Tag Archives: moving

The Empty Nest

When I moved to the mountains, leaving hubby to work on the coast for a couple more years, we still had one young adult at home and he and hubby shared space for those 3 years.  I was in an apartment for about 15 months, solo except for visits by hubby, son the younger,  or daughter, then moved into the house that we were building with son the elder, daughter in law, and grandson #1.  They shared the house for a couple of years then moved to town as hubby retired and moved to the mountains, leaving son the younger on his own, soon to become engaged and then married.  We had an empty nest for a few years, adding two dogs to the household.  Three years ago daughter and her two kids and their dog moved here while her husband stayed to sell their Florida house and find work here, he joined them in May of that year, bringing their two house cats.  The house has been full of life and energy for the past three years.  We have gotten the kids up  and ready school,  home from the afternoon bus and to Taekwondo a couple days a week for a couple of those years.

In November they bought a house about 18 miles from here in a different school district, but probably 30 minutes closer to work.  They continued to stay here while they got the house ready to move in and while they moved their household furniture and other accouterments from storage  and to allow the grands to finish at the school they started this year up to the Christmas break.

On Thursday, they spent the first night in their new home.  On Friday they got to go to see their new schools and grandson got to meet his teacher.  As their furniture has been removed from two bedrooms, ours has returned.  One room has been cleaned from top to bottom, the bed set up with a brand new mattress, the chest, night stand, rocking chair and lamp that have been stored or relocated for the three years , and that room has been sealed off from the cats.  Tomorrow new curtains will be purchased for that room as one of the Roman shades has been broken and the other two  shades are dirty and faded.

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The other bedroom needed new bed rails and though it has been put back together, their animals are still here until the end of this week to allow floor installers in their house without the dog and cats trying to escaping.  Once they are moved to their new house, that room will be wiped down from top to bottom and the decorations and heavy quilt returned to it.  It will get new curtains soon also as the decade old shades are dirty and faded.


With them gone, the house looks and seems empty and quiet.  I miss them though we will still see them often, but the quiet is nice.  It is going to take some time to readjust to the empty nest.

Grandson #1 will be happy to have “his” bedroom back when he visits.  For the years he lived here and when he visited until they came, he slept in the south, smallest bedroom that the resident grands have been sharing.  While they have been here, he has slept on a futon in the basement during his visits.  Son the elder and his wife prefer the 4th bedroom in the basement as it is quieter and away from the animals that aggravate allergies.

With the basement, bathroom, two bedrooms, and kitchen cleaned up and reorganized, I need to tackle the loft and our bedroom.  Since hubby got me a nice Dyson vacuum for Christmas (yes, I asked for it), a thorough deep cleaning is in order.  Spring cleaning in the middle of winter.  Come spring, screens need to be repaired or replaced and windows cleaned, but that will wait for warmer weather.



Olio – January 3, 2018

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things

The holidays are over, the decorations packed away, but the cold has really settled in.  Cold is relative.  There are parts of the world, even the USA that have the temperatures we are experiencing every winter and are prepared for it.  There are parts of the US that are used to very mild winters that are experiencing temperatures that we consider normal for this time of year, but they aren’t equipped for it.  It is cold here.  Our nights for the past couple of weeks have all been single digits.  The days in the teens, low 20’s if we are lucky.  But it has been dry.  There is some light snow expected tomorrow as another Arctic blast hits us, but no other real precipitation due as far as I can see in the forecast.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, if the forecast holds true, we will climb back up into the 30’s with mid 20’s at night in a few more days.

With the frigid weather, the dogs run out and back in.  The chickens have remained cooped some days and if it is sunny and calm, let out to free range on other days.  If it snows tomorrow, they won’t come out of their coop, no white stuff for them.  The shortened days and extreme cold have seriously curtailed egg laying.  Instead of 6 dozen or so a week, the 16 ten month old hens are providing less than half that a week.  The days are beginning to lengthen and the cold will abate, so hopefully they will begin to lay again soon.

We rarely go out for New Year’s Eve, but this fall, we saw a billboard for a New Year’s Eve event at Mountain Lake Lodge, the site of the filming of “Dirty Dancing.”  As soon as they were taking reservations, we booked one.  This lodge is 5 miles further up the road  our road descends from, an elevation change of about 2000 more feet and we were greeting with snow and frosted trees, a veritable winter wonderland, where though we are cold, we have no snow.


