"I don't know why," Dad said, staring down the stairs and across the sofa we'd wedged in the staircase, "the movers said this wouldn't fit." I laughed, wiped sweat off my face and shifted the weight of the piece of furniture to try to force it around the corner at the bottom of the stairs.
"It won't go," the movers told me with a shrug. I sighed heavily and said that the couch and loveseat were supposed to in the basement. They were big and ugly and worn out and they didn't belong in the pretty living room on the main floor! It wasn't what I pictured! Or what I wanted! When they didn't look like they were going to abide by my wishes, I sighed again and said my dad would get them down there for me.
Dad and Chienne arrived and wandered around on Friday. We spent the first evening unpacking and resting on the furniture in my living room. "Boy," I said once, "it sure would be nice if this was downstairs." I frowned when he didn't react and waited for my next opportunity. "You know," I tried later, "the digital cable box is downstairs. I had the cable guys set it up then because I wanted this furniture down there. If we got it down there, you could watch Speed Channel. Oooh, Speed Channel..." That got him to measure and I could see him begin to think and calculate. I decided Saturday morning would find my stripey furniture heading down the stairs and went to bed happily.
"This furniture is too big for this room," Dad noted yesterday morning. So we ripped off parts of the upholstery and took off the arms. The loveseat went down fairly easy sans arms and, once located down a floor, we bolted the arms back on, slipcovered it and called it good. I gave some hints about the couch, offered that it was fine to leave it if he didn't think it wouldn't it, and grinned when he began taking it apart as well. It turned out the extra length of the couch was problematic - it was wedged in the stairs for about an hour. We took turns with the hammer and utility knife and screwdriver and finally tore the back from the bottom. Once dissembled, we finally shoved it around the corner, glanced the gouge in the wall and put the thing back together.
"I'm happy," I said, lying on the couch with Chienne while Dad took the loveseat. He nodded, most of his attention on the Speed Channel, and I nodded with satisfaction. I put my DVDs in the built in case, TV perched atop it. I finally put towels in the full bath located between the finished part of the basement - now filled with big, old furniture - and the laundry and storage section.
There are no words, I thought on Friday night as I relaxed in the bathtub. The water was hot, the jets bubbled strongly and I shook my head in disbelief. Normally my knees or shoulders stick out of the water. This tub is long enough for me to be completely submerged, toes reaching toward one end while my shoulders rest against the other. If I bend my knees, my head dips underwater.
I wiggled the nozzles around, making sure the jets of water hit my back where it was sore and my calves where they ached. I let my hands skim the surface of the water, bubbles scented by the bath bomb I'd used tickling my palms and fingertips. This bathroom is why I bought the house. I'm currently on my bed, the sliding door open to let in the night air off the deck, and when I glance to my right, I can see the edge of the tub peeking past the door. Just past the tub is the shower, enclosed by opaque glass. Across from the shower is the entrance to the walk-in closet. There are rods on two walls and shelves on another. Plenty of room for my things to be organized and stored. Past the shower and closet is the toilet - a door closes between the two spaces. Once shut, a linen closet is revealed and I've begun to fill shelves with products and towels and sheets.
Much as I adore the master bath - it's huge and luxurious and wonderful - I also coo over the tiny bathroom on the first floor. I've always wanted a pedestal sink! I think they're so elegant and pretty, but they're not so practical - no room for storage. But when you have 3 other bathrooms in the house, apparently a pedestal sink makes sense in the fourth bathroom! Yay!
One of the reasons I loved this house was all the little touches - the wood around the doorways, the railings on the stairs, the decks. And I keep smiling over these pieces of prettiness. I run my fingers around the curve of the sink after I wash my hands. I stop unpacking boxes to sit back and look around, admiring my surroundings. It doesn't feel quite like home yet - Chienne and I are both a bit confused about the drastic change - but we're starting to settle in.
There are still boxes everywhere, though I have made progress in unpacking. Unfortunately, this means I've made piles of stuff that needs to find a home. So it's a mess - we all climb over items and keep carrying boxes up or down stairs. My knees sometimes crackle as I head up or down too.
But I told you about how much I love the basement. I'm very comfortable down there, surrounded by familiar pieces of furniture and watching television. Upstairs, it's warmer. Thank goodness it's cooler outside and we can open the windows. Given that one wall of my bedroom contains a sliding door and two windows, I can get a lot of air to move in there. So I finally slept last night for a few hours, easing back an odd panic that this is officially my life now. It's not that I'm unhappy - I do wish I had something to put on that ledge under the window in my entryway, but I like this house and my job and my neighbors - but it's a huge transition and therefore scary for my poor brain.
But I'm here. And I'm happy. And I'll continue to post pictures as I make progress.