Monday, September 27, 2010

First Impressions

So… Rapid City is nice! Although South Dakota greeted us much like Abilene did with a cold front our first morning; right now it’s in the 70s and sunny. I’m loving it!

People are super friendly here! I’d venture to say even more friendly than Texas (well, parts of Texas…) It’s so nice – someone will just start talking to you in line at the grocery store and our neighbors introduce themselves and everything!

The leaves change! Yeah! This is one of the plants in our front yard.

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Things that make me worried

When people say, “The way your house is situated shouldn’t be too bad for the snow drifts.”

When people talk about the “heat wave” that’s come through – 80s and sunny… uh-oh

DIY projects already under our belt as new homeowners!

Changing the plug on the dryer from 4-prong to 3.

Raising the range we bought on craigslist with 2X4s so it will fit over the kitchen counter. (yea, those are brownies… yum)

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Figuring out the range we bought on craigslist was configured for propane when we hooked it up to our gas (the new parts are on order). 

This is as far as the new range slides in (the house didn’t come with a range), but we like this one a lot anyway.

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Painting the horribly dingy downstairs bathroom a bright white – it looks SO much better!

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Spray painting the salvaged table leg our concrete table top sits on – it looks SO much better too!

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Overall

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As you can see, I’m still living in chaos. I have emerged from the sea of cardboard and discovered my storage solutions are minimal at best – I never bought furniture – why, when you don’t know what kind of space you’ll be living in next year? So, I might be building some shelves or a cabinet or two… we’ll see.

We’ve also been shopping around for the renovations we’ve planned – wood flooring, carpet, tile, cabinets, countertops, sinks, fixtures, and more. I’m amazed at how much some things cost (carpet) and pleased at others (tile on sale). We’re still planning, making sure everything will work out and work together.

In the meantime, here’s some pictures of the house coming together.

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Moving to Rapid City

Actually, the word “moving” does not accurately describe our military moves. Rob asked me recently why I refer to our military moves as “PCS-s” around non-military folk so often. When I thought about it, an avid appreciator of diction and using precise language to express oneself, I had the answer…

We aren’t just “moving.” “Moving” denotes an election – a choice to change houses, jobs, cities, etc. I’ve moved plenty (especially those college years) and “moving” just doesn’t cut it when it comes to the event that is a “PCS.” Of course there’s always a choice in life… in this case it happens to be move or go to jail.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to complain about PCSing. I happen to love the adventure of new places and experiences. Plus, the fact that all my stuff is packed and moved for me makes it even nicer! I just want to be clear – I use the word PCS to describe a little more precisely the event we undertake. I love diction.

ANYWAY, this PCS began like any other… packers packing, movers moving, etc. We rented a U-Haul to move some of our more special items and the stuff we’d need when we got to the house (cleaning supplies, etc.) The trailer looked a little something like this (you’ve got to be crazy to think I’m leaving my potted plants!)

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We took the route through Albuquerque, NM so as to have the privilege of visiting our super cool friends. Everything was going smoothly until this happened.

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Yea, the transmission on the truck decided it had had enough. I guess climbing a vertical mile from Abilene pulling a fairly heavy trailer is no day at the spa.

This event occurred at approximately 5:47pm on a Friday afternoon. Our Droid phones paid for themselves with our being able to google information about mechanics and tow trucks and where in the world we were! God blessed us with a truly amazing mechanic who happened to be working on  a Friday after 5pm! Really, this guy is awesome! If you ever are broken down near Albuquerque, I HIGHLY recommend Don at East Mountain Auto and RV Repair! Seriously. We love him.

Don checked our transmission on Saturday morning and found parts of the transmission in the pan when he took it off. Uh oh. So… how to keep to the original plan of closing on the house MONDAY and all our stuff getting delivered MONDAY or else being sent to storage (ugh). Don actually suggested it (he’d had lots of experience with travelers breaking down climbing the New Mexican mountains) – renting a car! Of course!

So, after getting a bonus day hanging out with our friends, we rented a VERY fuel efficient Chevy Cobalt (seriously, we put 1,816 miles on it and filled up 5 times!) and drove the whole way to Rapid City.

We arrived Sunday night at midnight and woke up early to close on the house. Then, we immediately met the movers so they could unload. Then, we immediately began unpacking.

THEN, we drove BACK to Albuquerque on Tuesday (about 14 hours) and stayed some more bonus days with our friends until the transmission was repaired. Rob got a whole new one from the factory with a warranty and everything. Don’s prices are really good too! But even with good prices, all the money that we would have made moving our own stuff doesn’t pay for the total repair cost. wah-wah.

Thursday, we picked up the truck and trailer and began our trip BACK to Rapid City. We stopped the night in Denver and continued Friday the rest of the way. Saturday, we returned the U-Haul (a full 5 days late) and praise the Lord! the guy didn’t charge any extra days! Whew! PLUS, USAA will reimburse us the cost of the tow (because that kind of thing is included in our insurance and we didn’t know). Horaay!

Anyway, I’m currently drowning in a sea of cardboard trying to unpack and with each box having a conversation in my head that goes something like this:

Me: Where should I put this? I want everything to be organized…

Me: Seriously?? Just put it somewhere! You have to unpack everything anyway. You can rearrange later!

Me: But wouldn’t it be so nice if I didn’t have to rearrange later? If only I could find the perfect place for it now…

Rob: How come the mixer is still in the middle of the floor?

Me: Are you still wasting our time with this! Just put it somewhere! Anywhere! Do it. Do it now!

Me: Okay! Fine. Here. Are you happy now?

And it continues with the next box. I shall be rearranging for years.

And here’s some pics of our epic road trip…

New Mexico back roads

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Colorado

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And Wyoming at sunset

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And South Dakota on the way BACK to New Mexico at sunrise

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