There they sat, ‘way far away from where they were supposed to be. A big ol’ honkin’ hunk of concrete that was supposed to be under the front door so I wouldn’t have to take a giant leap to get into the house. In comparison, if the steps were where they should have been put in the first place, I would have one after another small step. It was out of the question to ask the neighbors to help me move them. Those steps would sit forever where they were unless something happened. I was steamed.
I called the building supply place and asked why the steps weren’t put where they had agreed to set them. I was told that the place I’d designated wasn’t flat enough for them. WHAT??! I hadn’t checked it with a level but there certainly wasn’t a hill there.
Even though I was already in my mid-fifties, if I had a gripe or a complaint, I would call my mother. That’s what I did. She listened while I vented and I don’t know exactly how it happened but she must’ve taken things into her own hands. The next day, the building supply place was inundated with phone calls about my steps. By the time my brother-in-law called, as soon as the lady answering the phone heard what his subject matter was, she started laughing. Yes, someone would be dispatched to move the steps.
When I got home, I went around to the “new” house and, sure enough, there were the steps where they should have been put in the first place. They were a little wobbly so the men were right—the ground wasn’t completely flat and level. I took some scraps of wood that were lying here and there and put them under the side that was just a hair lower. Now they were solid. Problem solved.
There was still no power or water to the house. That didn’t stop me from doing some cleaning. I got a bucket, filled it in the other house, carried it to the “new” house and scrubbed away. I was determined for everything to be ready when IT was ready.
I contacted City Hall and was told I’d have to have the house inspected before the power could be turned on. In the meantime, I was to have the meter installed and that would necessitate having a pole set. The power company would take care of laying the line underground. A new power pole was set close to the road, too.
The inspector came while I was at work and went through the house. That afternoon, I excitedly went to look at the permit that would give me the go-ahead to have the power turned on. Imagine my disappointment when, instead, I found a notice that proclaimed it REJECTED. The reason given was an outlet in one of the bedrooms was loose.
I could have probably fixed the problem myself but I called the company that had set the pole next to the house and the husband of one of my friends was dispatched to repair it—for a price. He was very apologetic when I got the bill but he was working for the boss and he couldn’t do it for free. Once that was done, it was inspected again and this time, there was a green slip of paper with those wonderful words, “Electrical Permit”. I called the power company and lo! there was light!
As soon as I could get water to the house, I could move in. There was water to the old house so the line would just have to be extended to the other house. A plumbing company sent two men out with the equipment to dig the ditch and lay the line. It was a high day when I could turn on the faucet and WATER came out! Their job was done. They’d leave me to find someone else to hook up the line to the septic tank.
That’s where my neighbor came to the rescue. He and his brother-in-law took care of that. I didn’t mind at all paying them what they charged. They worked long and hard to get the job done. It would have been made easier if the people who set the house up had raised it up just six more inches. What they had to do wasn’t pretty but it worked.
The phone was next. Another trench was dug and the line was buried. They had to be careful not to cut either the power line or the water. It was a tricky business.
I had my waterbed but there was no bed for DD’s room. I’d gone to town and furniture shopped. There was a beautiful (I thought) daybed at one of the stores. I put it on layaway. Now that things were moving right along, I went back and paid it off. It would be delivered the next day. Then I went several other places and bought things that were needed and wrote a check at each place. That led to an embarrassing moment at Wally World. After I wrote my check there, a large woman with an unruly head of hair brandished it in the air and yelled, “The bank is questioning this because there’s been an unusual amount of activity today!” I could have gone through the floor. Everyone turned to look. I explained that I was moving into a house and was getting things for it. As if it was any of her business. She took the check and I walked out with my purchases. My neighbor and his nephew trailed along behind. They had come along for the ride and I figure they would have as soon been somewhere else at the moment.
Now that everything was lined up, there were some major purchases to be made. I didn’t have a refrigerator and I needed a washer and dryer. My money was dwindling fast. I went online and bought a membership to Consumers Report. If I was going to get something big, I needed some guidance.
With my research in hand, I headed for the nearest Sears to drop some more cash. I ended up with a side by side refrigerator plus a washer and dryer. I had to take the next day off because that was when they were to be delivered. That’s exactly what happened. The truck pulled up at the appointed time and, one by one, the appliances were brought in and set in place. Everything was hooked up and I was left with it.
I was tired of living between two houses. There was still power to the old house but no water. The waterbed had to be drained and moved but I’d done that so many times, I had it down to a science. I threaded the hose out the window and got the draining started. As soon as it was down far enough, I pulled the mattress away from the frame and went to work with my screwdriver. One by one, I carried the pieces from one bedroom to the other then I built the bed again. Filling the bed was a piece of cake. Burping it was another matter. I lay on the mattress at the head of the bed and slowly rolled to the other end, being careful not to spill water everywhere. I got out as much air as I possibly could.
It had been a full day and I was tired. The bed looked so inviting, all freshly made up but I was sweaty and grimy. I ran the tub full of water and added bubble bath. There was a bunch of grapes in the fridge so I grabbed them and the phone. As I immersed myself in the soothing froth, I dialed my mother’s number. When she answered, I asked her if she could imagine where I was. Well, no. I told her I was in the bathtub in my house talking to her and eating grapes. She praised the Lord. I had kept her up on all the goings on and it was almost as much of a relief to her as it was to me that I was that far along. We hung up, I finished my bath and crawled between crisp sheets to spend my first night in my new-to-me home.