Friday, June 11, 2010

The Morning After: the internet saves the day

 The night of the move, I slept so poorly. I tossed and turned, worrying about all the stuff left behind and how this was all going to it into a 2 bedroom house with no storage, uncomfortable on the rock-hard guest bed, Tika pacing nervously around the bedroom, and then Greta woke at about 1am, and was awake—tearful and clingy—for nearly 2 hrs.

We brought her to daycare for one last day that Friday morning, nearly breaking my heart on the way imploring, “I want to go hooooome, Mama. I want go to hooome!” Tika was still rather anxious and clingy herself, and we brought her along with us to the house.  Our goal was this: it’s Friday—we have one day to clean this house with no child underfoot. We want to be in Burlington by the evening to spend Saturday and Sunday with friends, because by Monday at 10am, we will be closing on the house.

Erik jumped into the cleaning and organizing of the leftovers, and I ran a few last minute errands around the Upper Valley. You know, important stuff like depositing $1.63 in pennies into our bank account, and getting that $3 dividend from selling Greta’s baby bathtub on consignment. And about $25 of consignment money from the Pink Alligator. That was actually worth it.

Back at the house, I take in all that was left behind by our Professional International Movers in their rush to get the hell out of Vermont:  two large, framed posters, all our laundry supplies, a large solid butcher block cutting board, our tea kettle—sitting on the stovetop, my Cookie Monster cookie jar, 4 nested ceramic bowls, the entire contents of our spice rack, numerous cooking/baking supplies, curtains in the kitchen (OK, not so obvious), our shower curtain, my yoga mat in my handknit yoga bag, formal dresses hanging in a dry-cleaning bag behind a door, and several jars of jams and local maple syrup (very important to us “Vermonters”). Basically—LOTS of stuff that was important to us!  I was so furious. That is not to mention the mess that the movers left behind—empty rolls of packing tape and packing paper and packing materials—stuff that our contract said would be cleaned up when they left.

And then there’s the stuff that we made split-second, last minute decisions NOT to move, and now had to find homes for: namely a double mattress/box spring set, and a small kitchen table/desk, and numerous yard tools.

We post the mattress on Craig’s List (it’s worked so well thus far) stating it was rarely used (from our guest room), great condition, must pick up TODAY and was Best Offer. By the afternoon, a woman from Portsmouth (2 hrs away) takes it for $75, along with an additional $20 for the table, which she didn’t even know she needed.

Our day is looking up.

Earlier in the day, Erik and I were looking at the piles of garbage cans and bags that were going to require us driving to the dump (we do not have city garbage service in Wilder), using up at least 30 minutes our of our precious cleaning time. But, as we take in that sight, I spot a privately owned dump truck pull into our neighbor’s driveway across the street to pick up his garbage. Hmmmmm. Erik runs across the street, asks the man if he’d mind making a few bucks off of our garbage, and $6 later, we’re free of our pile and with 30 extra minutes on our hands.  

Again: our day is looking up.

As Erik posted our mattress to Craig’s List, he quickly browses the Norwegian website for all homes for rent or sale. He discovers that a beautiful 4-bedroom house (for rent) that we had considered but decided was too expensive had dropped its rent into our price range. Or at least into our price range of what the 2-bedroom rental plus a storage facility that we were realizing we would need would cost us.  We decide on the spot that we need to back out of our other rental agreement (verbal only, no papers signed, no monies exchanged) and rent this house. Erik immediately does a Skype phone call to Thorstein, the owner, and within 10 minutes, we have agreed to rent his home, available August 1.  Our day is sooooo looking up.

In our final coup, as Erik and I discussed how to best handle our complaint and concerns with our moving coordinator, Joy (do I take a bitchy angry approach, or a sugary sweet approach, and who places the call?), Joy herself calls us! Taking me a bit off guard, I’m able to just lay it all out very honestly—our disappointment in how the job ended, the rush at their “end of the day”, the numerous items that were left behind, and the lack of any walk-through for us to agree that “yes, in fact, you have everything”. 

Joy was very apologetic, and also disappointed in her “favorite crew”. She pledged to only charge us half of the extra cubic footage (which ehhh, I’m still not sure if that’s entirely fair)—although this is something that she put out there even before she heard what happened as the crew left. But we also agreed that Erik would drive the remaining items bound for Norway down to their warehouse in the Bronx, NY on his way to Princeton NJ on Monday, and they would be included in our shipment at no extra charge. 

Again, our day is looking way way up.

I’ll stop there, for Friday. We get the house within an hour or two of being clean, rescue Greta from daycare at 5pm sharp, and hit the road for Burlington (Tika being left behind at The Ranch, aka doggie daycare, for the weekend). We have a relaxing weekend with Scott, Artemis and 18 month-old Antigone, and I decide that Greta and I will stay an additional night and instead catch the train from Burlington on Monday morning at 9am, instead of driving back to the Upper Valley Sunday night, only to catch an 11am train in White River. 

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