Weekend Coffee Share: Long Time, No See

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I hope the last couple of weeks have been good for you. They’ve been (mostly) good for me, but this has been the most crazy, hectic month I’ve had since I started blogging in 2013.

Getty stock image.

Getty stock image.

I moved into a new house recently, and it’s great. Three bedrooms, two baths, a nice yard, covered front and back porches, a garage, a separate laundry room, and outdoor storage. It even has a tool shed! It’s shaded by oak trees for most of the day. My landlord lives next door and treats us like neighbors. My in-laws (who I get on with VERY well) live two miles away.

This is a fabulous situation. Vicki and I have been working on finding the right place and getting it done for awhile now. The small, overcrowded apartment in the bad neighborhood was a major source of stress for us for a long time, and well. That problem is solved.

But, as with any big change, no matter how necessary and positive the change is, there are unanticipated consequences. It took us a LOT longer to move than we’d expected, in part because our moving truck broke down with all our belongings packed inside it.

The house hadn’t been lived in for awhile when we moved in, and never by a family of four. So the first night we were here, we all took showers and discovered a plumbing issue that had to be sorted out. That’s fixed now, and it wasn’t a big deal, but it still meant a few days with no showers or toilets.

The yard isn’t that big, and eventually it’ll be beautiful and easy to maintain. But at the moment there’s grass to be gotten into shape — it was overgrown when we moved in, and the grandson and I spent two days raking after it was cut the first time. There are hedges to be dealt with. At the moment, I have an entire pickup load of hedge clippings piled up in the front yard waiting to be hauled off. The outside of the house needs to be washed with bleach (that’s at least a 4-hour job).

Featured Image -- 3218These aren’t complaints. I know how to maintain a house, it’s just been 10 years or so since I’ve done it. I’d forgotten how much time and effort it takes to get the outside of a house into proper shape. I’ve not been on the internet for the past few weeks because I’ve mostly been in the yard.

 

Then there’s the commute. I don’t live 5 minutes from my office any more. I live about 30 miles away. So, even thought the commute isn’t excessive, I’m spending an hour of every day on the road now, and I haven’t done that in almost 15 years. It’s not so bad right now, but from mid-August to mid-May, it means I’ll leave my house at 9 am every day (7:15 on days when I have 8 am appointments), and I won’t make it home most nights until 7:30 pm. That’s a major adjustment.

But all this is totally worth it. There are lots of benefits that come with all this extra work and time.

When I walk out my front door, I don’t end up in a busy parking lot. This is the greatest benefit. The grandson is old enough now to play in the yard without an adult standing over him 100 percent of the time. At the apartment, if he wanted to ride his bike or skateboard, we had to either drive to a park, or someone had to sit in the (unshaded) parking lot and keep eyes on him at all times. Now, he just has to ask to go outside. He’s barely picked up an inside toy since we moved the first boxes in, and his tv time is way down.

Storage is more-than-adequate. No more sharing a closet with Vicki. No washer and dryer in a closet off the kitchen. Outside toys are kept in an outdoor storage room and locked up at night. I don’t have a bike stored two feet from my workspace, and we’re NEVER tempted to play with soccer balls in the house, because the soccer balls are not actually in the house. The dining table is no longer overflow storage. It’s kept clean at all times, and we eat at the table. No more eating at the coffee table.

I don’t have to pay money or drive anywhere to wash my cars. I just have to pay my water bill and buy some soap. And just in general, there are lots of things to do for free because we have a yard and have family nearby. When you live in a tiny apartment in the middle of a medium-sized town, practically every diversion you can come up with costs money.

The kitchen, living, and dining areas are a semi-open square. I stepped this square off a few days after we moved in and discovered just that part of the house is the size of our old apartment. Everyone has a room they can go to an shut the door when they need space or quiet. And very few personal belongings — only things like books and board games — are stored in the public areas of the house.

I can do a lot of simple automotive work in my driveway instead of paying a mechanic to do it.

Once we get some adequate patio furniture, I’ll be able to blog outdoors!!!

So, I’m pleased, but I’m exhausted. I’ve got no idea what’s been going on on the Internet for most of the last month. I’ve missed two Weekend Coffee Shares, two Blog Blitzes, and a blogathon I really wanted to write for. I haven’t stopped by Sci-Fi, Transmedia, and Fandom to see how the Feminist Friday discussion went this week.

And once I publish this, I have to haul off a bunch of tree limbs, finish cleaning out a storage unit that Vicki and I stashed some things in 10 years ago when we vacated our last house and moved to an apartment, and replace the bumper of my truck because I was involved in a minor accident this week. Fortunately, the truck has a six-inch wide chrome bumper, and it totally saved my radiator (thanks, people of Dodge City, Warren, Michigan!). Which is to say, I’m still not actually back on the Internet for any serious length of time. Maybe this evening, or tomorrow.Emanuel_Wynne

I’ve put an awful lot of time, thought, and work into building these blogs. I’ve certainly got no plans to shut them down or let them go quiet for any great length of time. I just haven’t figured out how to fit the Internet time into this new lifestyle. Seems like there’s always one more thing to do before I turn on the computer.

