windows and redesigns and holidays, oh my!

Posted on Friday 21 December 2007

sense :: taste // peppermint white chocolate mocha

Here we are, the weekend before Christmas. I like to think that the bulk of my shopping is done, maybe a few stocking stuffers from a store here or there before the actual day of. This year, Raevyn and I are taking ample time for ourselves as well as spending respective weekends with our families to make sure that our obligations are fulfilled as well. The holiday season this year seemed to sneak up on me rather quickly, even though I was kind of aware of it happening. Suddenly it was Thanksgiving, and we were eating with my family, discussing what we might do for the holidays. We totally missed out on that fabulous Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale that we loved last year, likely because after Thanksgiving we settled right back into our daily ways, recognizing that the holidays were coming but not really letting ourselves get wrapped up in them.

Then the windows happened. Earlier this month, we noticed all of our neighbors getting new windows. We pretty much figured that we were on the list soon, so we happily waited for the notification on our door that we would be next and that we should move all of our furniture away from the windows. So after a week or so of watching the other houses get their windows done and watching the progress of the construction work come closer and closer to our house, we got the letter. Move everything 4-5 feet from the windows, and make sure there’s a clear path to the windows. So we did. Then they skipped us. We moved all of our stuff on a Monday, after a long day of werk, since they said they’d start work on Tuesday or Wednesday if weather permitted. Tuesday, we hurry and leave the house in enough time for them to start working, and they’re setting up out front of our neighbors. “Tomorrow!” They told us. Trouble was, tomorrow it was supposed to snow.

Sure enough, Wednesday it snowed. The only snow we’ve gotten this winter so far, and it was about 2-3 inches. Not terribly much, but enough to make the work stop. The neighbors had their windows in, but no one came to do ours. We still had all of our furniture moved away from the windows, and our computers collapsed into a heap in our computer room. Everything was moved around, and we had essentially camped out in the bedroom, eating and watching TV in there. The house was oddly cold, but more on that later. I checked my work email Wednesday morning and found out that there had been a fire at my office, and that everyone was advised to work from home that day while the local electric company worked to restore power. So here I am, worried that they might come to do the windows and I didn’t have anywhere to be. I didn’t have to worry much – they never came, and the snow came down. I took my car into the shop that day for an oil change and maintenance, thinking it couldn’t have been a more perfect day to get the job done, save the snow. Came home to camp out in the bedroom with the space heater. I couldn’t sit at my main computer because all the furniture was moved around, so I curled up in bed with Io (my laptop) and worked from there. It was remarkably relaxing, except for how cold the house was.

I turned up the thermostat to try and kick the heater on, and while I heard the central air system blowing air around, it didn’t get any warmer. I laughed at myself, thinking that it would be funny if the chill in the house since it had gotten cold happened to be because the furnace was broken or the pilot light was out. Had I not had to spend that chilly day working from home, I wouldn’t have thought it. But sure enough, I popped the cover off of the furnace and the pilot light was out.

Put in a call to maintenance. No heat. Stop. Very cold. Stop. Come immediately. Stop.

Went back upstairs and continued to work, still chilly. Right before the office was about to close and I was about to pick up Raevyn from the train station (she went into her office that day) and my car from the shop, I noticed the pilot light was still out and even though I had been upstairs, no one had come. Called the office again.

Still cold. Stop. Please help. Stop.

I went to get my car, and by the time I was back, the house was toasty. Went to get Raevyn, and she was thrilled too.

So Thursday came and went with no sign of the window crew. Too icy, we assumed, since the snow had already started melting the day before, and overnight it had frozen. Friday on the other hand, was a different story. Still camping out in the bedroom, we hustled to make our morning coffee and get out of the house as we noticed they had started setting up out front. It was snowing/raining gently on Friday, making me worry that they wouldn’t finish. They came in and got right to werk as we were headed out to our respective offices, Raevyn and I both incredibly thrilled that we would have new windows for the weekend and could decorate the house in time for Christmas.

You see, we had a plan. A sinister plan, hatched of two motivations:
a. Raevyn’s desire to watch more on-demand cable and movies, and
b. My desire to be with her when she did this
..okay, three:
c. my desire to spend more time at my turntables without having to sacrifice computer time or time with Raevyn

So during the whole chaotic time where our stuff was everywhere, we were unhappy and camping out in our bedroom, I slept the best I’ve slept in a long time (I got to bed really early every night since I wound up eating dinner while sitting in bed, and then cleaning up and curling up in bed) and hatched master plans. What if we moved the digital cable box upstairs so we could watch more on-demand cable and movies? The TV downstairs was still better, and it didn’t help my situation any.

Raevyn suggested, “Why don’t we just move our computers downstairs?”

And thus the great redesign was dreamt up. We were going to move the music room into the reading nook behind the couch in the living room – my records, turntables, CDs, all of it. Move the books into the old computer room upstairs and make it a real guest room or spare room. Move the computers and desks from the computer room down the stairs to the “kitchen,” which was more than big enough to serve as an office. If we didn’t get our windows on Friday, we said, we would do this that weekend.

But we did get our windows on Friday.

But that didn’t stop us. Saturday morning, I got up early and started moving things around. Taking computer parts downstairs, moving furniture around on the bottom floor. Raevyn got up soon after and helped me move the desks.

It didn’t help that we were entertained by a marathon session of The History of Sex on the History Channel, but the house redesign we assumed would take us the better part of a week took us the better part of the weekend instead. By the end of the week, the only things left to do were move the books into the bookshelves upstairs and vaccuum up everything. So our new windows were in that Friday, and by Sunday we were surfing the web and playing WoW from our computers downstairs, and our upstairs rooms were all cleaned up and back to normal. I can turn to my left and see my turntables, and looking past them I can see the main TV. And we had heat.

That was the weekend of the 7th. On the weekend of the 14th, we dragged out the lights and the tree and decided to make the house merry. The tree went up on Saturday while we watched Mary Reilly on on-demand. The lights went up on the tree and outdoors on Sunday to the tune of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the house is as festive as festive gets.

This week was all about ordering gifts online and shipping them superfast so they got here in time, and I think I have everything.

I say that the holidays snuck up on me, but I was kind of aware the whole time. Even so, it’s been quite a busy couple of weeks since Thanksgiving. This weekend (eg, tomorrow), it’s up to PA to visit Raevyn’s mother for the holidays, then next weekend it’s off to my parents to wish them well. Then it’s back to town to have our annual New Year’s shindig, I hope!

1 Comment for 'windows and redesigns and holidays, oh my!'

    December 21, 2007 | 8:58 pm

    Safe travels to both of you.

    (When you kept saying you were feeling cold, I was expecting you to say that they had actually taken your windows out and not replaced them!) Glad it all worked out.

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