House and Home: Finally, Move-In Day Comes



Yes, it’s true, move-in day was Wednesday, and I’ve already slept four nights in my new home.  I might be prejudiced, but I think it’s a sweet little house–and everyone who comes by to see it seems to agree. I’ve discovered that I love to drink early-morning tea in my living room, with sunlight streaming through the huge, east-facing window. Most of the boxes are unpacked, but a whole lot of stuff still needs to be put away, and the to-do list remains daunting.

It’s great to be here, though I can’t deny that it was an arduous, sometimes stressful, process (read previous posts here). For me, moving is never fun. Moving confronts me with the amount of stuff in my life.  I’m forced to ask myself how much of it I really need, and how much is just a burden. At the very least, moving gives me a chance to edit–to keep what remains useful or beautiful, and to pass on to someone else the rest. No doubt I could have shed more, but seven well-stuffed boxes did find their way to Goodwill.

I’ve moved a great many times in my madcap life, from state to state and even country to country, but in some ways this was the most momentous. Buying, I’m discovering, gets you committed to a house and a neighborhood in a way that, for me, renting never did. I’ve met a number of my neighbors, who are a typical Vallejo mix of white, Black, Latino and Asian, but who seem  friendly, and as far as I know, to get along. It has the feel of an intimate, old-fashioned neighborhood. Houses are set close to narrow streets, people walk the sidewalks, and my two gay neighbors next door have been chatty and welcoming.

Something else I’ve discovered is that it takes a village to find, buy, upgrade and move into a house. I’m grateful to my mom, brother Steve, Jane and Lyle, and Roger and Michael, who helped with the downpayment, and to Judy and Kathy who helped me find a house and to finance it, and to James, Frank, Mary, Michael and Yargen who helped get my house ready, or helped with the move. And I’m grateful to Bob, Ric and Richard and so many other friends and family members who offered encouragement and advice, and to many of you, readers of this blog, who’ve also offered your good wishes. Those of you whom I know personally, I hope to invite to a house warming sometime down the road. And to those who’ve followed this story online, I promise to post the “after” pictures when I’m satisfied that my little house is ready for it’s close-up. Thanks to you all.


Photos: Top–early morning of the final day at my old apartment, a 14-foot U Haul truck is loaded for the nine-block journey. Above: my nearly empty living room looks forlorn.

A final look at my old patio garden (more photos after the jump).


On the day before move in, Michael Stokes was invaluable in helping to clean floors and the bathroom, and in making everything a lot more fun.

My new 19 cu. ft. Kenmore fridge, a generous, early house warming gift from a friend. When I asked friends about buying a fridge, the most common advice was to get a Kenmore with the freezer on the bottom, so I ordered one on line. Delivery, which was originally scheduled for 4-6 p.m., finally came at 9:17 p.m., but I could hardly be angry with the hard-working delivery guys. I was their 16th stop out of 17 that day.

Off loading at my new house.

These three guys from Johnson’s Moving in Vacaville did a terrific job of getting the move done. They arrived at 7:15 a.m. and completed the job around 11.

On day one, I concentrated on bringing some kind of order to the living room…

and making my bedroom habitable. I painted this room a sort of deep olive green. I guess I just like odd colors.

Meanwhile, my kitchen remains pretty much a disaster area–my next priority. Lack of storage space will force me to get creative.


5 responses

  1. CONGRATULATIONS, GARY! YOU DID IT! You made the move to your own home! I love the photo of Michael with the chandalier over his head (tell him he deserves it for his great efforts!), and I love the very old timey fireplace, and morning sun is the best! A wonderful way to get the day going! Like everyone else, I can’t wait to see the progess you make on your house. It is a lot to accomplish, but except for the kitchen, you can take whatever time you need. You made it! Enjoy!

  2. Yea, you made it ! I have been wondering how it was all going. Welcome to home ownership ! Your sis, Jane

  3. These pictures so remind me of my transition from Illinois to Tennessee. And some years later, of my kitchen being remodeled.

    Congratulations, Gary. The effort will be worth it all!!

    HB Lee

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