Greetings from the East Coast. Yeah, right…
Before I embarked on my sojourn eastward my wonderful man found us an idyllic little house. It was small and sweet, had skylights and a great big deck. Lots of trees and space. I fell in love with it. I couldn’t wait to go east and move right in. I just knew it was meant for us and us alone and that we would be ever so happy there.
We moved in. To say that my expectations came to a crashing halt doesn’t begin to describe the folly that this house has become. Or perhaps always was and we just had to learn the hard way? Now having been a California girl for many many years I had no idea what it was like to feel really cold. I mean C.O.L.D. cold. Yup, it was quite the reality adjustment and frankly I am still adjusting. Well the funny thing about this house is that it didn’t really have conventional heating, it had heaters attached to the walls. At first I thought they were those heated floorboard contraptions that used water or steam to heat the air, a kind of convection gizmo that would make us all toasty and warm. Actually, what they really are is glorified space heaters. Now, anyone who has ever used an electric space heater knows just how much energy they use and how much they can jack up your electric bill. It’s too ugly to even report what ours came in at. Too ugly indeed. And the bitch of it is that it STILL didn’t make the place warm.
In the mornings when I finally managed to crawl out of the warm bed, which immediately would set my teeth to chattering I would go out to the livingroom to say good morning to my love, only to find him bundled up in jacket and full fatigues and still looking a little blue.
I simply got used to having fingers that felt like ice and really no amount of socks could really warm my feet. I suppose it was cute at first, our bundling up on the futon under blankies to watch t.v. and see our breath fog at the same time but really how long can camping be a laugh riot?
And taking a shower was also quite the adventure since you had to really hurry before the water ran out. We did in all fairness discover the water heater had been turned down and once it was adjusted the water got hotter, but it still didn’t last long. We both got very good and super quick showers too.
And oh yeah, the cable. The company was very nice and for such a little house it would seem easy to wire us up for our internet and cable, right? Well apparently, not so much. The first time they came out they spent hours putting in cable and taking out what was useless and all sorts of things that were frankly above my pay scale. But a couple of days later we couldn’t get any channels on the cable. Out came another fellow who opined that there was something wrong with the internal cable and if we wanted to have him do it off the books he could come by the next weekend. Opting to go the legal route we contacted the company again and it was discovered our ‘drop’ (whatever the hell that is) was faulty and they put in a temporary one until they could put in a permanent one. The problem was solved eventually and we now get cable but jeez, was life trying to tell us something about this funny little place? Yeah, probably.
Then there was the case of the mysteriously dirty clothes that would not come clean. On our first try at solving this mystery, we realized that the water heater for the laundry room was off and we were washing clothes in icy cold water and thought, ‘aha!’ that was certainly the problem. Well the landlord, who happens to be the nicest fellow you’d ever want to meet got right on it and fixed that and we had nice hot water to wash clothes with. Still the clothes remained stubborn and just refused to really come clean. “Odd,” thought I as I frowned at the results. I guess my clothes just liked being dirty, eh?
A few days later, I thought I would try yet again to get the dinge out of my wearables and dragged a big basket of clothes out there. For whatever reason, I decided to sort all the clothes there and it was a good thing because I made a startling discovery. The washing machine apparently does not know how to agitate. Nope, it just hums a lovely tune on its way to the final rinse and spin. “Aha!” I said and this time realized why the clothes didn’t come clean, the machine just wasn’t washing them. Good discovery, but I was still stuck with dirty clothes.
So, today I selected some key items and washed them by hand. Now, I’m not talking about fine washables I’m talking about tough and sturdy clothes that really don’t take to hand washing. It was a close call for a while but I managed to win the dirt fest and then dragged them soggy and panting to the washer for a rinse and a spin. I know they still won’t be as clean as they should be but it’s better than nothing.
Then there is also the case of the mysterious electric stove. Now, generally speaking I’ve always cooked on a gas range and so getting used to the electric was strange. I still don’t have it down as the burners seem to turn on and off as they see fit and since all but ‘off’ and ‘high’ has been worn off the dials I really am only guessing at the temp that I am cooking with. And then there is that oven light that comes on and goes off at will too. Strange that. You wouldn’t have that happening with a gas stove I can tell you that.
The landlord, being the nice fella that he is got a professional heating guy in there and he put in a different heating system and I will admit that it is warmer here than it was. (Of course this was after hours of cold air blasting through the holes in the floor and we are still cleaning up tile dust…) We can’t see our breath inside anymore, which is good. But it never really gets warm in here. You know what I mean?
And then there is the obvious missing closets. Why we didn’t really notice it until we had dragged half our stuff in is beyond me – still in the honeymoon phase I guess or just made stupid by all the toting and dragging but nope, there is nowhere to hang anything either. Thanks to Target, I did manage to get one of those rollable hanging racks but as you can imagine, less than ideal.
I have to say that the last few weeks has felt like I was living in the movies, Mr Blandings Gets His Dream House and The Money Pit – without being aware of the fact that I’d been cast and they were filming. Somebody wake me, puleeze!
And so, it seems that we will be leaving our sweet little cabin in the sky – which is really okay with me. In his infinite wisdom, my man never did let his apartment go and we will be returning to it this weekend. Can I get an amen? A heater that works, endless hot water and washing machines on every floor. A gym in the basement and a gas stove. Yep, I’m willing and might I say happy to trade in that sweet little yard for all the creature comforts of normalcy. Call me crazy but there you have it.
It’s too bad that I won’t be able to see my daffodils and irises bloom in the Spring but I guess I could just go down to Lowe’s and look at theirs every now and then, eh?