Welcome back to the year-by-year retrospectives, ladies and gentlemen!
I will do 2 years this evening: 2000, and 2001.
In 2000, I turned 36. I continued to walk to work every day and mocked openly and vociferously, all the people who had to commute to and from work by means other than foot.
In January, we attended a Brian Adams concert at the Metro Centre. In March, it was time to go see Blue Rodeo at the same place.
Also in March, my father nearly died of an aortic dissection. It was the same thing that killed John Ritter a few years later and may be the thing that takes me out if I am not careful. Dad pulled through, but it was a very hard go for him for a few months. He would live another 10 years.
My apartment by 2000 was getting so small, and was so full of my stuff, that I decided to do something about it. By October I started looking for another place to live. I began to consider homes in Timberlea, not far from where Patricia was living. I looked at 4 places in the same neighborhood and decided to put in an offer for the place where I'm living now.
I made mistakes with the transaction. I knew nothing about buying a house and put myself in the hands of the 2 realtors. They told me that the present owners were "motivated" to sell. They would be willing to put in a fence, to paint the childrens' bedrooms, to do this and that, and I took them at their word. I put in an offer based on the requested price. They counter offered rudely (which I don't blame them for, because I had naively taken the realtors at their word), and I nearly walked away. I made one more offer, and they accepted it.
The next couple of months were a whirlwind. My parents were in town and saw the house because one of the realtors agreed to show it to all of us (the owners had moved out).
I began to clean up my apartment. I threw out a lot of things. I made a deal with the landlords that I would leave behind the curtains in the apartment, including the expensive ones that covered the big sliding doors overlooking the balcony, plus 50 dollars to defray the hookup costs for utilities, to anyone who saw my apartment and decided to move in. This worked for me because it would help me break my lease, which would only run out in June of 2001 otherwise. They found another person to take over the apartment in January.
I found a mover to transport my stuff. He charged me a special rate because I had so much. Moving my things from downtown Halifax to Timberlea would cost me over 700 dollars, a distance of maybe 18 kilometres.
By December I had been through a lot. Nearly losing my dad, deciding to buy a house, preparing for a big move. It all nicely presaged what would happen in... 2001!
The closing date on my new house was January 15th. I had booked off work for the full week to move in.
Leading up to the big move, I was packing everything I owned into the boxes provided by the moving company. I used markers to indicate where things would go, writing things like 'Middle Bedroom' on the boxes in question.
Early on January 15th, 3 poorly educated men came to my apartment and began loading up the moving truck with my things. They certainly did work very hard! After the truck was loaded, I told them where the house was, and I drove out ahead of them. My new neighbor allowed me to park in his driveway for a few hours while the truck was in my driveway unloading my stuff.
Afterward, I spoke with my new neighbor, Don, who would die in 2011. I met the young boy who would one day break into my house. And I got used to my new place.
The cable guy came the next day and installed digital cable. My phone was hooked up. I had to start shoveling my new driveway because of the snow storm that had hit on my big moving day.
I was in the market for a washer/dryer. Patricia was urging me to get a stacked washer/dryer. My parents talked me out of the purchase. My dad found a deal for a Maytag washer/dryer combo for less than half the money of the stacked appliances. I decided to go with that. I still have them.
My parents came to my new place later on that month. I remember that Dad adjusted the hot water tank to make it produce hotter water. Don't ask me what he did. I have no idea.
I returned to work and for the first time had to drive a vehicle to my work. One day I noticed a guy, a pedestrian, pointing at me and laughing because he could walk to work and I couldn't. Role reversal.
It was a big transition, moving from living and working in the downtown to living in the 'burbs and having to drive to my work. Moving from renting to owning was a big change as well. But I haven't looked back. Not sure if I could ever rent a place again.
Oh, remember things like house warming parties? Never had one. But one guy at work did buy me a set of dishes, because apparently that's good luck. I still have those dishes. Wouldn't let Patricia throw them out.
Tomorrow I will discuss what happened to me in 2002 and 2003.
See you then.