Friday, February 5, 2010

An Old Farmhouse -- jcarolek

Last Friday it snowed here. In fact, the weather predictions were so dire early in the week, we moved up our date to transport the "goods" we had salvaged from an old house to the storage unit we had rented. Our plan had been to make that transfer on the weekend, but with bad weather approaching, we decided to change the U-haul rental, and Thursday afternoon, after I had completed my day job, we headed over to the old house and started loading the truck. In anticipation of this day, we had stored all of our goods in the large "shed" on the property. In my mind, I figured it would take us two hours to load the 26 ft U-haul truck we'd rented... a complete overkill, right?

Well, I guess I have a knack for underestimating.... not only did the truck BARELY hold our score, it took us six... yes, that's right, SIX hours to load that truck. Now, understand, the truck could not be pulled up directly to the shed door, because with all of the rain we have had this year, the ground was just too soft. So, we laid carpet strips out from the truck to the shed door and used dollies to move EVERYTHING across to the truck...each trip 100 feet, each way.

Now, when we started the weather was LOVELY -- sunny, warmish...quite delightful. By 8:30 PM when we were pulling out of the driveway, headed to the rented storage facility into which we were to unload this lot, it was COLD! The weather forecasters had not lied - bad weather was on the way.

We parked the truck at the mini storage facility and took a break for some supper. By 9:30, with bellies full, we were at it again. This time, from the truck to the 10 X 12 storage unit... did I mention I have some issues with under estimation? As it turns out, we were quite lucky. There were three storage units open -- one we had rented and the other two unrented. Every piece that came off the truck was stashed in one of the two unrented units as a "holding" place, so that we could create the perfect 3-d jigsaw puzzle that was required to fit all of that stuff in that SMALL space.

Now, we both thought this part of the chore would go faster, and I suppose, technically, it did. Still, we were SO tired and sore that it seemed to take longer. But by 3:00 AM, with the freezing wind blowing, we closed and locked the storage unit door and drove the U-haul back to the rental facility. We were back home by 4 AM, 15 hours after we had rented the truck. And yes, I was up and working by 7:30 AM.....

It turns out, our decision to move that chore up a couple of days was a good one. On Friday the snow started falling and didn't stop until Sunday. We were snowed in. We spent Sunday digging ruts to get out of our driveway, but did not actually try to get out until Tuesday...and Tuesday I had to get out... I had to close on the purchase of an old farmhouse.

Now the purchase of this old (1880) farmhouse, was not the smoothest of purchases, but I was determined to see it through. I will, in the next year or so, be selling my house and downsizing. Knowing this inevitability, I have been on the lookout for an old farmhouse I could use as a project and eventually, my new home. I found it in December, but wasn't sure until Tuesday I would actually end up owning it.

So Tuesday we took the first drive out of our driveway, down the unplowed dirt road to the unplowed paved road, and finally to the plowed and clear main road. We drove to the old farmhouse for the final walk-through with the real estate agent and then on to the closing...

The farmhouse is on nine and half acres and sports a detached, large, new (2003), multi-car garage with a "game room" upstairs... this game room, I suspect, will become my apartment for a year or so while we work on the project... the house has a lot of character, but needs a lot of work ("TLC" in real estate advertising lingo). It's a little farm, to be sure, but it will be a farm again soon....

And so, in a month or so, when the snow decides to give us a break already (it is snowing again as I write this), we will, once again, be visiting and hauling all of our salvage from the rented storage unit to this old house.... and the fun will really begin!