The event included a stellar buffet dinner, a room for the night, a grand party with live band, favors, and champagne toast, and topped off with breakfast on New Year’s Day.  We met some wonderful folks, enjoyed their company, danced and partied, then walked upstairs to our lovely room for the night.  Such a great event we will probably repeat it next year.


We got home on New Year’s Day to discover that the dripping faucet in the utility room had been turned off and the hot water line frozen.  We have kept the cold dripping, the heat turned up in there and a hot fire burning in the wood stove in the basement near where the pipe enters the utility room slab.  After three days of this treatment, the pipe finally thawed this afternoon and now both hot and cold are running at a slow trickle to prevent a recurrence.  The washing machine drain is still frozen though the sink drain is not.

I was knitting a Hitchhiker scarf and hoping to wear it last weekend as my last project for 2017, but ended up taking it with me with only 8 rows to complete.  Sitting in the tavern before dinner in front of a fire with a glass of wine, I saw an error a few rows back and had to rip those rows out to fix it.  It ended up being my first finished project of 2018.



Knit with Freia Fibers Shawl ball

To get out of chronological order here, the past couple of weeks have been busy.  Daughter’s family has been moving into their new house a trunk full or our 5 X 8′ open trailer full at a time.  They have cleared the storage units that have held most of their belonging for the past three years that they shared our home with us, have moved toys, books, games, and shelving that held some of that in our rec room, and this past weekend, their master bedroom returning our furniture that they have stored.  They are still staying here until some flooring is laid, then they will move the kids dressers and part of the bunk bed and a few more smaller items and their pets.  The house is going to seem so empty after having the kids here.  They are close enough for us to still help out when needed, but in a different school district and closer to work.

The month of December had us on the road a lot.  We went to the coast to visit son the younger and his family one weekend, home the next for the second Holiday Market, then north to son the elder and his family, returning home on Christmas eve.  Son in law is from an Italian family and their tradition is pasta and antipasto on the eve and we arrived home to a delicious meal.  Christmas Day after gift exchange with daughter’s family and watching the children with all of their new things, I prepared a turkey and ham meal with all the trimmings.

The week after Christmas, our local yarn store closed for a week to relocate much closer to where I live and our spinning group that usually meets there on that Thursday of each month chipped in with other volunteers to help them with packing and actually moving so that they didn’t have to rent a truck.  A friend volunteered her pickup, I volunteered our larger SUV and the trailer and with a couple of other vehicles and two days, all of the fabric, yarn, and fixtures were moved in sub freezing temperatures.  They reopen on Friday and I am excited to see how all of the stuff we helped move will be displayed and so that I can purchase another Freia Fiber Shawl ball in another color way for my cruise knitting.  Our cruise is only a bit more than a month off.

I hope my readers have a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Belated Week on the Farm

This is a week on the farm post with no photos.   It was a holiday weekend, but ended as a work weekend.  Eldest son and his family arrived late Saturday afternoon in time for a homemade Mexican feast for them and the 5 of us living here.  They took a leisurely scenic route from their new residence out of the cities of Northern Virginia.  This makes for a much more comfortable living space for them with a yard, creek, and storage shed for bicycles and gardening tools.  Though the square footage is probably about the same as their condo/apartment in Northern Virginia, it is a better layout with a bigger kitchen and more room to spread out a bit.  Grandson got a bear den of a loft that he claimed as his room.  Back to their place in a minute.

Saturday evening after our dinner settled a bit, we went out to see the chicks and son and I spent a little while surveying what needed to be done with my garden and pulled some weeds.  Sunday, after everyone was up and a country breakfast made and fed, we tackled the garden in earnest.  Between us and grandson, I think about 15 hours were spent weeding, tying up tomato plants, taking down the failed idea of low chicken barriers so they could forage the garden for weed seed and bugs in the unplanted areas (the chickens are confined again to the three runs all open to each other until we need to start sorting out keepers and culls).  Grandson gave up first but gave us several good hours of work.  I quit about 6 p.m. to go in prep and cook dinner for the crowd, and son didn’t quit until just before I was going to call him in to eat.  The garden is looking much better.

