When I left off part one of the cautionary tale about moving, I mentioned that since we are a “winter build” we currently have no driveway, front porch, patio, or grass.
Apparently the city where our development lies is to blame since they have a rule that no one may move into a house after May 1 unless it is completely finished. As a “favor” to us and other winter builds, we have been granted a “temporary permit” to live in our house that we paid for in November.
Now the by-laws of our development state that we must have a yard and driveway within 90 days of moving in, but the builders have added a convenient loop hole called “weather permitting.” Though the weather has been lovely, apparently it has not been so for a full string of 90 days, thus granting them leeway to just put us off. Say goodbye to summer yards, patios, and outdoor entertainment. (Interestingly enough the weather has permitted all sorts of concrete to be laid and grass to be planted in all of those houses begun long after ours. Sigh!)
But on to another segment of our tale: furniture.
We’ve never had a “real” dining room table. Our former house simply did not have a room big enough to accommodate one. Hence, we have never hosted Thanksgiving. In my 65 years I have never had to stuff a turkey. That may end this year as we now have a beautiful Amish-made table in a bona fide dining area of our new home.
It, however, did not come easily.
Knowing the move was imminent, we traveled to Amish country in November and ordered said table, a bedroom set, and some counter-height chairs. “No hurry,” we said, “ because we don’t get possession of the house until March 31.” We got a call on Groundhog’s Day saying they were ready to deliver. “No,” we reminded, “we don’t get possession until March 31.”
We returned to Amish country and ordered a couple more pieces to be delivered with the earlier pieces sometime after we would take possession of the house.
The second call came announcing delivery on March 29. “No, it needs to be after March 31.” We rescheduled for the day after the general movers were coming to take two-fifths of our furniture over so that we could then “stage” our old house for sale.
Then the call came from said movers. Their truck had broken down and they could not deliver until the same day we expected to get the Amish furniture. We were concerned they’d arrive at the same time, but we worried needlessly because the Amish truck had an accident and never made it. The delivery man promised to come the next day, but that was the day of the big snow storm, so no dice. The following week he called to say some of our furniture had, indeed, been damaged in the accident — just tiny scratches, but he’d be in touch once they were fixed. What followed was radio silence for five weeks.
I wrote a letter to the fellow who had made our furniture and he called (apparently from a phone booth) to say that it was much more than scratches and they were remaking several pieces. This being mid-April, we were promised a May delivery.
May came and almost went and I called the number he had given me. A return call promised delivery by the 30th (which still technically was May). A day later we got a call from the delivery people that they were coming that week. “Yippee! They finished sooner than expected,” we naively thought.
The glorious day came that our furniture made its way north… except it was only half of it. Really? Would we have to pay another delivery charge because the deliverers forgot the rest?
We had purchased a new mattress and when it was delivered the fellow proclaimed that they could not possibly put it on the bed, which lacked central support. “The slats will simply snap,” he proclaimed. That’s when I snapped and called that number again! Bottom line: The Amish builder himself didn’t even know the delivery people had taken the furniture and so, to make it right, brought the rest up himself. He did not charge us another fee and we love our beautiful furniture, so all’s well that ends well, but the journey to get it all settled was at times blood-boiling.
We are moved in now. Our other house has sold. Furniture is placed. Now, if we only had a driveway, porch, patio, and lawn my blood pressure could someday return to normal.
Don’t ever let yourself become a winter build if you have any idea of enjoying summer!
Pat Gorske Price graduated from Oberlin High School and taught English and drama there for 12 years. In retirement she continues to enjoy writing and theater. Comments can be made to email@example.com.