We met up with our new landlords late Saturday afternoon at their home about 20 minutes away. We gave them our 1st months rent, last months, and a deposit and we signed a 2 year lease, which is something we have never done before. We haven’t stayed put longer than a year and a half tops since we’ve been together, and at some places it was as short as 6 months, but we figured it’s about time to settle down if only for a while.
We had our nephew’s birthday party that evening so we didn’t plan to move anything until Sunday, but we did stop by the house after the party just to check it out. They just had new carpeting put in, though it’s the same super dark brown that was in previously, at least now it’s fresh. They didn’t replace the very old fashioned and slightly beat up linoleum in the kitchen, sadly, but if it really bugs me we can work that out at some point later. It’s fine for now. Everything else was pretty much the same as before, and I was still eager to get in.
The next morning, my in-laws were up early working on the finishing touches for their new chicken coop and my kids eagerly joined their grandmother helping where they could. I wish I had grabbed my camera when I saw them trot by the barn breezeway, each toting their own big blue buckets full of tree trimmings. A few minutes later my mother-in-law asked if the kids could help her make pancakes, and they all took off into the main house while I got dressed and Jason worked on getting the R-pod ready to move down to our new place.
I did my best to help Jason line the trailer up with the hitch on his truck, and then I wandered into the house for breakfast while he finished up and took it down the hill. I came into the house and the smell of bacon and warm pancakes wafted towards me, along with the excited squeals of my son. The kids were wild with excitement; my son alternating between wanting to be held by grandma, wanting to sit on the counters, and wanting to run around the floor playing with their two large labs. My daughter was perched on a small wooden stool in front of the electric griddle, spatula in hand, inspecting each pancake’s bubbles; eager to announce when she would be flipping them all by herself. My mother-in-law, who is after-all a mother of 4 and grandmother of 5 (almost 6), was calmly orchestrating the preparation of breakfast. Redirecting my son from the danger of the hot griddle on the counter and the popping grease over on the stove, reminding my daughter every few minutes not to actually touch the griddle and that the pancake bubbles do all need to pop before flipping them. She was twirling my son from hip to hip, counter to counter, while pouring fresh batter onto the griddle and pulling the cooked bacon from the pan. I realized in that moment I had a bit more patience to gain, and that I desperately needed to practice letting my children help me cook more often. It was a sight to behold for sure, and the pancakes were divine. Jason drove the truck back up and gobbled up the breakfast his mom had set aside for him.
The kids and I took Jason to the Uhaul place, brought back a Starbucks for him, headed to pick up a couple of pizzas, and then met my mom at our new home to wait. Jason doesn’t ask for help, and he rarely accepts it when it’s offered, so this was his second time in two weeks moving all of our belongings completely on his own. He was confident it would go more smoothly than the last move had, simply because it didn’t involve any actual packing. My mom and I entertained the kids at the house until he arrived around 4 hours later, and we all tried to assist unloading the truck a bit but between my mom’s hernias preventing her from lifting heavy objects, and my pregnancy, we were little help.
He managed to get all of our belongings into the garage in about an hour or so, and then had to meet up with a local woman to pick up a refrigerator that we’d purchased from her earlier in the week. While he was bringing that into the house, he ran into the biggest snag of the day and had to remove our front door in order to make it even fit into the house. Immediately into our entryway is a brick wall that makes the entry incredibly narrow, and the fridge just barely fits into that space standing upright, forget about the angle it needs to be at to move it, and the space you need to fit yourself plus a dolly. Jason’s energy level was waning at this last major task and his frustrations were starting to mount. I stood by, keeping the kids out of his way, wishing someone would just show up to help. I thought about calling his mom but I knew he wouldn’t be happy with me calling his “mommy” to his aide. Either as a stroke of luck, or God, or both… his mom and her husband showed up on the other side of the doorway blocked by the fridge. They called out, “Wait, let me help you!” and within minutes were able to help him shimmy it into the house.
They visited for a few minutes and then we all decided they would keep the kids while we took the Uhaul back so that the kids could check out their new chickens they had just gotten earlier that day.
Jason took Monday off of work to recoup. We realized as we were trying to get ready that the propane isn’t hooked up, and we all had to shower in the R-pod (which is now thankfully equipped with hot water!). We all got dressed and went to the local bar & grill for their delicious breakfast. We went into town for our first real groceries since we’ve been back in the area, picked up a few little things we needed at Target, and then headed back to unpack a bit before we were to meet back up at the ranch to let the kids feed the chickens. We left from the ranch straight to dinner with Jason’s dad, and came home to watch a movie together before going to sleep. We realized we never got a chance to call the propane company, and decided to do it Tuesday.
Today is our first day in the house with Jason at work and while I miss him so much, it’s nice to begin to settle into our daily routines and begin to figure out how our days will work in this new space.
He called about the propane, but even though they quoted us $400 to fill the tank, inspect it, etc., they can’t come and actually do any of that until Friday at the earliest. Luckily, we do have the fully functioning trailer in the driveway for all of our propane/hot water/cooking needs… though I would love to be cooking and showering in our house.
The kids don’t seem to mind, of course. They’ve been playing all morning and afternoon, stopping only occasionally to ask for something to eat.
We don’t have couches right now so we’re camping out in the living room in the meantime. We don’t have hot water or propane to cook with, so we’re using the trailer. Things are kind of inconvenient and awkward in a lot of ways right now, but all of our needs are met. We’re together. We’re all happy. We got the rental we hoped for and the trailer we wanted. Our family is close by and we’ve seen them more in a weekend than we had in months in Tehachapi.
Life is crazy but life is good.
And really, life is crazy good.