Posted by: Valerie | August 5, 2011

It’s a Moving Business

I know! It’s been a long, long time a-coming. This is the first blog posting since May. Hope I haven’t lost my readers. Most of you already know that we have been in the throes of moving. It has been an enormous undertaking.  Thirty years of accumulating “stuff” by Joe was one of the main difficulties. We decided to have an auction to get rid of excess items and it was quite a labour to separate the keepers from the auction items.  Boxes were stacked to the roof in our screened patio – movers on the right and auction items on the left. Needless to say there were muddles. We closed on the new house a couple of weeks before the sale of the old house which allowed us to get the whole main floor painted in advance. We had amazing helpers for a whole weekend. Joe’s grandkids, Matt and Katherine, came and moved all the packed boxes to the new house. Scheduling  the move and the auction turned out to be quite an undertaking as we used a part-time mover who only works on weekends. They do things that way round in these parts. The mover has a regular job and at weekends hires a U-Haul and moves people. He did a pretty good job and even knocked $200 off the bill because the kids have moved about 200 boxes.

All the buyers in our yard.

But before the move, the very day before, there was the auction, and two days before that my daughter Anna and her husband and step-daughter arrived for a visit. I seem to be telling this backwards so I will step back a little to Anna’s visit.  Anna lives in Calgary, as do many of my clan, and had to take a course in Mississauga so husband Tim and gorgeous 14-year-old Rebecca joined her in Ottawa to visit Jamie and family and then came to us. Great timing! Because of the timing of events we missed Deklin’s second birthday and I am feeling quite Deklin-deprived as we haven’t seen the wee lad since Mother’s Day. Must attend to that soon.  Anyway, we took a day off with the visitors and went up to Haliburton which is a lovely little town with a great deal of interesting things to do. We choose the Wolf Interpretive Centre as both Anna and Rebecca are animal lovers. Me too.  It was quite impressive and the wolves posed for pictures, including the cubs. Awwww…  The poor animals were so, so hot and were snapping at flies that were pestering them.


 Next day we all worked like stink on transporting the last of the boxes and while I drove Anna and gang to a cute and cosy (that was the 40 degree day – no air conditioning) old schoolhouse which serves as a tearoom serving old English cream teas. The atmosphere is still completely “schoolhouse” with a few tables set in with the remaining desks. The teacher’s desk is still there with a pile of exercise books waiting to be marked and class photos on the wall. Sadly, the scones did not deserve the name but the homemade jam and whipped cream were definitely up to scratch. We were late getting back home and I thought Joe would be mad that we had deserted him. But no, he had been having a great time supervising as the auction helpers laid out the tables for the next morning. There was even a refreshment tent. They seemed to fill the yard and that was before the buyers arrived.  Anna and I had an inspection and rescued items from the tables that shouldn’t be there. There were a few!

The day dawned, hot as an oven, and the people started shuffling in. Oscar the auctioneer started his patter right on ten o’clock and a rather horrible plaster mother-and-child that some Italian friends gave us went under the hammer first. That got things going and it was away to the races. Five hours later only the hardiest remained, waiting for the particular axe or scythe that they fancied to come up. All in all we did quite well, taking about $4,000 but of course that’s not what we netted.  Commissions, advertising, set-up costs etc. etc. There seemed to be a lot of etceteras. The whole affair was really rather a lot of fun although some of the prices were enough to make one weep – then again some items went for a lot more than expected so I guess it was a wash in the end.

Moving day came and went as expected. No disasters. Our mover looks like Kevin Costner.  By the end of the day we had the bedrooms set up, the kitchen functional and somewhere to sit in the living room. Since then we have had a series of trades here setting up the internet satellite, reordering the wrong parts, two days of electricians, taking deliveries of new furniture and my super flashy washing machine that will wash all your  sheets at once in a tablespoonful of  water and leave them 90% dry. Ooh, it’s lovely! Another set of guys will come tomorrow and put vents into the roof and move some heavy stuff.

We ourselves have been banging away and putting up pictures and necessary shelves. I immediately condemned all the bathroom fixtures and Joe has been screwing up toilet roll holders and hand towel rings. I thought it was rather sweet that having done that, he carefully arranged the bath mat in the towel holder. Strangely we have not a single drawer in the kitchen so it is taking some imagination to find a place for the cutlery etc. Actually we have contacted an excellent hobby carpenter (a retired shop teacher) and he is going to custom build us a new buffet and hutch affair for the dining room. That will help with the cutlery. This is a small house and the dining room is only about three steps from the kitchen!

I cannot begin to describe how tired we were the week following the move. Never, ever move if you are over sixty! Like having babies, it’s for the young.

We are already really enjoying being in Bancroft. We can stroll from the house, down a short road to a path which crosses the river into the town park. Being summer tourist season, there are events every weekend and on Saturday our local bistro owner/artist is hosting a jazz night which we will attend and there is a Blues festival and plays at the local theatre coming up. Of course you can hardly squeeze into the shops in town for the g-d tourists – but the g-d tourists are essential to the life of the town.

Our backyard is sheer delight and a walk to the back is almost an adventure. I feel as if we are living on the edge of a Hansel and Gretel wood and almost have to take a bag of breadcrumbs to find the way back. I seem to remember that didn’t do H & G much good though.  The header on this post is the view from the bedroom windows. 

More soon, folks! G’night.


  1. What an incredible amount of work for you and Joe! Try and stretch out the final stuff and enjoy the woods before the snow falls. Talk soon!

    • Tthanks guys! And you know all about moving!

  2. There’s no 5th sentence on page 56!

  3. Phew! I’m tired just from reading about your move. However, now that you are somewhat settled in the new place, I’m looking forward to some pictures of the place and surrounding areas. You guys done good.

  4. They are taking me out feet first after reading about this although my husband collects very little.

    • Joe maintains that his compulsive collecting comes from not having had anything as a child. I don’t know if I ever told you that he was in and out of orphanages as a kid as his mother nothing to feed him.

  5. I’m with Jean! Can’t wait to see pictures and you won’t know yourselves living that close to town. Good on you.

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