On Living in a New House

After 5.5 years of living in the holy land, we have finally moved into our home. Having lived in some fairly questionable accommodation these past years – freezing winters, black mould covering walls, cramped kitchens and our last house had a salon so small you couldn’t swing a cat (and believe me I tried, I HATE cats), the day finally arrived for our move. With so much to do, I was actually nervous. Would our furniture survive a fourth move in 5 years? (answer; Not the IKEA stuff). Would we able to do it smoothly without disrupting the kids too much (answer: Pretty stressful but neighbours & friends helped us with food, thank goodness). Would our plumbing be finished in time? (Answer: we went one night without hot water, and only one functioning sink, and we still only have one bathroom sink working.) When would our kitchen sink & dishwasher finally get plumbed in? (Answer: after almost a week. I had to wash up in the bathroom. I ended up using disposable dishes for the first time in my life.) Would our kids like the new house? (answer; they love the house but they miss their old “garden” – since this house is still surrounded by builders rubble.)

I am a fairly organised person but there was now way I could prepare for this with a tiny baby. So I just had a big clear-out over the previous weeks (with grateful thanks to Marie Kondo for all her tips) and spent the week before our move packing things which I could do easily with a toddler and a baby. My 3 year old packed up our cds, books, and toys. The older ones helped pack their stuff. A removal company was out of the question – far too expensive with all the other costs we have incurred this month (you would not believe the hidden costs in building your own home – see Husband’s blog for more painstakingly detailed info on that one) so we did the bulk of it ourselves, borrowing our landlord’s trailer.

A couple of friends helped me pack up on the last days (god bless you Dalia and Alon), Husband roped some kind friends to help with the shlepping of medium items (we love you Yoni, Eran & Aviv), and we hired 3 teenagers to shlepp the really heavy stuff. They were awesome. One evening we even had a friend who was out for a jog and joined in with the shlepping…. (we were happy to be part of your workout Shalom!) Then Husband spent 3 nights up til midnight painting the old gaff til he eventually gave in, took my advice and asked for help. Two lovely guys helped him and he was finally done. Hooray! Some help around the house. But no. You would think we could finally relax except after one shabbat recovering he has now buggered off to Scandinavia, leaving me to finish unpacking, sorting, organising, shopping for new house paraphernalia and sweeping and cleaning the CONSTANT MOUNDS OF DUST that build up in a brand new home. Unimaginable dust. Dust from our building and painting. Dust from other people’s building. Dust from the massive dust storm that arrived after shabbat. Endless endless dust.

I’ve given in. We are living in dust. And now that our dog has moved in, there’s no point being house proud. No house with a dog (not to mention 4 small boys) is ever going to be spick and span.

Our first shabbat we were open for viewing. I am not kidding. We had a constant stream of visitors. We didnt realise how totally unused we are to hosting. After 3 years of living upstairs in a cramped space that nobody wants to visit, suddenly we are the hotspot. Everyone’s curious!’

Nobody seems to remember the comments they made initially when we said we were building from wood “wont it burn down?”or ïs wood really strong enough? and “are you crazy?” that sort of thing.

A good friend popped in today and said she could “feel” the difference. That a house made from wood has a different atmosphere. I wholeheartedly agree with her.

If houses could talk, I like to think mine would be warm and friendly.

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