From Rome to Home 

25 Feb
25 February 2017. Moving is tough on every level. It’s non-stop labor, a constant stream of decisions to make, and an endless outpouring of money. After almost four months of transition, we have made the final move and are permanently installed in our new house in Lincoln City, Oregon (population about 8600). The kitchen is assembled, new flooring installed, walls are freshly painted, and we’ve slept here eight nights. The new shower is almost done. Maybe by Wednesday. We have a few boxes remaining and the office and guest room to organize plus artwork to hang.
Janie has settled in nicely.

Janie has settled in nicely.

Not surprisingly, we have some observations and musings about our move and new town.
Traffic Jam. Heavy traffic in Lincoln City in winter consists of more than three cars stopped at a red light. That will change when the tourists arrive in the summer, and traffic is a bit heavier on weekends even now, but what a pleasure it is to drive with virtually no traffic! We drive 28 miles to get to the “big town” of Newport (population 10,268) to shop at Fred Meyer, but considering it can take me an hour to go 10 miles from Beaverton to the East side of Portland to meet friends for dinner, the 40 minutes zipping along with a view of the Pacific Ocean makes me happy.
The shower in the master is not quite ready to use.

The shower in the master is not quite ready to use.

People are very trusting, Part I. There was no key to our mailbox in the development (14 households on our cul-de-sac), so we stopped by the Lincoln City Post Office and filed a request with the very friendly clerk. He said we’d get a call when the delivery person had changed the lock. No ID requested, no proof of residence. Huh. A week later we went back as we had not received a call. The key was there and another clerk simply handed it to us. No ID, no proof of residence required.
People are very trusting, Part II. We contacted a handyman service to get some help with furniture assembly (we cut a swath through IKEA to furnish the place), installing some fixtures, and getting the place cleaned after all the renovation work. A cleaning crew was dispatched and two strapping lads spent 3 days doing our punch list of tasks. The owner of the company simply emailed us an invoice. Never met us, never asked for a credit card nor a deposit. They did a great job.
The living room is waiting for a nice easy chair that will arrive in April.

The living room is waiting for a nice easy chair that will arrive in April.

Amazon and UPS instead of a moving van. On the occasion of my retirement in 2015, the government shipped back 1100 pounds of things we could not part with. It’s been sitting in storage in Portland. Artwork, precious family items, and model trains make a household complete, but you can’t sit on them nor eat off them. We also had a few boxes shipped from Italy at great expense; mostly clothes, some household items we cherished and could not replace.
The media room is missing a sofa, also arriving in April. Janie loves to sleep in the recliner, though.

The media room is missing a sofa, also arriving in April. Janie loves to sleep in the recliner, though.

Moving in we did not have the proverbial pot to pee in much less a bed to sleep in. (The house did come with two big screen TVs, however.) After the big IKEA sweep, I hit online shopping hard: Crate & Barrel, Wayfair, Potterybarn, Lands’ End, and especially Amazon. Most have free shipping if you buy enough stuff, or in the case of Amazon, have a Prime membership. We’ve always felt Prime was a good deal, but that $99 per year really paid off as FedEx, UPS, and the USPS dropped off a steady stream of Amazon boxes at our door. One single order was north of $2100.00 and the shipping charge was $1.00. I have not been able to figure out which product was the culprit as there were so many items in the order. We did not have to pack the stuff, we did not have to hire a moving van, but we had to unwrap a mountain of boxes. North Lincoln County Recycling has been very helpful moving that cardboard out.
The guys doing the flooring ran out of materials in our office so we had to wait a few extra days to finish setting it up.

The guys doing the flooring ran out of materials in our office so we had to wait a few extra days to finish setting it up.

