After we sold our house we took our kids and chooks and stayed with husband’s mother. We had a couple of weeks before we got the keys to our country house. There was around 4 months when we lived in-between these houses. We called it the transition period.
While the drive was only just more then 2 hours with young kids we found it just too exhausting to make the trip in the day. They’d sleep at odd times and it threw us all out of whack. Instead we would go through our usual evening routine then head off around their bedtime. They’d fall asleep quickly and we could carry them inside at the other end.
Our shipping container of household stuff was in storage for a while before we could get it delivered at the new house. This gave us some breathing room to roam around a house that was nearly 3 times more space than our Brisbane house and plan how we might set things up.
We used the time to explore our local surroundings with walks around the property and short drives around the traps. Our weekends were long due to the fact that our kids had only been in daycare 3 days a week and I was working a 7 day fortnight. Hubby could book jobs to suit himself too. The more we visiting our new house the more time we wanted to be there and the easier it became for the children to understand what was happening. They had both been born in the one house in Brisbane and it was their first move and our first move as a family. The older child age 4 would often talk about the ‘old’ school and the ‘old’ house but after six weeks they were calling the new place home.
Given we had no furniture for a while and it was a lot cooler than Brisbane we all slept in the one room. It was a bit like camping. Which meant it was really fun, but the adult’s sleep was pretty restless.
Even in the transition period we had plenty of family keen to see our place. It was a great opportunity to talk through our ideas and gain their input. Many visitors were itching to help in some way so we’d take up their offers and get them picking pears or unpacking boxes.
We pretty much lived out of suitcases (they were bags really). We had to make sure we had a variety of clothes on hand as the temperature difference between Brisbane and the new house were around 10 degrees. We made the mistake of leaving Brisbane in summer wear only to arrive to the new place late at night to 13 degrees or so.
A trailer made the trips productive too as we could take items that we had not packed in the shipping container. The trailer was an investment and has proven invaluable. A piece of equipment hubby will also use for work.
We found that we kept some of the same items at both houses such as toothbrushes and the rest we carted back and forth. I’d take the weekly washing to the new house where I had not one, but two Hills hoist clotheslines. What a luxury, at my Mother-in-law (MIL) there was only a small line off the side of the house. I had one child toilet training so a washing line is a treasured piece of equipment for me.
One time I had taken all three pairs of work trousers to wash and left them behind in the wardrobe. It was two weeks before we were heading back out and it meant I had to wear skirts or dresses for two weeks straight. I struggled a bit with that.
The chickens enjoyed their shady spot underneath a huge Poinciana tree. They’d be free ranging at our Brisbane house but my MIL’s place was not fully fenced. I made a run from chicken wire and garden stakes and they got scratching in their new dirt right away. Turned out on the days I was at work MIL would let them free range under her watchful eye. She’d manage to round them up back into their run area before I got home.
Life was pretty hectic as husband was preparing his business for sale and I was winding up my work too. MIL made things easy by preparing the dinner meal daily. It was one less thing for us to have to think about.
Every weekend at the new house was a mini break. We’d all recharge and refresh and I’d return with bunches of whatever flowers were blooming. Each visit offered us a slightly different sight with new plants and trees putting on a sweet and colorful show. It was quite exciting waiting to see what was different in the landscape and on the property. Because we’d arrive at night we raised the blinds with delight in the morning.
I’d often take a small bunch of flowers to the office and learnt that there are over 14 types of lavender. Co-workers would stop and take in the fresh aroma and admire the colours of each bunch. I’m not very nifty at floral arrangements but the bunches, usually of the one type of flower, would speak for themselves. Sometimes I would pick an arm full of grasses. Yes grasses. The pale greens and delicate stalks would take me to my new backyard every time I looked over at them.
By the time we finished work and made our final ‘weekend’ trip to the new house we were ready to leave Brisbane. Spending so much time at the new place allowed us to mentally prepare and settle in. We arrived a week before Christmas and managed to pull together a small Christmas feast, even if we hadn’t unpacked all the usual platters and serving gear. Some Christmas bush in a vase on a white (but un-ironed) tablecloth and we were set. Local cherries picked a few kilometres away was a fitting way to celebrate what this lifestyle had to offer.