For the past few months, 'a thing' has been happening, which I've avoided discussing on here for fear of jinxing it. Now, at last, it's over. It's nothing big and exciting to anyone else, but it was a fairly major 'event' to us.
My mum has moved house!
She'd been wanting to move for a long time, but my dad wasn't keen on the idea; he didn't like the thought of all the upheaval. He was an 'anything-for-an-easy-life' type of person, as well as being limited by poor health too. Eventually he came around to the idea and agreed to move, but sadly it was too late, and he passed away a short while later, before any plans had been put into place. This made my mum even more determined to move, so she waited to get Christmas and New Year out of the way, and then got in touch with some estate agents to get a valuation. The house went on the market in March, and within a couple of weeks she'd had about 5 viewings, and had accepted an offer! Fantastic! In the meantime, she'd found a lovely little bungalow and put an offer in on that, which was also accepted. So far, so very good. Boxes were packed and labelled, lists were made, certain unwanted items were given away to charity (and quite a lot came to me!). Everything was going really well, and when there was probably just a couple of weeks left before arranging the moving date, the couple who owned the bungalow pulled out, and took it off the market.
So it was back to square one for my mum. She was worried that the couple who were buying hers might get sick of waiting (they were first-time buyers, currently renting), so she felt she had to find somewhere else really quickly.
She found another bungalow which, on first impressions, was really nice, if a bit on the small size. She actually put an offer in, but after thinking about it for a couple of days, we realised that the place was just far too small, and needed too much work doing to it. So reluctantly she withdrew her offer, but she'd found a third bungalow by this time, so arranged a viewing on that one. Chris and I went with her, and we all agreed that it was so much better than the first two, although unfortunately that meant it was a bit more expensive too, but still within her price range. So, she put an offer in, he accepted, and it was all systems go, again!!
It still seemed to take a long time, possibly due to some not very proactive solicitors and estate agents (on the vendors side - my mum's 'people' were pretty good on the whole). There was a hiccup where the couple buying my mum's house said they didn't want to move until October (my mum really needed to be in before September for work reasons), but that issue was resolved and she finally got a moving date for last week.
I asked for the day off work, but I could only have the afternoon off in the end, which was a bit annoying because I wanted to be there to help my mum with all the last minute things. Not only that, I wanted to be there for emotional support, as I thought she might be a bit upset. She'd lived there for about 37 years - it wasn't just a house, it was a home, full of so many memories. I'd gone over the day before, and felt quite sad walking around it for the last time. I went into my old bedroom and looked out of the window. It had a really nice view, looking over open fields, and I remembered all the time I'd spent gazing out of that window, daydreaming, when I was supposed to be doing homework and revision! It was very strange thinking that it would be the last time I ever set foot in that house, and the garden.
Anyway, in the end, my mum's auntie came over to help, and so on 'moving day' I went straight home from work and loaded up my car with some things that my mum had given me to look after. The removals men didn't leave until after 3pm; my mum rung to say they'd gone, and I drove over then to see her in 'her' new bungalow for the first time.
It was chaos, as expected, but she was in, and there hadn't been any major problems. After she and her auntie had been to the estate agents to pick up the keys, they managed to get lost, despite it being an area that they both know quite well. A lamp got broken at some point, and her washing machine wouldn't fit in the gap where it should go, but apart from that, it all went quite well. The bungalow was well looked after and quite nicely decorated, so she can 'live with it' for now - the only room she wanted to get painted was the living room, and she knows a decorator who has already been and done that for her. She wants to get a new gas fire and a carpet, and then the living room will be finished. The bedroom will take longer because she wants to have some fitted wardrobes built, but hopefully someone in the family is going to do that for her in the coming weeks. So it's all going quite well.
I was a bit worried about what she'd be like on her own, in a new, strange place. She's had so much on her mind for the past few months, now that she's finally got moved in, I wondered if her mood would fall a bit 'flat', especially as we're coming up to the anniversary of my dad passing away. But I think it's going to take her a long time getting her new home just how she wants it; she's a bit of a perfectionist, and she's always had a really good eye for interior design, so hopefully she'll keep herself occupied for quite a long time getting things 'just so'.
Another good thing about where she is now, is that she's about a 15 minute drive away from me, whereas before it was about 45 minutes. It's great being able to leave her house at 9pm, and be back in mine by about 9.15! It's also about 15 or 20 minutes from where I work, so this past week I've been calling in on my way home, and it's not really out of my way at all, as it's heading in the same direction. It's a lot better having her so much nearer to us.
So it's been a very stressful five or six months, obviously worse for my mum, but I've found it difficult too, seeing her so worried (because she really is a worrier!). I've always tried to stay positive, but my mum can be quite negative, and there have been times when I've just run out of things to say to her. There's only so many times you can say "everything will work out" before you stop believing it yourself!!
In the end though, everything did work out - it's a lovely bungalow, and I think she's going to be really happy there.