It was a time of confusion and insanity, punctuated by moments of panic and despair, but we have moved into the new house.
It is a lovely house, and the renovations, with very few and very small glitches, are just what we wanted.
For a recap of the changes, here are pictures of the house as it was before we bought it and pictures of the house when the renovations were just about complete
Or, if you'd rather know the whole story, complete with architect's drawings and all sorts of neat stuff, glaurung_quena documented the renovations in a series of posts.
We had a lot of help preparing for the move. Our friend Sandra, who spend one afternoon helping us move the fragile ornaments and art and all the weird stuff that was shoved into all the corners of the old apartment so we would have a place to put the boxes as we packed them. Our friend Cathy, who came over one weekend to help us back the first thousand books, badly cut her thumb part-way through the onslaught, and spent much of the day being an inspiration instead, after the EMT finished putting her back together and pronounced that she did not, in fact, require stitches. The most wonderful SJ and her partner V, who left Willa at home in upper New York and drove all the way to Toronto in V's minivan this past weekend to help us move the of the books and some of the electronics and and other awkward or delicate stuff, help pack most of the rest of the stuff, and christen most of the rooms of the new house while they were at it. ;-) And glaurung_quena's father Gary, who drove all the way from Michigan with his truck on Sunday, and did more moving and helping in the running of important errands and moved the computers on Monday.
Tuesday was moving day. It started with glaurung_quena and Gary moving key bedroom furniture and a basic survival kit to the house and setting everything up in a room that the movers would not have to go into so I would be as safe as possible from colognes and anti-deoderents and detergent on clothes and stuff. While they did that, Sandra came over to be on hand in case the movers came early, and to pack some of the final bits left out until the last minute. Then glaurung_quena and Gary came back, and we waited for the Wheeltrans bus.
See, it was vital that the Wheeltrans bus arrive before the movers, because the driveway at the old apartment is so narrow that if the movers arrived first and parked, there would be no room for me to get down the driveway and out to the bus. So naturally the movers were early and the bus was late, and we had to ask the movers to wait until the bus arrived, and that was very annoying. But eventually the bus came, and I managed to get out to it (over the past year, my mobility has been appreciably decreased, and I was not sure until we actually did it that I could even safely navigate the handful of stairs and the very uneven, unpaved driveway to get out without falling, so this was a huge relief). So we left in the bus, the movers pulled into the driveway, Gary filled his truck with food and some stuff that we had to be able to put our hands on immediately and followed us over, and Sandra supervised the movers in loading up the furniture and other heavy stuff.
Then we hit some luck, as the Wheeltrans bus took me and glaurung_quena straight to the new house without having to pick up or drop off any other users, and I had my first sight of the edifice that has put me so deeply in debt.
I think I can be happy here. Once we get settled and buy some new (used) furniture to take the place of old furniture that doesn't work in certain places, and all that other adapting to a new living environment stuff.
The rest was over quickly. glaurung_quena set me up in my hideyhole, Gary unloaded and drove back to the apartment to relieve Sandra, then movers and Gary eventually arrived at the house and all our worldly goods were in the same location again.
We are unpacking slowly, and finding all of the things that still have to be done, but we are happy, and we are home. The only thing that's a real problem just now is that the paint used on the trim in the house is still not fully outgassed, so I'm really sick, and we are in the middle of a cold snap so we can't open the windows much without almost freezing, but once it warms up a bit (the forecast says it will this weekend), then maybe the toxic load in the air will get a little bit better, and with luck, by the time we have to start keeping the windows closed due to constant high smog levels, the trim will have finished outgassing.
And the light at the end of the tunnel here is that over time, it can only get better. There is no one else in this house to keep adding more toxic substances to the air. Of course, when we buy new things, they will need to be detoxified, but we have a room set aside in the basement specifically for that, and as soon as we fully vapourseal that room and set up an exhaust to the outside, detox fumes will never get into the living portion of the house. It is a good thing for people with environmental illness to have complete control over their living space.
We are so much in debt. And there is so much work still to be done (I'll likely post about plans for the future some other time). But we have a nice place to live. and we control it.