car is here, no scratches, no problems."

He understands.

My fiancee and I shuttled a few times, ending up back at the house with just the van and the red car, Friday morning. The previous night we'd loaded the van, driven 1.5 hours, unloaded the van, slept 4 hours, then driven back to the house.

Our goal was to be out of there by the time the buyers showed up for the walk through.

We missed by about 15 minutes. So that 23.5 hours became 23.25 hours.

Since they were there, we got to point out where we left all the manuals for the kitchen appliances, the burner, and anything else new we'd had installed in the last five years. We gave them our backup mini-blinds - and with one cat-chewed set, they could probably use it. The curtains went too (honestly we didn't have time, and if we'd taken them down, we'd have wanted to patch the frames). We also let them know about the cabinet knobs (we got them but never installed them), shelf brackets for the same cabinets (extras), and some other stuff.

We detailed the flower bulb types and locations (within a foot or so). I told them to paint the garage and basement before they moved a lot of stuff in (I thought I'd do it but never managed to get them cleared out enough in 14+ years there).

In return they found the bottle of champagne and two glasses we left them in the fridge. The wife thought it was sweet.

Actually we wanted to give them all our liquor and all our glasses as it would have given us less to pack.

It was a pleasant experience and we promised each other to keep in touch after all the house business was done. We look forward to really meeting them and talking about, well, stuff. They're really nice people.

The listing agent pointed something out. He also had a great selling experience. Everyone played well together. He pointed out in his mail that this experience demonstrated that transferring ownership of a house doesn't have to be "adversarial" (his words).

Very nice.

Without a whole lot of help the whole thing wouldn't have been possible. To name a few -

Andre, who I must post about later as he is an 11 time Hungarian National Champion, a very down to earth and friendly guy, and a really lively and animated character.

David and his kids Jonathan and Arianna. David got started by "unlocking" the PODS when I lost the key to the super duper padlock then arrived to help us move stuff around. Jonathan, one of the only under-18's I'd trust with all my money, and his sister (another one I'd trust), both lent a supportive hand.

Sean, who not only helped me out at my most important race, but also helped move stuff to my brother's place.

Todd and Donna, who not only came over to help pack but also allowed me to put all my car stuff in their garage.

Kelly and Jenn, who came over way back when to help us move stuff around before the final move. They actually got the PODS loaded up in May - we just crammed more things in after that bit of work.

My brother of course. He made me realize that selling the house took precedence over everything - and when I started feeling ill he essentially demanded that I take time off to get things done. If I hadn't taken a sick day and a vacation day and backed out of being at a bike race, we'd have missed the walk through by a mile. He also unconditionally gave us space, labor, and nearby shelter (their house). Without him, his wife, my dad, and the nephews (although they're too young to pick up more than a Lightning McQueen or two, they distracted us from stuff pretty well), life would have been horrible throughout this move.

Blood, as they say, is thicker than water.

Anyway, after the walk though we made a quick jaunt to my brother's, took a shower a piece, and then a trip back to the lawyer's office.

There we had a nice closing. The buyers had already done their stuff so it was really me accepting money and signing away the house.

Right, the signing.

I'd gone crazy for the last month looking for my "significant" pen. I bought all my cars with it, bought the house, the shop, signed virtually every significant legal document in the last 15+ years with that pen.

And now I couldn't found it.

Apparently the husband (i.e. the buyers) also lost his pen. The two of us commiserated for 30 seconds and then got on with the closing.

Fittingly I borrowed my fiancee's pen (not a Parker but a Cross) and sold the house with that. A sort of a close on my single life, embarking on my (to be in a short time) married life.

I went and deposited the checks (binder, deposit, balance) the next day. The teller smiled and told me the funds would be available in two days.

Simple as that.

Next time we're using movers. Not using movers is like watching a teenager drive a car. The key is that you have to first live as the teenager. Then you know what they're feeling, you know why they're doing what they're doing, but you also know that it's just not the way to do it. We spent a couple hundred dollars on gas, spent some insane amount of time shuttling things back and forth, and we finished exhausted, losing another few days after the move. I figure a move, if it costs less than $2k, is worth every penny.

We spent the last couple days finding some clothes, hooking up our washer and dryer, and getting our bathroom stuff in the bathroom. She had to work, we both went down to visit with my dad and my brother's family, and spent a day with her parents (returning the borrowed pickup truck).

With our internet working, my work and main play computer hooked up (as well as her computer), things are getting back to normal on a technology standpoint.

A key thing is I got my surge protector with all my chargers back. I have a little setup that I can plug into the wall and charge my various phones and accessories. I carry it everywhere in my trusty backpack and, somehow, I lost it in the move - it simply disappeared one day.

My exhausted and addled brain couldn't handle it and I looked everywhere for it. After a few days of thinking and looking I finally realized where it was - in the Z's passenger footwell area. At Todd's. When we retrieved the Z, it was there like I thought. And now all my phones are charged again.

Today I drove to her office (where the van is parked temporarily) with my bike gear. And literally pulled my bike out from under a few hundred pounds of stuff - like my 56 pound Schwinn Cotton Picker, a pile of wheels, two roof racks worth of stuff, a cutting board, clothes rack, and various other things that end up in the last load to be moved.

Miraculously nothing got bent or stripped or yanked too hard on my bike. I pumped up the tires (my light rear wheel still in place), snapped on my PowerTap, and finally got to turn the pedals on one of these beautiful sunny days.

I could barely pedal - the action seemed somewhat foreign. I'd jerk the bars too hard, over correct, not corner well. As the muscles started remembering I got smoother but then found another problem. I felt like I was suffocating. I felt like I could barely breathe, that I was holding my breath.

I guess that's what training does for me. Lets me process oxygen at a rate higher than watching TV demands.

I still have to find my bottles but in the meantime I want to get back on the bike. Learn the roads around here. Do a climb or two.

You know what I mean.

Breathe again.


suitcaseofcourage said...

Wow - congratulations on the closing and especially for being able to get back on the bike!! "All the hard stuff is done now - now the fun stuff begins." That's what I heard a lot when we were where you are now about 1 1/2 months ago. And I can say - encouragingly - that it's pretty much true.

Though I didn't have to get married in the meantime! :^)

But congratulations again - Debby and I are really psyched for you guys!!

a.d.j. said...

I'm amazed at how much you guys have gotten done. If we'd had to move right before the wedding I'm pretty sure I would've had a nervous breakdown. I'm happy if I get the dishes and the laundry done in one day.

Congratulations on selling the house and everything!! I'm so glad it all went well.

Aki said...

Honestly I'm a bit amazed too. Maybe it's the "forced organization and chore schedule" or something. At any rate it seems just a hair less intense now. Just wait till November when we have nothing to do.