Well, the move was the usual disaster, in -35, with three howling cats, and a truck that was ever so slightly too small for all of our things. However, we got here, marriage intact and sanity mostly so, sans bicycles and barbeque. We were glad for the end of that drive, though, I must say.
We got to the acreage, let ourselves in, and switched on the kitchen light. Nothing. Hmm. Grabbed the flashlight and tried to turn on the tap on the sink. Nothing. Grr. Tried light switches all over the house, and established that the last folks had taken all of the lightbulbs except for the one in the hallway and one in a bedroom. In addition, there was a shiny new pump beside the cistern, but it wasn’t running. Too tired to fight with these things, we wrestled the mattress out of the truck, dragged it to a bedroom, and crashed for the night.
The next day, Friday, the neighbours / owners / landlords popped by at about noon, to help us unload the truck. I don’t think they realized what they had signed up for. We worked them hard moving in all of the books and appliances until the truck was three-quarters done, then fed them a cup of coffee and sent them on their way with jars of jam and pickles. We mentioned that the water pump was off, and one fellow piped up that they had not turned it on, as there was not enough water in the cistern. I thought that was odd, but figured he knew better. It was too late to order a water truck, but I resolved to call someone in the morning. In the meantime, we started hauling in buckets of snow, to melt in order to flush the toilet and such – luckily we brought several large containers of drinking water with us in the move.
By the way, ten gallons of hard packed snow melts down into about half a toilet flush. The melting takes about half an hour in to big pots with the stove on max. Even letting the yellow mellow, we spent about two hours a day melting enough water for flushing alone. Then there was the water for doing dishes, the stuff for boiling eggs and pasta, water for washing us, and the stuff for the dogs to drink. All in all, that stove was running almost constantly while we were awake, melting water. Outside the drinking water, I think we were using at least 15 gallons per day. That’s a lot of melting.
Anyhow, on Saturday, I called the water guy, and relayed what the owners had told me about the cistern being too empty. He knew our place, and immediately asked what had happened to the half a truck of water he dumped in a few weeks back. I told him that, as far as I knew, it was still there. He laughed and told me to go start up the pump. I laughed and asked him how. After being verbally walked through the basics of pump priming and operation, I went down and fired her up.
The pump worked fine, but the heavy leak dripping steadily onto the pump’s electrical box was a bit of a problem.
We shut the pump down, and called the owners / landlords again, to say that someone needed to come over and fix the leaky pipe so that we could flush the toilet. Instead, they showed up with a five gallon bucket of water, and promised to call the plumber on Monday.
On Wednesday, the plumber actually showed up. He fixed a number of things, but neglected to try flushing the toilet or running the shower. We were delighted to have running water at the sink tap, and did not check that everything worked. Which was quite unfortunate.
After everyone had gone, I flushed the toilet, and more than half the tank water ran out the back and onto the floor. Then, after cleaning up the mess, I went to have a nice, long, hot shower, but that was also a bust, as the lever to run the tap into the shower did not work properly, and no water would come out of the shower head. In the meantime, we’ve been using the bathroom by the light of the oil lamp, as somebody broke a bulb in the bathroom light fixture, and it was so corroded in there that attempts to pry it our just broke the fixture.
Oh, and we don’t have a fridge, either, as the opening in the cupboard is too small for a standard unit, and the cupboards were built in such a way that we can’t just remove one unit. With no internet, no truck, and no time to phone around to try and find a model that might fit, we have been putting our cream and such in rubbermaid containers in the mudroom, which is cool anyhow, and balancing buckets of snow on top of the food. It has worked fairly well, actually.
The internet guy came today and hooked us all up, so, perversely, we had high speed internet before we had a flushing toilet in this house. Go figure.
Tonight, I stopped by the hardware store, picked up a $3 gasket, and fixed the toilet. Thank goodness I’m a little handy. If only the shower were so easy, but apparently the taps we have will be a special-order item. The light fixture will be a weekend project, as we’ll need daylight to deal with it, and I am back to work, now, leaving before dawn and coming home not long before dusk. The fridge, actually, can wait, as the current system is working fine.
All in all, we do love this house, but we can’t wait until we get actual possession so we can start fixing her up…