Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Moving Blues

Cassidy, Hailey, Riley at approximately the time I moved to Orlando in 2007
Cassidy (with Mommy), now 8 and dressed for her dance recital last Saturday
Hailey, now 12  - second from right at dance recital

Well, as a reason for enduring the torment of moving, grandchildren can't be beat. Their parents closed on their new house this week, and if I hadn't moved, I'd still be in East Orlando, forty minutes away. As is, the distance is about 2 miles.

But oh my, oh my, I doubt I could live through moving again. Now that I've had time to catch my breath & find about 90 percent of what was moved, it's time to record some of the non-stop anguish that went with moving from Orlando to Longwood. So many things went wrong, my s-i-l's cousin suggested burning sage sticks to take the curse off my new home!

First disaster: I'd been promised the continuance of my old landline phone number, even if AT&T didn't offer service in Longwood. After several days of relying solely on my cell - and numerous calls to Brighthouse and AT&T - Brighthouse finally admitted they could not "port" the number. So I was stuck changing my phone number as well as my address in what seemed like a thousand different places. (If only I had a dollar for every minute I spent on "hold.")

Closing & insurance papers:  Since I was buying from my daughter's rehab company, I moved in before the actual closing and was instantly caught up in a deluge of papers to sign & fax. Except my fax didn't work. Fortunately, my scanner did, but I could only send to myself then Forward. All attempts to send direct failed. Needless to say, this resulted in a lot of wasted time and aggravation.
The saga of the refrigerator: My new house was one of those foreclosure wrecks - tarp on the roof, holes in the ceiling, no appliances, etc. So everything in the kitchen was new. Except the fridge that was delivered before I moved in was not the one my daughter had ordered. The day after I moved in, I got a call saying the replacement would arrive in 10 minutes. I scrambled to clear a path through the boxes in the kitchen, unload the fridge & freezer. But of course I was told I cleared the wrong path and everything had to be moved, including storage units we'd just put in place. With great labor the two deliverymen hauled the unacceptable fridge out and came struggling in with the new. I was trying to keep out of their way by hiding in the bedroom when I heard, "Uh, lady?" I knew immediately that meant trouble. Sure enough, the beautiful new fridge was 2.5" too wide. A total surprise since my new kitchen is larger than my old one. Oops! The poor men then schlepped the big fridge back out, scraping the brand new paint in my front hall, and hauled the old one back in. I was absolutely mortified that they had to go through that. And I couldn't even give them a good rating on the store's survey, as the store didn't have my new phone number! (For the record, they were unfailingly polite and cheerful.) The update on the fridge is that I finally found one online that fits the allotted space and that will hopefully have more room than the fridge I've been "making do" with for three weeks. Sigh. So the saga continues - I have my fingers crossed that Refrigerator 3 will end this particular tale of woe.

Mail:  My new mailbox is part of a "square" of mailboxes that serve our short dead-end street. I wasn't thrilled with that, but I was far more unhappy when the key I was given at the post office didn't work. I allowed a few more days for them to change the lock, but when Netflix (which had no trouble with a change of address) sent word a DVD would arrive the next day, I went back to the post office with a plaintive "What's going on?" Sure enough, I'd been given the wrong key. So a week after I moved in, I could finally get mail. Even though I had to hike to pick it up.

Water woes:   On the morning of June 2nd, I brushed my teeth, made coffee, sat down to do some edits on my next book. But at 11:30 a.m. I suddenly discovered I had no water. A frantic call to my daughter, whose company rehabbed my house, resulted in a long silence. So naturally I immediately suspected it was more than work being done on the waterline. Sure enough - and I won't cast any blame here - the water bills were being sent to the house address (when there was no mail service set up) instead of to the real estate investment company that owned the house. Since the bills were undeliverable - and the absence of a bill not noticed among the company's many other bills - my new house was five months in arrears on paying the water bill, and - you guessed it - my water had actually been shut off! Yes, I got my water back the same day, but the experience was a real shocker. We're still not sure how this happened as the people involved rehab houses all the time and go through this process on almost a monthly basis. (I strongly suspect the fault lies elsewhere.)

And then we were told that in order to set up an account I had to go in person to the Longwood water office - which, by the way, was marked, "Longwood Financial Services"! - where I was informed I also had to set up a Sewer account (separate company, separate billing). Sigh. At least the sewer people were willing to take my info over the phone. Not surprisingly, I began to suspect I'd moved to Maybury.

TV Weekly:  I give The Orlando Sentinel kudos for delivering my newspaper to the correct address the day after I called them. But TV Weekly? Forgetaboutit! I went three weeks without this Sunday insert in spite of numerous phone calls to both the newspaper and magazine, with each passing the buck to the other. Even my request for a supervisor was shunted aside until someone finally promised to file a full report with their supervisor - and actually did, as proved when I got a call from a supervisor saying the matter had been rectified. And, yes, I finally got my guide. I was also promised credit for the missing copies. We'll have to wait and see about that.

Other:  My favorite step-stool with handle went "missing." Someone, somewhere is enjoying it, I imagine, as it was too big to pack in a box and is clearly gone on the wind. I finally gave up and bought a new one. I'm still missing some my cookie cutters and my whole collection of matrioshka dolls. I can only hope they're in an as yet unopened box in the garage. Or still on one of my s-i-l's trucks somewhere - he's admitted to 4 undelivered boxes. Sigh.

I still have a long list of "unfinished" fix-it chores which I can't handle myself, but with the crew off and running on new rehabs, who knows when they'll get them done. Guess I'll have to become the "squeaky wheel."

But yesterday I picked up the grandchildren and two friends at the ice skating rink in Maitland (now about one-tenth the previous distance from home) and drove them to see the new Reale home. The excitement was huge as they ran madly from one room to another. So I realize the anguish was worth it. In a week or so, we'll all be living in Longwood, and life will be on the good side of getting back to normal.

But - I swear - never again! I HATE MOVING!!!

A look toward a brighter, more settled, future:

Susie's shot of sunrise after spending all night with 1200 Girl Scouts at Wet 'n' Wild.
 Thank God I wasn't there! But the photo represents the light
at the end of the long, dark moving tunnel.

~ * ~

Hopefully, my next blog will get back to my Writing Workshop series.

Thanks for stopping by.

For Grace's website, listing all books as Blair Bancroft, click here.

For a brochure for Grace's editing service, Best Foot Forward, click here.


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