Moving pictures

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When we moved into our 3 bedroom ranch in April, 1993, it was perfect. Chris was 2 1/2, and he had his own little room with football wallpaper. We were moving up from a 12 x 72 foot trailer, and having a laundry room and a big back yard and a shed was like heaven! We even had an extra room -- for 13 months. Another little miracle Colleen happened then, and she happily occupied the spare room. 7 more years and even a home office filled our little home with memories and busy-ness and happiness and sadness, and then, Ryan. Pretty much first to go was the home office, as the living room filled with bassinet and swing and new baby toys! With the addition of a high chair there really wasn't room in the kitchen to eat anymore so we remodeled the dining room (where the home office used to be before it was in the living room!).

We had really started looking for a new home way back in 1997, when we were researching North Carolina as a place to move for Chris to have adequate treatment for his autism. Even after Chris began having TEACCH training in his Ohio school back then, we still looked at North Carolina as an option. We also had considered, as you all know, homes in Wayne, Medina, Summit, and Portage County, as we liked those areas as well as North Carolina (a little less snow at times - ha ha! - and more hilly!). We looked for all those years, randomly, and found some homes we kind of liked, but nothing really that we were seriously considering. Meanwhile we continued to look, and work, and save, and live our lives, continuing to research how to best help our children and what their best schooling situations were.

In June of 2005 our search for a home become much more serious as we felt ready financially to make the move. We continued to look in the same areas, but included as well our immediate surrounding counties. In June we were referred to by our sister in law our present home that we've moved to. We went to the open house, and I felt immediately for the first time the "this is it" feeling. However, the price tag was too high so we moved on. As we looked at several more homes over the next few months the "this is it" feeling did not return with any of the subsequent homes. Nothing fit. Every once in a while we'd drive by to see if it sold yet - it had not

We had looked at yet another home near the Lake in late August after school started - it was okay.... It was big enough, but had a strange outbuilding next store we weren't sure what to do with, and it was walking distance from the beach park. Sounds good -- but not to us with two escapist boys who would like nothing better than to run to the beach unbeknownst to us. Last time I had to get Chris out of the beach when we visited it took me an hour and a half -- no thanks.

So just a few days later, kinda discouraged after many "no, thanks" homes, we once again went past the house to see if it had sold yet (it had actually been a while since we drove by). We almost died of shock to see a new sign that appeared to be a bank-owned foreclosure sign!! with a price lowered sign as well!

When we got home we called for more details just about immediately. As it turned out it was not foreclosed, just happened to have a broker that also owned a bank. After several days of praying over it and going back and forth with prices we were able to settle on a price about $3,000 under their asking price (and about $18,000 under what they were first asking before we even looked at it!) and then began the very long wait for closing. Oh what a long several weeks wait that was, but we stayed busy trying to have a positive attitude, and packing and sorting. We figured, even if this house fell through, our packing would be well under way for whatever house we did get.

Finally after days and weeks of nail-biting anticipation, the closing agent finally came to our house with final papers. We had been waiting for him since about 8:30 in the morning, and kept calling the title company to find out when he was coming so that we could get the key and start moving our boxes in. Before I finish the story of that day, you must know that we needed to get into the house to try and finish the basement bathroom, as it was not ready for use! We knew this when we bought it, and this contributed to our offering a lower price. What it needed was a new surround for the shower, as there wasn't any, and we were afraid the minute we moved in Chris would try to go take a shower down there and run water all over the drywall and we'd have a REAL problem then.

Anywhoo, the closer didn't come until 2:40!! That means, no key that weekend (it was a Friday and all papers had to be filed before 2 for us to get a key -- well, no key.) Frustrating, but we lived through it. That was the 21st of the October and our moving date was set for the 29th, but Rog was working the 22nd through the 28th per my recollection, therefore I was in a bit of a panic about us getting the downstairs bathroom done before we moved in!

