We are now proud residents of Meadowbank: Curt got everything moved into our new house on Friday and finished by 1:30 (except the grand piano which didn't get moved until Sat). I was at work all day Friday and Curt had 3 furniture movers and a big truck. I think it was just as well that I wasn't there. That way I didn't have to watch, and I'm not much help carrying big stuff anyway. So by the time I got home from work, the bed was assembled and the living room furniture was in place. We also had the telephone & broadband guy and the cable guy at the new house on Friday so everything was hooked up and worked! That night, we went out to celebrate at an Italian restaurant on the corner which may become our favourite place. Mmmm mmmm. In Portland, we used to go to Da Vinci's restaurant. Carlin and Boone will remember it. Now it looks like we'll go to Portofino's. They do takeout food, too. Watch out.
Saturday I unpacked lots while Curt cleaned everything at the old house and supervised the piano movers. Our Samoan neighbours gave us a big bag of lemons off their tree as a farewell gift. I think we'll make fresh lemonade! As he left, Curt also grabbed the last of the grapefruits from our tree so he can make grapefruit juice one last time. In the new house, the piano fit nicely into a nook designed for a formal dining room table. It's the perfect spot. So elegant and inviting. Once the piano was all set up, Curt put all the paintings up on the walls. For most people, the paintings on the walls are the last thing done, and it's usually a symbol of completion. But for us, paintings are a much higher priority so they go up first! At least we have enough wall space in this house. Hanging the paintings makes it look like home already.
On Sunday morning I started to have problems: it was time to go to church but I couldn't find my choir music. Uh oh. I'd packed it with the other music from the piano bench and wrote MUSIC on the box because I knew I'd need it. We both looked all over the house, through the garage and everywhere and couldn't locate any box labeled MUSIC. So we headed off to church anyway. The second problem was that we hadn't been grocery shopping for a few days so there was nothing to eat Sunday morning. No bread, no milk, no cereal, no fruit. When we got to church the choir conductor's wife (who is 8 months pregnant) had baked us muffins as a housewarming gift ... and they were still hot! We opened them on the spot and pigged out. It was just what we needed until we could stop at the grocery store on the way home.
After church, Curt's main job was to get the washer and dryer hooked up.
Mounting the dryer on the wall above the washer was no easy task, and Curt requested my help – not because he thought I could contribute much muscle power, but because he needed someone to swear at while he grunted and whinged (that's a Kiwi word for whining). I dutifully provided moral support and encouragement while he practiced his potty-mouth. Next, Curt got to rest, sitting on the deck drinking coffee in the sunshine, while we started catching up on 5 days' worth of laundry. Overall, it's hard to complain much.
We've never had a kitchen this big or this nice. Remember, our house in Bellingham was big (6+ bedrooms) but the kitchen was tiny. And the kitchen in Portland was old with little counter space. Our galley kitchen in the rental house in Avondale was even smaller. But we finally have a nice, big, newer, pretty kitchen. Hurray! It's good to finally unpack china and things that I packed with Portland newspapers dated October 23, 2005 (one year ago). And nothing is broken. Amazing.
We've never had 3 bathrooms before either. Or a walk-in closet. I feel like I'm finally all grown up. And it only took 49 years.
Where we live, there's 4 houses all facing the same courtyard of driveways and I met one of the neighbours yesterday, a wonderful lady about 40, who is a hospital administrator, and moved here from Germany 18 years ago. New Zealand sure is an international place. Our 4 houses are located on what used to be train right-of-way. There's a commuter train line that runs through the gully behind our house. Apparently the train company owned 300 feet on each side of the tracks and later decided they only needed 150 feet on each side. Somebody bought the excess land and these 4 houses were added behind the existing houses that face the street. As a result, we're really tucked away from the street which is nice and quiet, but it is hard to find our address. I also love the sound of the trains going by. Listening to the choo choo trains was always my favourite part of going to a Mariners game at Safeco field. But my trains don't toot their whistle here. They're short – only 4 cars long – and quieter than freight trains. I like it.
So we're settling in. We survived another move without any major injuries to people or belongings. Oh, except we can't find our big rolling garbage can (a.k.a rubbish bin) assigned to this address. If that's the worst glitch so far, I figure we're in pretty good shape. All I need to do now is find my choir music before next Sunday.