Don’t Tell the Dollhouse, But…

The Gingerbread Diaries

We went away for the weekend and didn’t miss our new home–I know, it’s scandalous.

This past weekend we were in Jacksonville for Ancient City Con and stayed at a Hometown Suites room that couldn’t be farther from our new home:

  • Where the Dollhouse is nearly 3K square feet, this room made our cabin on the cruise ship look spacious.
  • Where the Dollhouse has lovely (if dusty and worn) wood floors throughout, the hotel room was carpeted.
  • Where the Dollhouse currently requires us to sleep with multiple fans pointed at us to stay comfortable, I frequently needed an extra layer in the hotel room.
  • Where I have trouble falling asleep at the Dollhouse because of all the still-new-to-me noises, I fell asleep easily each night at the hotel (even though I usually sleep horribly in a new place the first night).

And let’s not even get into how wonderful it was to be on the first floor–no stairs!

Now, I’m not saying I want to go give up the Dollhouse and build a Tiny House in our backyard or anything, it was just nice to feel a bit normal again surrounded by the towers of boxes and bins as we are. And I did feel a bit guilty about not missing home about midway through our stay. Even the “hotel smell” that some folks complain about was preferable to the still-musty smell some of the Dollhouse rooms have.

Despite all of that, it did feel good coming home to the Dollhouse, and I did sleep better that night that I have since we moved in. Sure, there’s noises coming from the wall of my studio, the water heater is being temperamental, and I’m not yet comfortable walking around this place barefoot, but we’ll get there. Eventually.

About the only apprehension I had about the trip was that it was the first time we’d be away from the Dollhouse overnight since moving in for real. The idea of coming home and things not being as we left them spurred me to contact our insurance agent and get the Rehab/Renovation/Not-Covering-Contents policy transformed into a full-on homeowner’s policy. And if you thought it was as simple as a phone call you’re obviously new to the saga of the Dollhouse; nothing is simple in our world.

Take one part stressed-out homeowner with a habit of active listening (which, on the phone, leads to several ‘rights, okays, and I understands) and one part overwhelmed agent (who interprets the active listening habits of the homeowner as defensive interruptions) and you get a recipe for a very tense transaction. We finally got where we needed to go only to find that no one knew how the bank wanted to handle it. I thought this was agreed upon back during the negotiations pre-closing, but apparently not. So add in a call to Wells Fargo while I’m still packing to go out of town and realizing there’s not a single pen upstairs when I needed to take down the contact info for the bank!

Then, of course, the long email I sent before getting on the road? Never arrived in her Inbox so the included request to send me the rundown of out policy options so I could actually make a decision? Yeah, that never happened. The cell reception in the convention area was horrible, but we finally got it together around 5pm on Friday. Because of the age of the house, our provider options were pretty slim anyway–note of caution to those looking to buy historic properties. The major decision was whether or not to go with Cash Value or Replacement Value on the contents coverage. The latter makes for a more expensive premium but Todd and I agreed that it was worth the additional expense to have that additional peace of mind.

So now I’m just waiting on refund checks from the two policies (the 6-month reno policy I paid directly before closing and the annual HOI that the bank recently paid on our behalf). When the HOI comes back I have to deposit back into the escrow account (I wish they could just refund it directly to Wells Fargo, but apparently it wasn’t an option) to put things back to rights. We had a bit of paperwork to settle up when we got back to town on Monday, and it was a good thing we did: a piece of mail from the insurance company got returned (for reasons completely unknown) and they took that to mean the house was vacant and violating the policy and were going to cancel it at the end of the month.

It’s always something with this place, it seems, but at least it’s never dull!