Here we are then all ready to sign the papers, and I have to leave to get Colleen from school the minute the guy comes. When I returned, I was asking if the guy was in the house, and Rog says, no, he went running down the street. !? And then I realized he was talking about Ryan, that Ryan took off running down the sidewalk when the guy came in to have Rog sign the papers. So Rog had to chase Ryan down the street, and Doreen was in the back yard with Chris (yes, it was still WARM then!) and there was the closer guy all alone in the house waiting for us after we waited for him all day! Ha ha.

Long story of that made short, we happily signed all the papers, and we made it through the weekend until we FINALLY got our keys on Monday at 11:30 (the 23rd or so), and I at long last got to bring boxes over while kids were in school and Rog was working. Of course it rained all day for like 3 days so we got very soaked! Rog and I brought boxes over all week and I did a little cleaning but mostly just kept packing at home as fast as possible.

After all our worrying over the shower in the downstairs bathroom, it actually got put on the back burner because we discovered two problems immediately. One, the furnace would not work, and two, we could not get the garage door open!! After emailing realtor and owner we did get the hang of the "trick" to open the garage and finally mastered. We ended up having to call a furnace guy about the furnace because we could not get it to work even after consulting with realtor and owner. It was serviced and fixed then the day before we moved in - what a relief! Another big relief was that the rain came to an end in time for a beautiful moving in weekend.

All our friends and family were scheduled to help us move in. We awoke about 6 a.m. on Saturday the 29th and packed the van with large items and awaited the rest of the vehicles coming. Rick came first with his truck along with a trailer hitch, and we loaded more large items on there. Gradually more family and friends came, all with large vehicles - 2-3 more vans at least. All were loaded up and the moving commenced. We split up then between the houses, with Gayle at the old house directing traffic out and the rest of us at the new house receiving items. The children were here at the new house "helping."

Everything went great until we heard a large crash right after I had checked on Ryan and saw that he was playing just fine. We all went running and -- it only takes a second -- he had moved from where he had been playing safely just a moment before and had knocked over our dresser mirror in our bedroom - shards of glass everywhere! He did not get hurt thank the Lord, and we moved him out and began the long process of getting THAT mess cleaned up. Thankfully there were lots of helpers with everything and no more harm was done.

What a neat thing to see our items come into this home where there is so much more room. We went from having to send furniture out of the house because we didn't have room for it, to NEEDING more furniture to fill the gaps!! I remember when I went into our room that night to get ready to go to bed and thinking - it's so BIG - it's twice as big as our old room it seems! Needless to say we had also shared our old room with Ryan for 3 years, and even after he went into his sister's room we had all his furniture. So now just OUR furniture in our big room.

So we had our yummy chili dinner and ham sandwiches that Gayle made with her delicious desserts and also some pumpkin bars that Lynn made, and settled in. Later we enjoyed Nancy's cookies. And with the Giant Eagle gift card from Lisa and family our food needs were met -- :0) -- and with the warm furnace we were comfortable. And so happy that the moving task was over! Relax..... ahhhh.

Well, nothing's THAT easy. After a few days or so not all was well in paradise. Plumbing problems! Don't want to get into lots of gross detail there, but we were pretty upset!!! Water was flowing into the basement and almost soaked our second computer! It was not a pretty week, but in the long run (after $600!) the problem was fixed - roots in the line. Yep, after being vacant for several months, the tree roots had gone nuts. We had already been warned we'd need to get the lines snaked regularly for that very reason - we were just not expecting it immediately. Well, hopefully we're fine until spring. And thankfully Chris has not even attempted to get in the shower downstairs - he's so contented with the rest of the house and so busy with school and taking walks with his aide that he really hasn't even discovered it yet. It's our next project hopefully after Christmas.

Since that first week or so it's been pretty smooth sailing (knock on wood!). We've unpacked a lot, but have lots to go. The Christmas decorations are up, and it's nice to have space to put them so they look nice and not cluttered. We love our new 7' tree we got end of season last year, and love even more that we didn't have to dissemble our kitchen table to have room for it (which was what we would have had to do in the old house).

Children are settling into their new schools and seem to enjoy them. We are preparing to start into some of our old routines. And, we're not planning to move for at least 20 years!

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.

dori & family

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