Where to begin?
First of all, we’re in Akron. Unfortunately we’re not in our new house yet. No, we’re not happy about that (duh). Let’s just get that out of the way.
Leaving LA went about as planned, and the boys’ drive to Akron was OK.
Simes and I spent two days at Mom and Dad’s house: Granddad had a short stint in the hospital for an infection so we drove Grandmother to visit him. I got to have a GREAT lunch with Stef and Mandi, sans baby (Grammy’s babysitting service! The price right ;-)). We got haircuts, hung out with Aunt Judy for a bit, did some laundry and picked Linda up from the airport. On Wednesday we drove (well, Linda drove. I sat in the back and entertained Simon) from KC to Indianapolis, with a long lunch- and yarn-buying-break in St. Louis (got to see Jeff’s cousins Katie and Carol, and Linda’s best friend Paula). We met up with the guys in Indianapolis, and yesterday we went from Indianapolis to Akron. That’s where it went tits up.
I made this gussied-up picture when I was young and optimistic (soo….Thursday morning):
The guys had had usual little problems on their big drive – Dad had some minor issues with the truck, Jeff got tired of lugging the kennels and coolers and Gretchen into hotel rooms every night, Dad accidentally put his hand in dog puke and had to ride like that 15 miles to the next exit… all the little things you can look back in 5 years (or 5 weeks) and laugh at.
We will NOT be laughing at this current situation, though.
About an hour before we all got to Akron, Jeff got a call from our new landlord. The previous tenants – a somewhat less-than-desirable-seeming family – hadn’t vacated the house as planned. Consequently, the maintenance guy(s) weren’t able to take care of all the fixing up that the house needed to make it habitable.
Why on earth did they wait until just before we got there to tell us this?!
Our landlord assured us that he had three men working on the house, and that it would be in tip-top-shape by the time we arrived. So we pressed onward.
We got to the house, though, and of course everything was not OK. The kitchen was filthy, the walls still full of holes (nail- and fist-sized). The windows have dust half an inch thick. The carpets…::shudder::. And the upstairs floors were still covered in debris the previous tenants left behind. It’s just a mess
So I called the landlord and told him about our concerns; he told us he’d have the crew back the next day to keep working on the place, and that we should go to a hotel for the night (whether he’ll pay us back for that or not is to be determined. Also, fun fact: the only hotel in Akron that accepts pets but isn’t also infested with bedbugs, costs $100/night. Wowee! Good thing that Jeff and I are so independently wealthy! /sarcasm)
Yesterday morning we woke up, bright-eyed and optimistic about our new home. A crew had allegedly been working diligently since 6am to make the house move-in ready. So what do we walk in to see? A guy re-painting the only room in the house that didn’t need to be re-done (and, of course, completely ignoring the other 8 rooms that were a mess), some Kaboom ineffectually squirted on the moldy kitchen tile, and (to be fair) a lawn guy working quickly and steadily to rid the garage and yard of all the crap the previous tenants left behind.
So we sat around on the front steps and tried to stay out of the way, and tried to figure out exactly what this three-man team had been up to for the past five hours (I told Jeff that I could’ve gotten more done myself in that time, if I’d been bopping to music and had a cooperative baby on my back). I had to pester the landlord *again* about my concerns, and he talked to his guys (probably bitching about me). The crew packed up and left at 3:00 on the nose, one coat of paint hastily and crappily applied to the bedroom walls, and a scrap of wood covering the hole in one bedroom’s floor. The whole place was filthy, but apparently they were “done”.
Here, I made you a picture of me, at that news:
Clearly you don’t want to be dealing with me.
More angry phone calls, etc etc. Landlord told us he’d call a carpet cleaning company to deal with that, he’d contact the owner for permission to repaint the first floor and finish the painting on the second (apparently asking for two coats of nicely-applied paint is a really unusual request), and that if we weren’t happy with the cleanliness of the house (that’s putting it mildly), we could hire our own cleaning crew and have the bill sent to him. So that’s exactly what we did. Our cleaners are going to work this afternoon and evening and tomorrow, and with any luck they’ll be done by tomorrow night. In a single fortuitous turn of luck, the clerk at our hotel (which is a really commodious, friendly and helpful establishment, for all the exorbitant expense) also does housekeeping and home repairs, and when I mentioned our troubles to her she was happy to get her crew right on the job. Which was good, because none of the other housekeeping companies I had called first were answering their phones at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon. (Shocking!)
In the end, we’ll have accrued (hopefully no more than) a three-night hotel bill, an extra day of truck rental, and at least 900 bajillion phone calls, untold amounts of stress, 45 bottles of Diet Coke, and 8 Subway sandwiches. And a new dress shirt for Jeff, because all his work clothes are packed away in the truck and did I mention he starts work on Monday? (!!!) And I went and got ice cream sundaes for us last night because DAMMIT WE DESERVE IT.
We’re about to head back over to the house and see if this mythical carpet cleaner guy is really as good as the landlord insists (I remain dubious), and meet with the housekeeping crew to make sure they see everything that needs to be done.
Later – not now – I’m going to get on the landlord’s ass about the paint that his maintenance guys smeared on the light fixtures, the fact that they re-hung the bathroom cabinets about an inch off, and figure out exactly when the new, non-mold-filled dishwasher will arrive. We also need to attempt – for the third time – to schedule someone to come unload our moving truck, and then worry about anything that may have broken in transit (I’m a little bit suspicious of the apparently-precarious positioning of our sofa in there).
At our leisure, Jeff and I are going to repaint the front porch with Killz (it’s all sorts of moldy), weed and winterize the flower beds (there are long-neglected raspberry bushes there!), plant some pretty climbing plant for the pergola, repaint the back door, and probably paint and scrub the basement stairwell. And other assorted little jobs.
To say these past few days have been rough is…a bit of an understatement. I would like you to note that I will not be reclining on the screened-in porch with iced tea anytime soon, nor will I be preparing a hearty and homey dinner in that kitchen tonight. I do remain ever-optimistic, though, that maybe I won’t have to sob on the living room floor at any point today. But we shall see.
I’ll wrap up with a couple cute pictures of Simon and Granddad.
He got to drive from Indianapolis!
And that’s all I’ve got. Wish me luck as I head back into the moldy, dirty abyss!
Someone convince me this will all be OK in the end…?