Always only a couple of hours of daylight left to get that stuff done. Then, once it’s dark, I am sweaty and exhausted and thinking about what time I have to wake up the next day. I’m assuming things will level out and I’ll find the new balance eventually. I just don’t know when, nor what the new balance will look like.

The grandson is loving all this, though. Any time I go out the door, unless I’m going to work, he’s in the truck with me. He loves, loves, loves to do yard work and wash things with the hose. I have to make him take breaks to keep him from giving himself a heatstroke. He’s lost weight these last three weeks. So have I. I’ve doubled my caloric intake since we started this move, and my waist is two inches slimmer than it was a month ago. Also: I’ve shaved off my beard.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to add your coffee post to the linkup at Part Time Monster and share it with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

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31 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Long Time, No See

  1. I can definitely relate to this. Moved from a tiny 2 bedroom condo to a 3 bedroom house with a yard big enough for a huge garden and ample space for entertaining. Still ongoing projects, but it’s finally home. I would love to never have to paint another room again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re lucky where the painting is concerned. It’s a 70’s house that still has the original solid wood panelling, so no painting, aside from a tiny bit of cabinet work in the bathrooms.

      And yeah. It feels like a home. The apartment had gotten to the point that it felt like a place where we kept our stuff and slept.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you guys are enjoying the new house. I’ve been really busy around here, too and not quite able to keep everything up. I’m working on a new schedule though that will get me back on track.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You don’t have to sell me on living in a home vs apartment. We live in the country. My commute is a 67 mile round trip each day that adds at least an hour and a half to my time away from home. But I love my job and the people there. Many days, the time alone in the car is the only alone time I get, so I count it a bonus. I’ve developed the following habit: an hour online in the morning with my coffee. Then maybe another hour sometime in the evening. So far, it’s working fairly well. #WeekendCoffeeShare at Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. The early-morning Internet time is going to be important going forward. My problem is I am something of an insomniac, so it’s hard for me to maintain a schedule that allows me time before work to do that. Gotta work that into my routine, though. I do my best work between six and nine, on days when I am up at 5 am.

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  4. Congrats on the home. It has been ten + years since my wife and I bought our house, so the moving memories are vague now, but I recall it was pretty stressful. Would hate to do it now: three kids and five times as much junk as back then. As for the yard work, does that ever end? It never seems to for me, especially in the spring/summer months, but I hope you get it back to a manageable level.

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  5. I’ve been listening to podcasts this week (never really done that before) and that might be nice for the longer commute. And listening to them, there’s totally an “I could do that” response as well. So maybe you could compose while driving as well – recording/dictating/podcasting. Just brainstorming. Thanks for coffee 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was going to go into a long schpeel about everything else you mentioned, but then you flabbergasted me with “I shaved off my beard”. Woah! :O

    It sounds like all of these new adjustments will reap big benefits, even a longer commute. You can use that time for quiet with yourself in the car, or to listen to podcasts, audio books, music, whatever. I actually miss commuting, because it was the one guaranteed time of day I knew I’d have a chance to recenter myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure I can find a way to make the commute productive.

      I shaved the beard because it’s just too hot for a beard and not having it saves me a lot of grooming time (my beard is fairly wild and grows quickly). Also, it makes me look at least 10 years younger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • All good reasons, but you just got all those social media photos, haha. 😉 I’m sure it’s great, I was just amused how you only devoted a sentence to it. Hope the yard is yielding to your whims!

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  7. New changes like that are thrilling and great but also an adjustment, stressful and exhausting. We just moved about a month ago and we’re still adjusting. Hang in there! And let us know how it all goes. Great post by the way! I loved how I could relate to it all and how personal it was!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really dislike moving. I’ll have to do it in a year or so and I am not looking forward to it. All of your busy-ness has gotten me tired just by reading it. I read it and it seemed like I was out of breath by the time I got to the end and I figured if I am out of breath reading about it, you must be exhausted. A good exhausted but exhaustion is exhaustion, any way you spell it. It does sound like there are mostly a lot of good things coming from this move so that’s great news!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeah, definitely more positive than negative here. And I didn’t even realize how long this thing was, and how much was packed into it, until I came back today to answer the thread. it was written in 30 minutes.

      I am hoping I won’t have to move again until I move into a place I own. I just can’t stand moving.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on your move. We’ll have to move to a bigger place in a year or so. I’m sure once you get the garden and house straight things will slot into place blogging wise. I heartily recommend audio books and podcasts for the commute.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A great coffee share! This sounds just like what my life was like when I first moved into my new house. The trips to the dump with yard waste are still going on months later! Blackberry brambles had taken over my yard (and at .40ish of an acre, there is a lot of yard) and every time I opened up a new berry patch I found a dead tree inside. UGH! Taking care of a home is never easy, but it’s worth it. I’m so happy for you and your family. The house sound amazing. And blogging outside in your own oak tree shaded yard is awesome. : )

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