White gnat anniversary

I remembered yesterday that September 24 marked the fifth anniversary of our cross-state move to our present home. The sudden appearance of hordes of white gnats must have triggered a subliminal memory.

My husband remembered that the massing gnats were here when we arrived. I didn’t; I recall seeing them a couple of years after our arrival, but I only remembered the bazillions of black house flies that were in the house when we got here. They were everywhere. Their dead filled interior window tracks, their living swarmed in every room, and everywhere outdoors. Fly City.

The only thing as unhinging as the flies was the presence of our home’s previous owners and their three yappy little dogs. Oh, and the indoor bunnies. The smells were overwhelming.

A swarm of flies the size of New Jersey—well, that’s life in Eastern Washington. Our home’s former owners requiring another few hours to move out with their malodorous creatures was a tad more trying.

We were exhausted. We arrived between 4:00 and 4:30 PM. Closing had been final at noon. We expected to move in when we arrived–the house legally was ours. It was after 7 PM before the former owners were out. They were moving a few miles away, in the same area. We had been on the road since 9 AM, with our diabetic cat.

Much earlier, our realtor had assured us the former owners had packed their trailer and were departing. We saw no evidence of what she saw. She had promised us she would do a walkthrough inspection. It didn’t happen; or again, we didn’t see what she saw.

Offsetting the cheer-hindering presence of flies, scofflaw former owners, and their yappy dogs (the bunnies at least were quiet), was the presence of our new pastor and another member of our new church and his daughter. They had come to help us move in. Not only did they carry things into the house from our vehicle and the U-Haul truck driven by other friends; they also pulled up animal-urine-saturated carpet for the rest of the evening.

The following day, most of the members of our new church came and helped clean out cupboards, clean virtually every interior surface, hang sticky fly strips (two of us got our hair caught in the same fly strip—kind of a girl-bonding thing), and basically making the house sufficiently livable to spend the next six months overhauling it entirely.

Another heartening welcome came unexpectedly from Home Depot. We needed a new stove and refrigerator immediately; the ones in the house were too disgusting to use. It was Saturday, and Home Depot didn’t make Saturday deliveries. Two employees stepped forward and said they would deliver the new stove and refrigerator with one’s own truck. They were wonderful to do this, and we still and will always greet them as family when we see them at HD.

Six months with our stuff in boxes wasn’t very long, considering that my attorney husband put in new hardwood floors, new kitchen cabinets, new lighting, and other improvements; we had new windows installed, friends helped us with interior and exterior painting. . .may God grant that I will never forget who did what.

We’re home and we love it here.

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