Sunday, September 21, 2008

Movin' on up

Or so we thought. After all, for Yo and Mo, a single long-term residence, with our stuff unpacked, would be a step up. For the first time in five years, all of our stuff was pulled out from the damp enormous garage that our long-suffering and generous in-laws (Mo's sister and husband) have allowed us to store. Dispensing with some of the worst stuff, we piled the rest of our moldy and smelly books onto our large moving truck and away we went. With Yo steering the monster truck and Mo following behind in the 'hippie car' (as the SIL refers to our Subaru), the drive, border crossing and arrival in Chicago all went without a hitch.

On the way down the so-called "landlady" (she later admitted this was her first rental arrangement) called Mo and said that the granite counter top guy had stood her up and "would we mind if the kitchen wasn't finished for a few days?" From that Mo took it that everything else was done all that was missing were the granite counters. Okay, we are easy going and we were both heading off (Mo back to TO and Yo to Greece/Israel) a few days later so there was a little grace period.  

Our landlady met us at the appointed hour, and we were led to our newly rehabbed apartment, for which we had paid the equivalent of THREE months rent. Imagine our dismay when we discovered that it wasn't quite ready! Indeed, the back door approach looked like this:

The picture was no better after crawling over the piles of rubbish and equipment. The back door enters the kitchen, where there was no running water (or counters, or cupboards):

The kitchen, however, at least had a finished floor. Below, under the piles of materials, tools and unconnected radiators, you can make out how the dining room still has an unfinished floor.

The front rooms were a bit better, although the bathroom too had a gaping hole where the mirror should be, broken tiles and missing grout, etc. This room, the living room with a sun room, was better. 

And of course random stuff crammed in closets....

We had to decide whether we would stick it out with this apartment, or demand all of our money refunded and begin looking for a new place. Although there were plenty of places with "To Rent" signs, this was Labor Day, and our movers would be arriving later that day. So we had to decide what to, and ultimately decide to meet our moving helpers and pile all of our moldy stuff in two rooms.

Yo went to open the back of the moving truck to discover a Canadian stowaway, known back on the farm as Black Handsome. Apparently BH decided to have a nap and became captive in the back of the truck for about 24 hours. As nothing heavy fell on him during the drive, BH merely seemed thirsty but otherwise perky and curious. Luckily BH is a pretty easy going, farm guy, so he was placed in the room that actually had a door, fed him some food donated by very friendly neighbors, and some kitty litter was purchased. (He seemed to know what to do with kitty litter, so perhaps he's not a 'real' barn cat, but merely an abandoned cat?)

While our housing situation was less than ideal, we did like Chicago and we had one of the best experiences at the DMV getting new license plates for the car (our Indiana plates were expired). When we arrived at the DMV there were probably 200 people and Yo (Mr. Doom and Gloom) said we'd be there for hours. Less than 1/2 hour later we were out with new plates, which Dan at Uncle Bubba's shop helped Mo put on the car. 

On Wednesday we are both meeting up in Chicago for "take two". Yo is flying in from Greece and Mo is driving the hippie car (sans cat) back to Chicago. Our landlady "assures" us that it will be good to go, but this is the same woman who thought that we could move in last time... Stay tuned for the adventures on Wednesday.


Sue said...

Wow! Ummm, congratulations on your new cat?? And a great looking theory. Remember, there are always rooms available in South Bend - cats provided.

AMP said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS. Seems like your landlady should have all that cleared out or refund a couple months' rent! Congrats on the Mac purchase!

Em said...

Will you be using those old rads--how archaic--are they Pre-Poverty Neolithic?
I would reckon some kind of break on months rent--what a schamozzle.
The finished floors look great--hang in there!
Funny about the cat--what a survivor--I guess it is a snowback cat?

Em said...

You lucky sods--you get 2 teams in the World Serious-who are you rooting for?

Em said...

Macs rule--we can now I-chat