Pack or Dump

So after our potential new landlords couldn’t find anything interesting in our storage ottoman, and were driven away by the liquid plumr smell as we had previously tried to unclog the sink hours before they had arrived, (I’m pretty sure the advertising should read “should work in at least fifteen minutes” rather than “destroys clogs in fifteen minutes or less”) and we were told that the house would be sold to a developer, that following weekend, the boys came running into the living room shouting “The ceiling is leaking, the ceiling is leaking!”

We’d seen evidence of water damage in the back room since we moved in, but never a leak.  Now two days after it was made clear that we would be leaving the neighborhood, now the roof leaks. Believe me, the irony was not lost on us.  It wasn’t a bad leak, but rain falling in the corner of the room was still rain falling in the corner of the room.  But for all that rain, there was little to nothing inthe bucket afterwords.  What we didn’t know was that the water had decided to trickle down into the walls instead.

We found that out a few weeks later, when one of the boys had tried to plug in the vaccuum, and Cal came screaming out of the back “Fire! Fire! There’s a fire!”  My husband dismissed him, saying “There’s no fire” but then he said, “No wait, that’s the smell of ‘magic smoke.'”  (To be clear, magic smoke, when my husband or his tech friendly buddies use the term, refers to the smell of burning electrical components.) So yes, there was in fact a fire somewhere, a fire of the electrical kind.  He went back to the room, had the boys demonstrate what they were doing when the fire happened, and suddenly, sparks are vomiting from the one functioning outlet on  the western wall.

So yeah, fire.  The only solution for us then, was to kill the power to that room, it took some trial and error with the breaker box, kill the power to the back room, shut off the whole house, no wait, only half the house, no, finally got it, but when the sun goes down, the lights in the back of the house are OUT. But hey, at least the fridge is still running.  Whatever contractor put this place together was no electrician, but that never stopped them.  Always follow your dreams.

This of course made packing a bit of a challenge when you can’t take things from the storage spaces after 9pm.  Packing was a bit more of a challenge when your helpers are primarily six and under.  I’m not entirely sure, still, exactly what we were forced to leave behind.  Due to years of semi-exposed storage, my husband found that quite a bit of the things we never really unpacked from our original move, by now had been covered in mold and grime of various stripes, and Idaho dirt likes to cling to things.  Although in unearthing some of that buried treasure, I do believe I discovered the source of a majority of my dog’s respiratory problems.

All the same, we’re running down the clock now, two adults breaking down furniture and trying to load boxes and totes, four children unloading, moving boxes and totes, and taking breaks between dirt fights in the back of a U-Haul.  Yeah, moving was a slow process.  I had originally hoped to be loaded on the first day, rest through the night, and then leave at five am the following day, but at midnight, we still had three rooms to go, and My husband and children were suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, and so our efforts were put on hold until noon the following day.  By the end, we’d completely emptied the nerve centers of the house, bedrooms/office/living room, and apparently a lot less of the kitchen than I originally thought. To be fair, however, there wasn’t much in the way of kitchen stuff that wasn’t either perishable or too broken to keep.  The one regret that I did have, as far as things left behind, was the washer and dryer.  I should have sprung for the 24 ft. truck.

In the end though, we left Idaho loaded down with dogs, kids, and an assortment of the last fifteen years of our lives.  I wasn’t sad about leaving town, I mean, where we were going, I was under the assumption that -most- of our big city conveniences would be available.  Nine more hours and we would be rolling into our new home in Montana.

Or at least, that’s what I thought.

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