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We are officially homeless! We signed our portion of the closing paperwork on Monday. The movers came on Tuesday to cart our stuff from one house to the other; the contractors are graciously allowing us to store everything in the various storage areas and garage of our new house. The buyers signed the last of the paperwork on Wednesday, and we rolled out of Wisconsin after picking up the check.

Jim and I, along with the dogs, invaded my parents’ home and will be living here until we can close on the condo. At the same time, Holly is living with her best friend’s mother. I know that sounds weird but it is a joint custody situation, and Holly loves her best friend’s mom but feels less comfortable around her best friend’s dad. So, while her friend alternates households every week, Holly will stay put and enjoy her life as an adopted daughter.

The benefits to these arrangements were to allow Holly to continue living as normal a life as possible, while Jim and I bore the brunt of traveling the 102 miles each way for appointments and other parts of our life. Like all of our plans lately, things are not quite going as we hoped, as Holly found out her temporary family had to self-quarantine for fourteen days because of the youngest daughter’s direct exposure to her daycare teacher testing positive for COVID.

Even worse, we found out less than twenty-four hours before Holly was set to take the stage in the postponed dance recital from June. More than one person went to bed on Friday night upset at Jim and me for preventing her from dancing, as I got the impression that not every parent would have made the same call we did. However, we know we were not just protecting Holly but all 40+ dancers and the 150 audience members. If this is what it takes to stop having to wear a mask every time we go somewhere, then it is a small price to pay.

So far, the family shows no symptoms of the virus. Holly is switching to the fully virtual schedule for the next two weeks until everyone is clear to leave the house again. She will also attend her dance classes virtually and will have to avoid at least one weekend of dance rehearsals. She should be free to leave on the very same day she takes the PSAT. Nothing says welcome back to the world like having to sit for a standardized test!

We did see Holly yesterday at the condo, wherein she stayed away from us and we all wore masks. It is by no means ideal. I want to give my girl a hug like there’s no tomorrow, but that will have to wait. We brought Piper with us, so she was able to give some love to her favorite dog and vice versa. Most importantly, she understands our decision and respects it, even while recognizing what a terrible situation it is.

Speaking of the condo, we now have cabinets! Our last delay is the kitchen countertops, which the contractor could not order until the cabinets arrived and were installed. They were installed as of Saturday, but they could take as long as three weeks to cut and prepare. So far, no one is discussing delaying the closing beyond October 30th, so please, send prayers, keep your fingers crossed, do magic. Whatever it takes to make the countertop people hurry.

With the cabinets, the house is progressing nicely. There is one small wall area to finish painting. Most of the trim and doors are in place. The vanity tops for the two upstairs bathrooms are at the house waiting for installation. The bathroom tile is complete. On the outside, we have half of a poured driveway, all of the trees planted and most of the landscaping done. They should be adding the sprinkler system and putting down the sod once the driveway is done. On the inside, now that the cabinets are in, they should be starting to lay the flooring. And they still have to add the backsplash for the kitchen. It doesn’t feel like there is a lot to do, but I can see why the contractor needs the rest of the month.

Our plan is to spend one day each weekend in the condo working on the little projects we committed to completing. Unfortunately, because our household goods ended up spilling out of the storage areas and into the unfinished living areas, and because they literally shoved boxes into every nook and cranny they could find, hunting down the tools we need to complete those projects may prove to be impossible. Still, it gives us a good reason to come up and see Holly every week. And maybe, our contractor will allow us the opportunity to start unpacking or at least moving the furniture out of storage sooner rather than later.

So, how are you? Doing anything fun? Enjoying the fall weather? Decorating your house because you can? Please share. It is killing me that I have no house for my favorite season of the year. I need to live vicariously through everyone else!

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