I've been trying to figure out how much to update here. A lot seems to be going on, and it is hard to decide how much of the minutia of our life people are really interested in. That being said, I'll give a somewhat day by day account since the last post, and I promise I'll try and keep it brief as possible. Even so, you may want to pause here and grab a cup of tea.
The last post was right before our move. After receiving and accepting the call to be pastor here, Dale resigned from his job at Cornell, and was promptly put to work at the house with dismantling the remaining shelving and computer desk. He also did a ton of leg work on finding a piano mover. When he finally was able to locate someone, he got the estimate, then approached me with the bad news.
"So, how attached are you to the piano?" was the first thing he asked. Not a good sign.
"If the piano doesn't go, I don't go." Unfortunately I am pretty attached to the piano.
"Okay, here is the deal then. For them to move it, and drive it down there in their truck, it will cost between $800 and $1000."
Ouch. Apparently what hurts is the mileage down there and back.
"However, they can help us move it into our truck, and it will be $250."
Well, that was more like it. Getting from the NY parsonage into the truck was the hard part, because of the angle of the door down to the truck. Getting the piano into the new parsonage, was easy, as the front porch was almost level with the back end (and the ramp) on the truck. Originally I had said that Dale was NOT to touch the piano at all, since he is prone to back problems. However, with the "professionals" (and I use that term very loosely, and I'll explain why later) could do the hard stuff, and Dale could point and direct.
So, I agreed.
Would someone tell me why it is so hard to find a good piano mover?
The rest of the week went in a hurry! Tuesday, we spent the day with some close friends of ours. It was so hard to say good-bye to them that evening! Wednesday was more mad packing, and church in the evening. Thursday was more packing, with the addition of my mom coming in from MA, to help with the move. Friday we went up north to visit Dale's mom and sister and family before we left the area.
That brings us to Saturday, and that is when the fun began!
Saturday morning we were up and doing last minute packing. After lunch, Dale and I went to pick up the truck. When we got back, we started loading up breakables (like the 80 billion canning jars and boxes of dishes) in the "Mom's Attic" part of the truck. Some friend of ours showed up to help us pack which was such a blessing! The piano was slotted as one of the first things to go towards the front of the truck, and the "professionals" were scheduled to show up around 3p.m. They called around 3:30, and were on the wrong road, and Dale straightened them up.
The time waiting for them wasn't wasted, as we could bring some boxes out in the queue we had started, so once the piano was in, it would hopefully go pretty quickly. Our goal was to get as much loaded up Saturday while we had the help.
A little before 4, the "professional" piano movers showed up. I took one look at them and just sighed. There were two of them. One looked to be a little more mature than the other. I supposed that one was "brain" and the other was just for extra "brawn", however due to the extra flab and not muscle, I was dubious of that assumption.
Brain dude was a misnomer too, it seemed. They looked at the piano, and the set of stairs they had to take with it and proceeded to be befuddled. They actually sat back on their heels while Dale, and a couple of friends figured out that a ramp was going to have to be built (thankfully we had the materials on hand!) going down the stairs, to the truck, which Dale had maneuvered into place with a great show of skill, if I do say so myself.
Soon a working method was worked out, though Flabby still looked kind of vague. As they were hauling my piano out, they nearly ripped the wheels of the bottom. Flabby and Brainiac seemed to think that yanking the 800lb piano THROUGH the door jam, instead of OVER it was a good strategy. Thankfully one of our dependable friends pointed out that wasn't going to work.
"You have to lift it up over the door jam!" I informed them, trying not to be snarky.
"It's heavy!" This from Flabby. I rolled my eyes but didn't say anything.
Once they got it positioned so it could go down the ramp, they had a sort of pulley system for making sure it didn't run away from them.
Now, I may sound bossy, but while everyone was taking a breather before doing the ramp, I told Dale, loud enough so EVERYONE could hear it, that he and Ben or any of our people were to be on the downside of the piano.
"The the professionals be on that side. That is what we are paying them for." Brainiac and Flabby chuckled. I turned to give them my "I'm NOT joking look." Dale assured me everyone would be careful.
I couldn't watch. I went over to the other side of the yard where my mom and a friend were watching the littles (which was a major help. I really appreciated being able to just work and not worry about Isaac or the my friend's littles being underfoot.)
I did have a view of Esther, Elizabeth, and Josiah, who were positioned away from the danger zone, but watching. Esther had her hands over her face. I figured if the piano fell, I would know it soon enough.
However, that heart-stopping crash never happened, and after a few intense moments, the piano was secured in the front of the truck.
Dale was going to write them a check, but was interrupted by "Uh, we prefer cash."
Now if it were me, I would have told them too bad, so sad for you. They never informed us of that when we hired them, and the cash we had on hand was meant for us to live off for a bit after we moved. However Dale gave the $250 (which they weren't worth, BTW) and I was glad to see them leave. I should have given the money to our friends who helped figure out how to safely get the piano out of the house. Braniac and Flabby weren't worth much.
However, the piano was safely moved, undamaged (except for what I suspect is a new scratch on the front) and no one was hurt, which was most important.
