In the new house

Tonight we will sleep in our bed, on our own mattress.  We are so looking forward to it.

It took three guys about 8 hours to pack all of our stuff.  It will take us a lot longer to unpack.  The boxes and furniture arrived on Tuesday.  We spent the next two evenings and all of today, Thursday, unpacking.  The kitchen.  Yes, we’re just finishing with the kitchen.

Once in the kitchen we realized this house was built for extremely tall people.  Mr. NYer thinks the developers were perhaps trying to lure a professional basketball team to Montgomery.  The ceilings are 10 feet high, which results in nicely proportioned rooms.  But with high ceilings come high cabinets.  Neither of us can reach the third shelf on any of the above-the-counter cabinets.  I have to stand on tip-toes to reach the knob on the cabinet above the refrigerator.

We are also befuddled by the array of  electrical switches options.  Our last house was 90 years old.  When we moved in, we discovered that a single circuit served all the bedrooms, the bathroom, the attic and looped in an additional outlet on the way past the living room.   We had ceiling lights with pull-chains, the dining room and all the bedrooms each had a single outlet, and if you wanted the upstairs hall light on, you had to walk upstairs in the dark and turn it on.

This house, in stark contrast, is extravagantly lighted and wired. Wall switches come in sets of three, and it seems that no light is controlled by only one switch.  You can turn the living room lights on as you enter the room, and hit another switch as you leave to turn them off.  And such a rich combination of lighting options.  In the kitchen, we can opt for the main recessed lights, or add in the over-the-sink recessed light, the under-the-cabinet lights, and the microwave light.

We’ve never had a garage before, and the automatic garage doors also befuddle us.  We’ve yet to figure out if there’s a way to open them from inside without the clicker in your hand.  There must be, of course, but we haven’t found it.

The new front-loading washer amazes us with its intermittent and seemingly deliberative dispensing of water and on-and-off agitation. The fact that the washer and dryer sit directly next to each other, just steps from the master bedroom and closet, is a near miracle.

We haven’t tried the jetted tub yet.

Unpacking has been a kind of magical mystery trip.  Remember, we didn’t do the packing.  The three guys labeled them each by room, but beyond that it’s anyone’s guess what’s inside.  One of the first boxes yielded a favorite tea-pot, but no lid.  Eight or nine boxes later, the lid emerged.  What we’re guaranteed to find is paper, a small forest of it.  Not only is every object wrapped in layers of newsprint (sans ink), but wads of paper fill every spare inch of every box.  It’s really good packing — the only breakage so far has been from us.  We’ve devised a way to cram as much paper as possible into contractor’s bags.  We compress by hand, fill, and periodically I sit atop the open bag to compress the contents some more.  Eight filled to the brim bags sit on our driveway now awaiting pick-up tomorrow.

We hope the garbage men find us.  Mr. NYer went to the Montgomery Water Works last Friday to register for water and trash service.  They told us they’d drop off one of those nice big garbage cans on wheels, but we haven’t seen it yet.  Our house is new, as is our street, and we’re having trouble convincing some people it exists.  The street, for instance, isn’t on our GPS.  And according to Netflix, our address doesn’t exist.

The cable company — the one that has a monopoly in this development — isn’t sure about us either.  We called yesterday to set up service.  They couldn’t take the order, or make an appointment, because they had to check to see if they covered our address.  Today Leah, the cable customer service person, called just to let us know that no one has come out to check that our house really is here, but that they would, soon.

So we’re sitting here in our well-lit living room, connected to the world via air card and blackberry tether.  The cats have been in their new home for about two hours, and they are restless.  The normally easy-going Mush is yowling, as if to say, “Enough is enough.  First those hotels, then two days in a cage, then the apartment.  When will this end?” The Lunatic, who we sedated in order to capture and cage him, is prowling about in a state of hyper-vigilance.

Lifelongnewyorker knows this post is begging for art.  Not to worry — she took photos.  Watch this space.


7 Responses

  1. Glad you are home! Sounds lovely so far and I’m looking forward to lots of pictures! Say hi to George!

  2. Let me know if you find my binoculars; they haven’t turned up since our last move. And by the way, the inside button for the garage door should be next to the door leading to the house.

  3. Congratulations on taking possession! It took us 3 months to convince Time Warner that our 108-year-old house was not a figment of our imagination. And are you saying that Alabama has no paper recycling? Have fun memorizing all the switches and watching the kitties explore. Can’t wait to see the photos!

  4. Just found this site. and found it incredibly interesting to read your perspective. Not knee-jerk dismissive of the area, but legitimately critical where needed. We’ve become conditioned to expect “hmph, well, the way we do it up north…” Welcome to MGM, hope you settle in and enjoy it. You’ll find most people friendly and quirky. We’re can be an odd lot.

    As for the 10′ ceilings, they are usually considered an amenity in new construction. Wait until August and you’ll realize the utility of higher ceilings. The old homes had 14ft or so ceilings with transom windows to let the heat out.

  5. well, that has to bring a new sense of closure to this whole move. Glad to hear that you are finally, really, completely ‘in’ now – even if everyone has yet to discover exactly where you are…

  6. Welcome home!!! That first night in your own bed is complete heaven. On the garage: the button should be on the garage wall right beside the door leading into the house. Probably next to a light switch. No?

    Looking forward to pictures; have a good “nesting” weekend!

  7. To leave New York living for anywhere else in the US is to leave the 19th century.

    What, no packing list??? Tsk. Tsk. Now you won’t find the cork screw for another year….

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