Saturday, July 11, 2009

'Work Week' in Carlinville - July 6 to 11

Monday, July 6th we returned to Carlinville.

The highlight of this drive for me was getting to actually be the driver of the motorhome as far as Jacksonville. I even conquered my fear of the Valley City Eagle Bridges which are pretty intimidating with their short siderails when you’re in a tall motorhome. There seems to be nothing but a long, long drop between you and the Illinois River below!!

Ken is not keen on paying the new increases in Illinois State park fees over the main summer holiday weekends including the day before and day after so he wasn’t going to stay at Beaver Dam Monday night. Instead we decided to try our luck as parking in Kyle’s new back yard.

Ken did a marvelous job of navigating all the low-hanging wires and narrow alleyway to get the coach nicely situated. Some of Kyle’s new neighbors were watching in shock and awe as he negotiated the obstacles with less than inches to spare!

However, once we were set, we began to have second thoughts about the wisdom of our plan. The ground seemed to be a lot softer than we’d anticipated even after more than a week without significant rainfall. Ken put big blocks under all the jacks in hoping not to dent the lawn too badly. I couldn’t figure out why every time I had the rig level, when I’d go back it showed that it was leaning slightly. It became obvious the next morning when we prepped for departure why I'd been having this problem. I was really lucky I hadn't messed up the leveling system. The rear passenger jack had driven Ken’s nice big block over a foot into the ground leaving an almost perfect 12x12 square hole in the middle of Kyle’s backyard. Ken will have to get himself another block because that one was beyond digging out.

One of the first purchases for Kyle was a spade which I put to quick use in filling in the hole we’d made!

Wednesday afternoon all the new appliances arrived from Wernsings in Litchfield.

With the refrigerator and stove in place it really started feeling like a real home.

The washer and dryer are my favorite additions since this means Kyle won’t be showing up every few weeks at our house with 7 loads of laundry dumped in my kitchen!

Kyle still might decide to have Dad run hookups for the dishwasher at a later date but for now it seems to be working out quite nicely as a portable, without Ken needing to build a separate cabinet for it.

Ken had a list as long as his arm of things to do, such as changing positions of cabinets, patching and painting walls, fixing mis-wired 3-way switches, fixing baseboard, replacing overly feminine wallpaper border, planing doors so they don’t rub, moving closet rods to better fit the length of Kyle’s suits and coats, getting the mailbox moved and attached to the house.

Overall, the more he worked on the house, the happier Ken was with what he found. It seems to be well-built with no big ugly surprises.

Meantime, I did a lot of the ‘go for’ work. Example: find a 'manly' border to go over the frill flowers in the master bedroom. Also, the sidecap on one of the kitchen cabinets was missing so I went on a hunt for a match which I finally found. That piece is on order but will not show up in time for Ken to put on this visit. The items for next visit are already adding up!!

I also did frequent runs back to the apartment to fill up the jeep with boxes of everything that I could move on my own. I had all but the apartment bedroom and bath done by Thursday and those Kyle wanted left to him.

Friday I put the kitchen and new appliances through their paces bringing in a batch of our laundry from the RV to try out the new washer and dryer (wow, taking laundry to my kids' house—how’s that for a turnabout!!). I prepared a meatloaf, baked potatoes, corn on the cob and watermelon in Kyle’s new kitchen for dinner. It’s always a bit of a challenge to take a cook out of her own kitchen (ok, so there’s no dried mustard for my meatloaf…I’ll improvise with regular French’s mustard…it works)… But the kitchen itself proved out nicely right down to passing off to the dishwasher to do the finale dinner cleanup while we headed off , with full tummies and renewed energy to do the final cleanup on Kyle’s apartment.

By Friday evening, with my slow but steady 6 block treks of moving boxes in the jeep, we had everything out of the apartment except the bed, chest and sofa. Ken and Kyle pitched in to do the final room-by-room cleaning so that by 9pm Friday night everything was ready for Jenni to move in Saturday.

We returned briefly back to Kyles for a nighttime snack of some more of the watermelon and then left him for his first overnight in the house.

One of the law firm partner’s dropped by Kyle’s house Saturday morning with a large batch of Italian Beef his wife had made for Kyle and Jenni for their moving day. They even brought the Italian buns, pepper jack cheese and sweet peppers to round out the building of really awesome sandwiches. I can’t tell you how thankful I was for this since the Mom in me was still struggling with the timing of how and when I was going to provide lunch for the group. With chips, fruit, lemonade and beer to accompany we were set in that department.

Jenni and her moving crew arrived in Carlinville about noon on Saturday. Carol and Shannon brought 3-month old baby Oaklee who Ken and I hadn’t met yet so that was an added treat for us. They also had grandma and grandpa along. Grandma was in charge of grandson duties and Grandpa provided an added trailer and crew chief for Jenni who had overflowed the box truck she had rented. It’s amazing how much more stuff she was moving compared to Kyle! I guess it’s a woman vs man thing.

Kyle and Jenni are very lucky to have such devoted friends because it was a long, hot and tiring day.

Ken and I decided by late-afternoon that the group had things well under control and since they were winding down to relax and watch a movie we decided to head back to the state park.

I’ll leave what was waiting for us back at the RV for tomorrow’s installment., but let’s just say that the ‘adventure’ definitely took an unexpected turn Saturday evening.

Hugs, C

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