Sunday, August 5th, Dale preached for the last time in Willseyville. There was a great lack of emotion for the most part. There is one couple in our church who all along have been not wanting us to leave, but understood about God's calling. They had cake and ice cream after the evening service for us. It was very thoughtful, but I wasn't surprised to see only four other people there besides our family, and my mom. Seven years of blood, sweat and tears, and only a few people could take the time to say goodbye. I told myself that I wouldn't let it bother me, but honestly, it did just a little bit. I hope they treat their new pastor with much more love and respect.
Monday, August 6th, was moving day! We were up early, had a good breakfast, then the last minute packing, wiping down, loading up was done. I tried to do some cleaning before we left, but there was only so much time or energy. Plus we still had to unload the truck after getting in here in PA. I was remembering when we moved into the parsonage at Willseyville how not one person showed up to welcome us, or to help unload the truck. We arrived late on a Saturday, and after getting to bed after an extremely strenuous day (that is another story for another time) got to be around 1 a.m., on the floor. The truck was a borrowed truck, so we could unload at our leisure. After pulling in late, and bone tired, Dale preached Sunday school, Sunday Morning, and Sunday Evening. All that time not one person said, "Hey, can I help you unload the truck?".
So, when we pulled in here, and saw at least a half a dozen people waiting to greet us and help unload, I could have cried. The interim pastor (who lives about a mile from us... a really sweet older couple) brought down dinner. A hot meal... meatloaf, green bean casserole, corn, rolls, cookies and the BEST blueberry pie I've ever had... enough for everyone and some leftovers for us to finish off the next day.
The next day, Tuesday the 7th, Dale and I had to return the truck. The church had ordered a new stove for me, and it was delivered while we were gone. My mom was here with the kids. As the stove was being installed, a lady from the church showed up with the makings for a spaghetti dinner. I was glad she didn't cook it because we warmed up leftovers from Monday night.
After returning the truck, Dale and Benjamin took all the seats out of the van, then headed back up to NY because there were several office chairs and odd and ends that we just couldn't fit in. We had arranged to have the extra moving day, and were glad to have done that.
Dale and Benjamin got home a little after 9:30 that night. I had just gotten everyone to bed, gotten a shower, and was settling down to read.
"We are officially moved out!" Dale said.
The lady next door to us, Mrs. Close, had brought us some yummy sticky buns for our first breakfast. I got word from her niece the next day that she fell and broke her collar bone, so Wednesday Dale visited her for a while.
Thursday morning my mom left and we went exploring. We needed groceries, so we just scheduled a day to do some shopping.
And shopping we did! There is an Aldi, Walmarts, Kmart, Home Depot, and lots of other stores about 45 minutes from us. I needed several household items, and we decided to purchase a new fridge. Since our main shopping is going to be twice a month, or less, we figured more storage space wouldn't hurt. Plus, I have a ton of bulk flour we bought just before leaving for baking. So our old fridge will turn into the storage fridge in the mud room, and the new fridge's spot would be in the kitchen. We purchased it at Home Depot, and they have free delivery, which was scheduled for yesterday (the 16th).
Friday, the interim pastor stopped by. A man that was a member of the church, though hadn't attended in a long time because of his health, passed away Wednesday night. The funeral was to be Saturday, and though Dale wasn't officiating, we were asked to attend. The funeral would be in town, and a dinner provided at the church after, so the twins and I could help with that. It was a good opportunity to meet some of the community.
Oh, did I mention that besides helping us move in, providing meals, and making us feel welcome, the church sent us a bouquet of flowers?
There is much more to write, and I suspect that this is getting too tedious. Let it suffice to say that we are getting settled in, much faster than I thought we would. I believe that is because Dale hasn't had to go back to work yet, and we have been gung-ho in getting unpacked. Josiah, Caleb, and Jerusha have been attending VBS this week in the mornings at a church nearby, and very much enjoying that. We had our first overnight guests this past Wednesday. A missionary family we know was heading through this area, and it worked out for us to be a stop for them overnight. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, they had to pull out Thursday morning, but it really made me feel like we are up and running if we've had company!
Yesterday afternoon I was online for several hours ordering school books. Normally we would have started the new term by now, but obviously, with moving, that wasn't going to work. I'm hoping we'll be starting in about 3 or 4 weeks.
I've ordered some scripture and cute sayings in vinyl stencil form to put up here and there. I also bought a couple of new clocks. We still have some shelves to hang, and some pictures to hang, but we are at the point now where we can take a breather and move our focus to other things besides just unpacking, though there is still more of that to do.
We are starting to delve into the ministry here. We are without printing abilities right now, but are going over to the church this afternoon to clean, and do bulletins, nursery schedule, and a sign up sheet for cleaning. I'm tentatively thinking on a ladies "tea" just to get us all together and plan some ministry type projects, and see what, if anything, they have been wanting to do. Plus it will be an excellent opportunity to get to know the ladies better. I haven't set a date for that yet, but it is simmering on the back burner of my brain. First, though, I need to get us into routine with school and music practice again.
I just recently found our camera again, so I'll try and get some pictures up soon. I was kind of waiting until we got more up on our walls and made it look more "homey" and not so clinical.
If you made it this far through this entry, then reward yourself with some chocolate. Thanks for taking the time to catch up with me!
Have a blessed day!