Taking Possession – Day 1!

First Day at the CottageI remember the day like yesterday: the day we took possession of our cottage. Or did it take possession of us?! We came in knowing we were in for a lot of work; you know, the usual moving day, cleaning-type of work. Each step we took deeper into the place showed us more and more filth, and more and more damage.

I swear the two times we went to view the cottage before the sale went through, it seemed clean. Maybe it wasn’t to our standards but the smell of PineSol was in the air – it must be clean then right?! IT WAS A TRICK!!!

Living room = cat hair matted on the sofa (we’re both highly allergic).

Guest Room = I won’t describe what was under the bed or the state of the mattress. Just EWWWWW!

We ventured upstairs to the “master” bedroom and another guest room, again, filthy mattresses and cat hair.

In our defense, we really hadn’t looked closely at any furniture in our viewings: that was a last minute change to get the offer to be accepted at our price. Now we know why they accepted so quickly after we threw the furniture into the deal; now they didn’t have to deal with it!

Then came the magic moment … Brian commanded … “EVERYTHING OUT!!!”

Our two tween-age boys stared in disbelief and joy for a split second before they started pitching stuff from both levels of the cottage and creating a pile on the driveway. It seemed like within minutes the main floor was empty with only a coffee table and two end tables remaining – they were washable.

As Brian & the boys worked on clearing the place out, I started working on cleaning the kitchen. Thank goodness for rubber gloves and heavy chemicals! Upon reflection, I suppose the kitchen was in the best condition of the entire cottage, with the exception of copious amounts of mouse droppings and a nasty damp smell in the lower cabinets and a stove that was beyond my scrubbing capabilities.

Somewhere between the tossing and scrubbing and a trip to Wiarton (about 30 minutes south) to see if we could source some new furniture and another trip into Ferndale to see about a new stove, Brian came into the kitchen, grabbed a beer and said “If you don’t want to see a grown man cry, don’t step outside.” I swore I was going to my sister’s place for the night.

By the end of the day we had no beds, no furniture – save for the coffee and end tables and some foldable lawn chairs to sit on – some possible brain damage from the chemical cleaners, and very bruised spirits and company coming!

A friend of ours and his daughter were to be coming the next day to deliver a barbecue and some patio furniture – and now back-up cleaning supplies  –  and stay the night! WHERE?!!! I had to clean out the guest room too! So I grabbed my bucket of hot water and cleaners, fresh rubber gloves, and ventured forth. I took a deep breath to steel myself as I stepped into the room to discover … a piece of the floor was nearly rotted out! That’s apparently where the litter box for the cat(s?) had been. EWWWWWW! No wonder they put a dresser where it made little sense!

Well, we made it through the day – no I’m not sure how – and after Brian braced the toilet against the wall so it wouldn’t fall through the floor, we had our showers and got prepared for pizza and then a well-deserved rest. I was the last one for the shower and the boys were in lawn chairs in the living room watching Smokey & the Bandit or some other cottage worthy movie. I stepped out of the shower and heard an odd noise – a thumping, or scratching, or huffing. At first I thought it was the movie in the living room until it went silent and I heard some scrambling.

OH GAWD! What now?!! Scratch, huff.

It seemed to be coming from the back corner of the house – or the side – or the back! Scratch, scratch, huff, grunt. I scurried to dry off and throw some clothes on (you don’t want to be eaten RAW!). Brian and the boys scrambled from the front door to the back trying to determine the source of the sound but it was SO dark out and the beast was obviously moving to avoid their flashlights.

Suddenly there was a knock at the back door! OMG! That’s right beside the room I’m in! I’ll be the first to be eaten! Brian stopped in his tracks. “Wait, would a bear knock before coming in?” Just then my sister and Brother-in-Law opened the door and bounced in to see how we’re doing! I would have killed them if we weren’t all laughing so hard – and they brought champagne! You can’t kill people who bring alcohol after the day we’ve just had.

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