It’s been months since I wrote a blog. I’ve been out of action for months, since Pesach. There are lots of reasons – mainly because I sold a house and bought a house. Now that the move is over, I am getting back in the swing of things and I want to share the experience. Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisine is not just about food, it’s about lifestyle. So I have lots to say about moving. We will get back to food shortly as people are returning from the summer and soon the holidays will be upon us.
FYI- there are no recipes in this or the next few blogs, just a lot about the trials and tribulations of moving and contractors. Let me clue you into what’s been happening.
Once the decision was made to sell our beautiful Victorian home – a magnificent landmarked house, center hall, balabusta (this is a Yiddish word; in Arabic the word is Chartre, meaning a homemaker who does everything) kitchen, large spacious bedrooms on a block with lovely trees that form a magnificent canopy as you drive down the bloc, I had to pack up 21 years of house with eight people in it. That’s a lot of house, major organization and planning, and a lot of boxes. In the middle of all this, I had to work.
We had many simchas in our house, a bris, bar mitzvahs, parties galore, endless Thanksgivings, New Year’s Eve parties with neighbors, New Year’s Day Open Houses with family and friends, and countless birthday dinners. I miss my house, I do, but am happy that a nice religious family purchased it. I hope they have as many simchas and happy occasions as we did.
It was time for us to move on. To move, everything had to be gone through and packed. My guiding principle was, I am married 40 years, and it’s time for new furniture.
As part of the move, I decided to move my various businesses out of my house and into a real office. For those of you who don’t know, I have several businesses – Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisine, Sarina Roffé Consulting Group, and Sephardic Genealogical Journeys. We found a lovely office in Brooklyn on Quentin Road. This was necessary as most of my clients are Brooklyn based and the business has grown enough that we needed office space.
Every weekend was spent packing, organizing, deciding what was trash, what to give away and then distributing items. Twice a week there was enough garbage for a dumpster. Furniture was given away, put on EBay – sofas, dressers, chests and baby items. My neighbor’s children were very appreciative of getting my grand piano. What people didn’t want was put on the street. I called Gemachs and spread the word of what I was giving away so anyone who could use the items I didn’t want or need could get them. Many people did well or got items they needed from our move.
My Turkish carpets were sent to be cleaned. My grandmother’s dining room set, lovely and precious as it is, was given to my eldest niece and a piece to my other niece. I love the set, don’t get me wrong, but I enjoyed it for 17 years and it doesn’t fit in my new house. My niece wanted it very badly and it made her happy. My mother’s sewing machine – I sewed with it once in 18 years – to my sister.
Why did I need 2 cribs? One was given away to a needy family. Four car seats? Three were given away. My youngest grandchild is two and by the time the next one comes, the standards will change. Did I really need my bank statements from 1994? My children’s papers from first grade? Bags and bags of worthless paperwork in the trash! Bookshelves? Several religious people are putting their books on the shelves. I didn’t even take my appliances. Two refrigerators were recycled. Thank you Con Ed for the rebate!
No matter how much we threw out there was still more and more to pack and go through. It was endless. I bought hundreds of boxes and was on the hunt for any boxes I could find in grocery stores, from neighbors, offices, anywhere. I even found some long florist boxes on the street, they were perfect for long things.
At the end, we moved with over 400 boxes and still a lot of furniture. The 26 foot truck was filled three times. That’s right three times. It took two full days to move out of the house completely and five men to do the work. When we got to the house we bought – it wasn’t ready.