Friday, October 22, 2010

First Night

We spent our first night in our “new” house this week. Well, it’s not really new, but it feels new. You may remember that back in the spring we began renovations on Weber’s house in Dallas. We had hoped to move before school started in August; for many reasons this did not happen. These are not necessarily bad reasons, they are just reasons. And for these same reasons, despite the fact that we spent the night in the house, the renovations are still not complete. That being said, progress is being made.

We have Saltillo tile floors in half the house. The other half is concrete slab awaiting hardwood flooring. We have some painted walls, some base boards, and some crown molding. Throughout the house are forty five can lights. The guys at Home Depot who had to climb to the very top shelf to get the four dozen light bulbs that we needed for these forty five lights love us. They love us because they had to work over the weekend instead of going to the Texas State Fair. Riding the lift to those tip-top shelves is almost like experiencing the Midway at the fair.

We have three new functional toilets. (This is a really good thing to have when considering overnight accommodations!) We have running water in one shower and one sink. And another perk – the hot water heaters are hooked up! We even have a towel warmer, which is great on cold winter mornings. Unfortunately it is still hot here so this luxury went unappreciated on our first night’s stay except as a plain old towel bar. The problem with this whole scenario – the shower, the sink and the towel warmer are each in a different bathroom. So, we had progressive bedtime and morning rituals. Brush your teeth in one bathroom. Move to the next to take a shower; then to the last to hang the damp towels. This all sounds a little convoluted, but it worked.

Did I mention that we have no kitchen? Let me rephrase that. We have a place for a kitchen; it just has nothing in it except a refrigerator. Well, that is not exactly true either. It does have an oven and dishwasher too; they just happen to be sitting in the middle of the floor still packaged and not connected to any power source. The kitchen walls do have pencil lines showing where the eventual cabinets, appliances and sink will go. But right now, the kitchen exists only in our very vivid imaginations. We did manage a cold breakfast of fruit and yogurt and a bedtime snack of popcorn (store-bought) and diet coke. Meal preparation beyond that level was impossible. As with the bathroom situation, this worked for the short term as well.

The only furniture in the house right now to speak of is a recliner and a straight back chair. Neither is conducive to a good night’s sleep. We have taken a few naps together in the recliner but this manner of sleep has about a thirty minute limit. Beyond that, the only things that go to sleep are arms and legs whose circulation has been cut off. We solved this dilemma by taking an air mattress with us. Oh, and we also had to take the dogs with us.

The dogs have been going with us on days when I have late night rehearsals. Our contractor, Paul, and the dogs have become big buddies. They all seem to enjoy each other’s company. How many people get a contractor and dog sitter all in one?

On the days when we have left the dogs at the house, we have been spreading a flannel sheet on the floor for them – the same flannel sheet that we now needed to put on the air mattress. Though we had taken the mattress for us to sleep on, we had neglected to take any dog beds. Not a problem; we could run to Target and get a dog bed. Did you know that dog beds at Target are $40! You can buy a brand new comforter or a twin air bed for less than a dog bed. We decided that the dogs could just sleep on the old towels that were already at the house.

We aired up the mattress and I put the sheets on it. We then began the pilgrimage from bathroom to bathroom and readied ourselves for bed. We returned to our bed to discover that the dog bed dilemma had been resolved. Adidas was curled up on his male parental unit’s side of the bed. He looked quite comfy and not the least bit upset with us for not spending $40 on a bed for him. I laughed. The above mentioned male parental unit was not so amused. In fact, he was so unamused that I didn’t have time to take a picture of our precious black lab all tucked in for the night. In an instant, Adidas was back on his pile of towels and we humans had claimed our spots on the air mattress. Harley managed to wiggle her way under the covers next to me. Why should this first night in the new house be any different from any other night?

Many would see this whole experience as “roughing it.” To me, it had the feeling of perfect simplicity. We had no television, internet or kitchen sink, but we had hot and cold running water, a warm place to sleep, a fridge with diet coke, and each other. What more do we really need? Truthfully? Not much.

The reason that we had this little slumber party is because we had several nights in a row of late meetings and rehearsal on top of our usual early morning departures for school. Staying this one night saved about a hundred miles and two and half to three hours of driving. This in itself was worth the trade of no internet or kitchen sink! It gave us a taste of what life will be like once we finally move.

I have to say, I am looking forward to that time. So are the dogs. After a good night’s rest, Adidas assumes the role of site foreman in an effort to keep things on track so that we can move as soon as possible.