Dear Aunt Agatha,
We are finally in! After nearly three months waiting, we picked up the keys to our house and took possession. It all felt a bit unreal at first, but we have very quickly found ourselves settling in.
After a few false starts we got the customs paperwork signed and back to the shipping company. Very relieved when it cleared customs OK, we had to be out of the apartment mid-February so had very little leeway for any delays. But the container delivery could not be arranged for a few days, so we had a big empty house at first.
All the utility arrangements worked out OK though, so we had power and water and phones. We started shuttling things up from downtown, like toys for the kids to keep themselves amused with, and picnics to eat while we pottered around. Ali quickly attacked the garden. The previous owners had done a lot of work inside, but the yard is still a huge mess. I've got months of work ahead of me to clear the heaps of stuff littering the back. There were two conifers at the front growing up through the deck and obscuring the bedroom windows downstairs. They are now gone.
By the way, the house is "upside down", with bedrooms downstairs and kitchen & living room upstairs. We both love the arrangement.
We were up at the house early on the day arranged to meet our container, only to get a phone call saying that the driver had had an accident and was in hospital! So, another day of pottering and buying yet more stuff.
Next day, more deliveries that Ali had arranged the previous month. Washer, dryer, microwave, and bedroom furniture. And Shaw connected up our cable and internet. Most of the apartment is now empty, other than what we need to cook and sleep.
Finally, the next day, the container arrived. That 40' container reversing into the driveway was the most welcome sight in the world. The three delivery men unloaded the whole thing in under four hours. Only a couple of minor breakages to report, and it was so, so good to see all our things again. All the furniture looks great in place and we can now start to turn the house into a home.
The kids completely burned themselves out that day. As soon as the outdoor toy box surfaced, they dived straight in and were soon running around the garage and garden all excited. It was a weird feeling for us, too, seeing all those familiar everyday things again that have been out of our lives for three life-changing months. A bit like coming home after a very long vacation.
Well, the place is habitable, and we've cleaned out the apartment. There is still a vast amount of unpacking and sorting out still to do, but we are getting on top of it.
And we finally feel we can look forward to some stability in this new country that we call home.