The big move

They say every life has its up periods and its down periods. The move to Maine two years ago in the middle of winter was destined to be one of the down times for this family of five.

They had been moving every two or three years as Dad seeks increasingly responsible positions.

He’s an electrical engineer. He worked in the Midwest for awhile, then found a job more to his liking in Maine. His wife is a stay-at-home mom who rides herd on their three children and a bevy of cats and dogs.

Two years ago, on a snowy day they moved into their new home, and suffered a few shocks.

The prior owners had also kept cats, but not responsibly. There were urine stains in the carpets that had been missed during the buying process and would require new floorboards and carpets. Window trim in the home was gouged by animal claws. Shortly after they moved in, defective kitchen equipment started a fire that caused considerable damage. 

During their move into the house, the company hauling their stuff couldnʼt get the truck up the steep driveway because of snow, so the move was delayed while the goods were transferred to a small truck that took several trips to the house.

The family was feeling time pressure because they had to move out of the temporary home they were in that same day, and they had believed it would go quickly but it didnʼt. They didnʼt finish cleaning up their rental home until 1 in the morning, and then they drove to their new place in the middle of the night – and it wasnʼt prepared for even basic living yet.

Snow-in-Maine

Not great conditions for moving into a home, even for Maine in the winter.

To add to the chaos, all three kids had fevers and were throwing up during the weekend move. The youngest had a temperature of 105, the other two were 102.

“Itʼs overwhelming,” said Mom then. “Iʼm trying to see the positives.”

On the Monday after the move, Mom had to call in sick for all three kids for what would have been their first day at new schools. “It was a mess. They were miserable, and they were all sad because weʼd had to put our dog Hooch to sleep three days earlier.”

Speaking of Hooch, she said, “I just couldnʼt do it anymore. The cancer was terminal and he was failing. He was going at both ends every ten minutes. I was up with him for two nights.

“And now I have guilt at being so relieved that I donʼt have to do all that any more.”

Sharing-Hootch's-bed

Hooch was a loving dog and happy to share his bed with his buddy Romeo.

After Hooch died, said Mom, “The other two dogs are just moping around. He was their pack leader. Heʼd eat first, then the others. Now theyʼre just picking at their food.

“They miss him so much, they donʼt know what to do with themselves. We let them sleep with us they were crying so much.” The dogs are somewhat back to normal but still miss their pack leader terribly.

Dogs-in-Maine

On a day it wasn’t absolutely freezing and the sun was shining Mom took the two “puppies” for a walk a mile up to the top of their street and then off into the woods to explore.

The family was prepared for harsh weather, but New England’s been hit by some major storms over the last couple of years. Despite the chaos, there was time to take a jaunt to the coast.

Snow-in-Maine

Neither the parents nor the three children ever became comfortable with their new home, despite making major repairs to the floors and other problem areas. Finally they were calling the place a “house of horrors.”

There have been other setbacks, as well.

Mom’s car was rear ended in the library parking lot.
The daughter broke her toe.
The youngest son broke his arm.
Dad tore his bicep tendon pushing their car after it got stuck in a snowbank. He had to have surgery.
Mom developed a growth on her thyroid and had to have it removed.
The daughter was attacked by a dog and needed many stitches on her head. She also bitten by a tick and came down with Lyme disease.
Their cat Rusty was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer, and eventually had to be put to sleep.

So perhaps it was all for the good when Dad made a new career move.

The result: The family will be moving again, from the Portland, Maine, area to the Portland, Oregon, area. We wish them all the best. They deserve it.

Still, despite the many problems, Mom has kept a positive attitude.

“With all of this, thinking back on these last two years, I can’t help but think of all the successes and fun that we’ve had.  Not as much fun as I would have liked, but some pretty good times nonetheless.
“Thank goodness we are getting the heck out of dodge!”

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