Monday, dawned rainy with rain and thunderstorms expected all day.  We just hung out indoors until time to go into town as a family to lunch.  During the hang out time, son spent some time on the internet looking for a good used wood stove for the new place. We planned to leave mid afternoon with our daughter in law driving their car home with grandson, and son and I following in our Xterra pulling our trailer with the furniture that we picked up in Norfolk two weeks ago, along with a recliner that we offered them.  When he found a wood stove just an hour round trip off the route home, we managed to pack the table disassembled, the 4 chairs, recliner, and necessary yard and garden tools in the back of the Xterra bed and left the trailer unencumbered to pick up the wood stove.    While out for lunch, he bought an appliance hand truck because we couldn’t find one to rent on July 4th.  We left our house for the 2 1/2 hour trip to the stove.  The stove is just like one that we bought for our basement and needed very little to make it like new, but the sucker weighs 400 pounds. He and I with minimal help from the guy he purchased it from, got it up onto our tilt bed trailer, anchored it down, tarped it to protect it from the rain and headed for his house, arriving sometime after 10 p.m.  We unloaded the furniture and garden tools and set about trying to get the stove into the house.  The porches, both front and back are about 4 feet off the ground and after much effort and every idea he could come up with, we just couldn’t get it into the house.  It is temporarily living in the shed until a solution is found. The one that had been in the house, was stolen by the last tenant when they moved out.  By the time we quit, it was past midnight and well after 1 a.m. by the time we had a cot for me set up, settled a bit and got ready for bed.  To make their commute, right now, they are having to leave home at 5:15 a.m., so it was an early start.  I got up before they left, but didn’t want to back the trailer up until it was light enough to see the driveway, so I reassembled the table and set it up with the chairs.  By leaving at 6:00 a.m., even taking a slower route most of the way home because of pulling the empty trailer, I was back in town by 10:30 a,m.  About an hour from home, I had a car pull up beside me and hold a sign in the window.  It looked like it said I had a taillight out.  I acknowledged the message and kept going.  Almost immediately, a lawn service truck pull up beside me and waved and pointed back frantically and again, I acknowledged, but it wasn’t a good place to stop.  I stopped as soon as I could safely pull off the road and realized that the sign and frantic gesturing was because the trailer tailgate which is removable had hopped out of it’s track and one corner was dragging the interstate, the gate being held on only by the plastic covered wire with a sturdy leash type clip.  Though a corner was a bit worn, it still fit in the track and so I re-anchored it with the wire but added a ratchet tie down to prevent it from hopping out again.  When we had the tailgate made for the trailer, we suggested to the guy that he drill for cotter pins to hold it in place and he assured us it was heavy enough to not hop out.  I guess we are going to have to put the pins in somehow before we use it again.

The other excitement of the trip yesterday, while hauling the empty trailer to pick up the stove, we got in stop and go traffic on the interstate due to a minor accident that had been pulled to the shoulder.  We had a semi truck come up behind us on an on ramp and get so close that son was afraid that when he started forward in the manual transmission, that we would slip back just enough to bump the truck.  This happened several times before we got to the top of the ramp.  Once on the merge lane, still in stop and inch forward traffic, the danged semi rear ended us.  Fortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any damage, but he didn’t seem to learn from having to stop and deal with us, because once we got going again, two cars were between us and him and he was tailgating the one closest to him.  Then he passed us and several other trucks in front of us.  That is another reason why I try to stay off of Interstate 81, it is a major north south truck route and some of them are just plain rude and crazy drivers.

For now, I think I will just rest a bit and spin a little.

Happy New Years from away

For the first time since we met, we were apart on New Year’s Eve. He proposed on New Year’s Eve 37 years ago. We had returned from a ski trip in Vermont, got off the bus and took me to the ER to have my shoulder x-rayed as I had injured it on the trip, in a newly acquired sling to support the separated joint we went out for an early drink then home to my house to celebrate the coming new year quietly. The proposal came just about as the year changed.

Yesterday, I was scheduled to catch a flight in the afternoon to arrive in Florida just after dinner, but before we left for the airport,  I received a text notification that my flight was delayed by more than 2 hours. We dallied about, drove to Roanoke where the airport is located, purchased a t-shirt to replace one of the 2 that I had gotten him for Christmas that had to be returned, had dinner at his favorite restaurant and dropped me off at the airport. As soon as he drove off and I walked in, another text delay.

I finally arrived in Florida after 10 pm and was greeted by a bouncing 3 year old in a frilly glittery dress and cowboy boots, hugging my knees and any 8 year old holding a hand drawn welcome sign. Hugs all around and an hour drive back to their house, we arrived to watch the ball drop in Times Square, wish my home alone husband a happy New Year by phone and go to bed. Not a typical end of year.

But it is all for a good reason. Today daughter and I finish boxing what goes in the trailer, they meet with the Realtor who will likely list their home for sale and prepare to load up the trailer tomorrow for the drive to Virginia. This will be a new chapter in all of our lives, a very welcome one for us.