Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Saga of Moving Mom

It is a cold Thursday afternoon at the end of January. We will have to wait until February for the usual January thaw. I am on Long Island helping my Mom move. She sold her home in which she lived for almost 60 years - six decades - and purchased an apartment in a senior building. The apartment has two bedrooms, one and a half baths, a small terrace, large windows and lots of light. The view includes a large tree, a house, and across the street – a cemetery.
We crossed our fingers everything would go smoothly. My sister and I have taken turns helping her pack and check out new digs. She put her house on the market ‘as is’. It needs a lot of work before anyone moves in. She and the realtor agreed on a price that was in the ‘we want to sell’ range.
Before we knew it the house was under agreement. Then the scrambling began. My Mom initially wanted to rent, but after several fruitless days of hunting within the few square miles in which she wanted to live – close to the places her life centers around – she was disappointed, despairing, and frustrated. We considered buying a place. The house-hunting story is a tale for another time. We found the ideal apartment in this 79-unit building.
Closing on both places was set for the same day. She closed on her home in the morning, and with the proceeds closed in the afternoon on the apartment. It was a wearying, prolonged happening, but the day finally arrived. We were permitted a few extra days in the house before vacating.
The scenario was: Tuesday closings, Wednesday the apartment would be painted, Thursday new carpeting installed, and Friday was moving day. We arranged for the movers to come in the morning, and in the afternoon the junk man would pull up in his truck and take everything remaining in the house.
Tuesday was emotionally exhausting, but it came and went. Wednesday morning we woke to a couple of inches of snow and, as the weather people call it, a mixed bag. We continued packing – an endless process and the story for another post another time. We tried to get out in the afternoon, but the snow that turned to rain quickly turned to sleet, so we decided to bag it and stay home. Meals were leftovers from the freezer and refrigerator.
The painting got underway and continued, somewhat erratically, Wednesday and Thursday. The smartest thing we did was contract with the building super to do the painting. We did not have to worry about him getting to the site – he was already there.
We awoke Thursday morning to several inches of new snow. This was a big one. We had over a foot of the stuff. Schools closed, trains delayed...Then the phone rings. The carpet cannot be installed; no one was working because of the snow. The truck would arrive at the apartment 7:00 a.m. Friday morning to put in the new carpet. The movers called and confirmed that, as long as the sidewalk was shoveled, they would be at the house 8:30 Friday morning. The walk was cleared. We are ready for the big day.
The carpet chronicles are a side story to the on-going moving saga. My sister and my Mom went to several stores scoping out carpet and prices. They decided on a store and specific carpet. My husband and I then went to see the carpet. Originally Mom was going to order the carpet and have it installed after Mom moved in. After some discussion we decided to try and find an in-stock carpet to avoid more hassle. We went to a couple of stores and picked a nice carpet  from the warehouse. That was last week. Tuesday late afternoon, on our way home from the second closing, we get a call – there was not enough carpet for the entire apartment. An additional role had not arrived. They told us they had it in stock. Well, they did – at another warehouse. Sometimes you just don’t know the right questions to ask. Tuesday evening, before heading home and collapsing, we returned to the carpet store. After perusing the options, we decided to go with our original choice for the living room and small bedroom. We chose another carpet for the master bedroom. Everything should be fine now…
It is Thursday afternoon. The painters should be done late tonight. They got a bit sidetracked because the super had to shovel snow – twice, on Wednesday and today. The carpet installers will, hopefully, show up early. The movers will follow. It should prove to be an unforgettable experience. One more day…