Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Move That Made Me Cry

*Disclaimer: Lengthy, lengthy, lengthy. Family journaling happening right here. Also, no pictures - entirely far too lazy for such things.

I cried when I moved from home to college. That's to be expected, right? I'm not even going to bother counting the number of times I have moved since that first one since I'm sure it exceeds 10, and I'm too tired to count beyond my fingers. I didn't cry due to a single one until this most recent adventure. We moved because we needed more space, to get closer to where Mr. Mitchell works, and to put him in the vicinity of a carpool. We will save sooo much money on gas and oil changes this way not to mention the wear and tear on our car. I know it's for the better, but it was a hard thing.

I really enjoyed living in Pocatello: I had wonderful friends, I felt safe, I enjoyed our neighborhood, I came to love the people in my ward very much. We were there two years - that's the longest we've lived anywhere consecutively in our marriage! We had two Christmases there, we had lots of friends and family warm our home with love and laughter (I really mean that - I'm not just waxing poetic), and we brought our baby girl home there. Moving was hard. I hate thinking that someone else is in my house possibly not taking care of the flowers that were lovingly planted out front.

Besides the emotional stuff, there was the logistics stuff that caused MAJOR stress. We COULD NOT find a place to move to. We weren't ready to buy yet for a few reasons, and rentals in this area are absolutely ridiculous. The experiences of trying to find a place deserve their own blog post. Truly. We eventually agreed to look directly in Burley (blargh!), and we finally snagged a place the day before we moved. I still didn't feel very settled about it, but tried to remain positive. Here is an email I sent to my mother-in-law the morning after our move which, having just reread, is incredibly accurate considering how emotional I was at the time (please ignore typos and grammar errors - there was a lot of exhaustion and tears involved at this point):

"Here is our saga from yesterday if you have not yet heard anything from Paul:

We arrived in Burley a couple of hours later than anticipated and struggled to find the rental management company that had the home that we were told would be ready for us. (Come to find out - they don't have their own office (even though their website indicates they do) and are running it out of an auto center.) The woman in charge ignored me for about 10 minutes before finally asking if I needed assistance. Once she figured out who I was she gave me attitude for being late - this from the woman that never once called us back after she promised she would. 

We drove over to the house to inspect it before signing the lease. This is what we found the exterior to be:
  • trash all over the front lawn
  • lawn mostly made of green weeds - not grass
  • a huge chunk of the walkway leading to the door missing and just filled in with dirt
  • the front steps to the front door literally crumbling
  • cracked foundation with a little chunk missing at a corner (maybe that doesn't mean anything, but it didn't make me feel secure)
  • chunks of paint missing from the house
  • a slight hole in the wooden siding surrounded by strange paint markings - looked like vandalism
I decide to hold off on judgement until we see the inside - maybe it's great. We walk inside to the front room, and it's older, which is totally okay. Then I being to notice things:
  • Two cracks in the front window
  • We go into the kitchen and the entire thing is filthy (reflects very poorly on a company that says they have the house ready for us)
  • Caleb totally biffs it every time he comes in the kitchen because it's not level with the front room, but only by about half an inch - not a very obvious lip when you enter the kitchen, and it's a sharp one
  • The only counter space in the entire kitchen is one tiny chunk on either side of the sink - so, a microwave on one side, a dish rack on the other, the end
  • I open up the back door and discover a screen has no screen. It's a piece of metal on hinges. 
  • Paul discovers more trash in the backyard including a bra and a condom
  • Steep cement stairs directly outside of the back door that lead to a cellar door
  • Cellar door is halfway off the hinges and broken
  • The entire time we're inspecting the house Caleb keeps coming to me with nails, screws, unidentifiable plastic objects, etc.
  • I chase Caleb to see where he's getting things and notice him going upstairs.
  • Indoor stairs are made of concrete and not covered, they are however painted dark green with large chunks of paint missing. I instantly visualize both of my children falling down the stairs and cracking their heads.
  • Baseboard heating
  • I walk by an open closet and discover a hole in the wall - the lady tries to tell me it's just the crawl space
At that point I was done and I was feeling sick to my stomach. I didn't even bother going upstairs. It was a nightmare trying to get this house lined up with this lady: she wouldn't ever call us back, she wouldn't ever send us pictures, and she tried to put us in a home that made me want to cry when I thought of my kids trying to be kids in that house. I told Paul that I hated it and he immediately went and found a storage unit to put all of our stuff in. We were very blessed in that my brother's family had happened to extend their stay in Boise and so were driving through Burley as we pulled in. They were able to help us unload the moving truck into the storage unit. It took almost six hours, and I cried for probably about half of it. We then ate dinner and headed to Boise arriving here at about 10:30 last night. We are very tired, very discouraged, and very stressed. "

Bless Mr. Mitchell's heart for being so loving and working tirelessly to help me feel like everything would be okay. We are INCREDIBLY grateful to my brother and his wife for spending their entire day helping us load up a storage unit with a house full of stuff. We are also EXTREMELY grateful to my parents for letting us crash at their house for a month as we got another rental lined up. It was a daily effort with lots of internet searches, newspaper searches, and several phone calls.

I finally found two places that were taking a bit longer to decide so I was able to come and see the homes with no pressure.  The first was in Jerome and it was so stinking cute! It's only three years old and has a beautiful, large kitchen (granite countertops and everything), a master bedroom and bathroom, and a delightfully cozy feeling. The entire time I was there I just had a nagging feeling that it was not the right space for my family. I kept trying to convince that feeling that it was wrong, but I knew it wasn't. I immediately left from there to the house in Twin Falls. The whole way there I kept getting a growing sensation of heading in the right direction. I took a turn in the town to head towards the house and BAM! there was the LDS temple. I immediately felt peace and knew that I was heading towards the house we were supposed to be in. I am glad that I had such a powerful feeling because this house was an incredible disappointment after the beautiful house in Jerome.  It's from the 60's, and it feels like it. The kitchen hasn't been upgraded at all - hardly any counter space, no dishwasher, there's not even a garbage disposal, and a nasty old counter top with burn marks and chunks missing. Let's not even get started on the cabinets. The garage door is busted, the yard is 1/3 grass, 1/3 weeds, and 1/3 dirt. The house does have beautiful hardwood floors...beautiful hardwood floors that show every speck of dust that comes in from the yard and that bounces sound around better than any cave or canyon in the world. It was definitely a let down to discover that this is where we were supposed to be after having just been in such a beautiful, new home. During the move-in process I had to remind myself several times of the prompting I received telling me that this is where home was going to be for awhile.

We're settled in alright (after even more tears). We still need to hang all of our pictures and buy a few things for our new space, but it's starting to feel more homey. We're not terribly invested in getting settled here and making improvements as we'll probably only be here for about a year as we get to know the town and try to find a house to buy. Housing in Twin Falls is at a premium right now, so, wish us luck! I am incredibly grateful to have a home to live in again, but I don't think I'll be crying any tears of sadness when we leave this house. (However, it's still ten times better than the house in Burley. Oh, yeah, did I mention that the backyard of the house in Burley was the front yard of another house? ??? How does that even happen?) End saga.

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