Janie has adapted beautifully. She had been a bit of a pain-in-the-ass at Derek’s: very clingy, insisting on climbing on my pillow and sleeping on my head, waking me up with her twitching tail. We had to lock her out many nights just to get a few hours uninterrupted sleep. Upon arrival at the new house, she is back to her old sweet self. She fully explored the house her first day here and seems to understand this is her permanent place. She found cozy napping spots and has slept peacefully on the bed allowing us a full 8 hours or more each of the past few nights. And it is so quiet here! No motorini roaring past, not even barking dogs, and since our house has radiant in-floor heating, not even the gentle whoosh of a furnace. When it is clear, the stars look close enough to touch.
There is a lot of exploring to do. We’ve been non-stop on moving and settling in since February 8 and the weather has not been conducive to walks on the beach nor hikes in the woods. Today we finally had a chance to take a walk in the hills behind us and enjoy some sunshine and brisk (45F/7C) fresh air. It was our first real walk in three weeks.
We have come a long way from Rome, literally and figuratively, but we really feel at home here.
Now for a shameless plug: If you know of anyone traveling to Italy, please recommend they check out my book at Amazon. Walking in Italy’s Val Gardena is available worldwide in print and Kindle format.  I will be blogging more over at Project Easy Hiker if you would care to follow me.

9 Responses to “From Rome to Home ”

  1. nildamacedopaulino March 19, 2017 at 17:00 #

    Nice BLOG!!! ADD my BLOG too!!! Kisses!!!


  2. ckleonard February 26, 2017 at 06:39 #

    I’m so happy for you that you are so close to settled! And, that Janie is settled! My “girls”. Shadow and Shasta, have totally settled in at our new apartment. They don’t even seem to mind all the full boxes still to be emptied! I have my old residence nearly cleared out and am looking so forward to getting my new space organized and looking like a home.


    • Laurel Barton February 26, 2017 at 08:54 #

      Thank you, Carolyn! Happy for you, too, and looking forward to seeing your digs on a future Portland trip!


  3. William February 25, 2017 at 19:43 #

    Smnart move – discard most things and just buy the things to fit the decor of your new surroundings. We’re just hanging pictures as it is a long drudge. Congratulations!!


    • Laurel Barton February 26, 2017 at 11:16 #

      Hi Bill. Yes, it worked out very well to buy new and not pay the expense of shipping the old stuff from Italy. Expensive either way. More fun this way!


  4. chloe erkenbrecher February 25, 2017 at 18:03 #

    Benvenuto a sua casa. How nice to be almost settled in, with even the cat finding comfort. Most of the homes we have lived in have been in very safe areas and we have not needed locks or keys. The only home that we have had broken into, was our home in France, which is in a very small village. They broke out our kitchen window to enter, but stole very little and did no damage.
    I have recommended your book to a friend, and she has either bought it already or is going to buy it, as she is going to the Dolomites this summer with a group.
    Aren’t you going to tire of all the rain in northern, coastal Oregon after Italy? As i was raised in southern Oregon, I am not overly fond of constant rain. Perhaps this is why I married someone from California.
    I hope you will soon be completely settled in and able to take your hikes.


    • Laurel Barton February 26, 2017 at 08:54 #

      Thank you for the recommendation to your friend! Our book has sold some copies, much to our pleasure! We are used to the rain after 25 years in Portland prior to going to Rome. Yes, the Roman climate was terrific in the winter, but the summers in Oregon, especially at the coast, are wonderful, and we hate the heat. We might have to take up winter in Italy, though. 🙂


  5. mvaden1948 February 25, 2017 at 16:24 #

    Welcome to your new home. Everything will come together eventually.
    Cats are funny. My Diavolo knows something is up and has been more affectionate than usual. I leave for Venice on Tuesday. I imagine he will be really clingy when I come back on April 1. At least he has a good buddy dropping by several times a day. We’re lucky she lives in our building.
    As for your experience with trust… It’s one of the joys of small town living.


    • Laurel Barton February 26, 2017 at 08:51 #

      Thank you, Michelle! I am excited for your trip, which will be such a nice treat after the year you have had! Buon viaggio!

      Liked by 1 person

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