Oh, my poor neglected blog. I keep thinking I will start a post–I even thought I would participate in the non-challenge–alas, I can’t seem to keep myself focused for any length of time enough to blog. But here I am, almost a full month after my last post.
We are mostly settled in to our new place. There are pictures on the walls, sculptures on the mantle, and we’re even awaiting a custom frame job of a giant family portrait. The new place is great. We love having so much space (we went from 950 square feet in our last place to probably 1400-1500 here), and we particularly love having a safe patch of outdoor space for BG to play. We have enjoyed fresh oranges from a little orange tree outside of our kitchen window, and we’re salivating over the red barlett pears that are growing all over a pear tree in the same part of the yard. While we probably won’t have time for much of any gardening this summer since we’ve gotten here so late, we do have five heirloom tomato plants in pots that are doing tremendously, and we’ve got some promising starts of blue lake green beans and peas in other pots. It will be fun if we can yield any sort of harvest from these, and we’re hoping next year to really be able to tend to our garden boxes and grow at the very least a salad garden.
Life in the suburbs is not quite what we had planned for our family, but we live in a very quiet neighborhood, and the people on our street seem friendly–although the demographics here are decidedly older and much more conservative than we were hoping for. We live just a few blocks from an amazing local gourmet grocery store, and we’re a short drive from a decent park. We are also just under ten minutes from the town we recently called home and hope to call home again one day. It is admittedly hard to be here when we want to be there. This city hosts a whopping 175,000 people whereas the town where we were living had about 7,500. That’s more our speed; in fact, most of the towns where we have happily lived have been around the same size. Alas, we are here and not there, and we plan to stay here for a minimum of two years. We want BG to have some stability, and we need to settle in for awhile ourselves. It has been so stressful for all of us these past few months not exactly having a home but calling multiple places home. I will say that BG is adjusting beautifully to this place. In fact, the very second night we were here–the night before we moved all of our belongings in–we walked in after a trip to the market, and he said, “Home!” He felt it right away, and he loves declaring that we’re home nearly every time we leave and as he runs down the hallway.
And our landlady is amazing. When we came to sign the lease and get the keys, she had bought us flowers and BG a balloon. She got us a “welcome” sign for our front door. That’s just how she is, and we adore her. She and her husband have made so many memories in this home over the past forty years, and for them to choose us to be their first tenants, for them to essentially save us from what we were enduring, is something we value tremendously. There is a great deal of love in this home, and we feel it every day.
Our move has been in some ways bittersweet–beyond not being in our preferred town. At the last place, our youngest cat escaped and never did return. She had been unhappy for some time, so we have hopes that she just found somewhere new to be. That is what I think she did. Here, however, on our second night, our oldest cat, Pierre, our cat that we got the first year of our relationship thirteen years ago–J’s first cat ever–took off and never came back. We have walked all over our neighborhood calling for him. We’ve put up fliers and ads in the paper and on crai.gs.list, talked to all of the neighbors, checked all of the animal rescues, even went back to the last place we lived, but to no avail. He is tagged and has always, always, always come home, even when he has gone exploring for a week, but now it has been two weeks, and we’re so sad to think he may not be returning. Now my theory is that someone has stollen him. He would come home if he could. He is so friendly that he approaches everyone. My best hope is that he will escape and find his way back to us. We miss him fiercely. Our last cat is so devastated that she sleeps in dark rooms all day.
And then, on top of this, we’re going to be taking our former landlord to small claims court because she is refusing to return our deposit, despite a mutual agreement to end the lease amicably, despite the fact that we left the place in far better condition than when we rented it, and despite the fact that she was renting a place that was a health hazard. It’s infuriating and stressful, and not something I want to have to do, but it’s a large sum of money–money I had planned to use for doula training (which will now be delayed until next year as a result). Regardless of the headache, we have combed tenant law and feel we have a fairly cut-and-dry case. It’s just disheartening that we’ve got this nagging at us when we would rather just forget that we ever lived there.
And soon, we shall, and most days, we do. It is blissful sitting under our covered patio, enjoying all of the roses in full bloom, watching our son wash rocks in his new water table or helping him store his little plastic lawnmower next to the real one in the shed. We’re going to do a lot of healing in this house; we already are. And if things settle down, if life becomes what we want it to be, we may even begin talking more seriously about trying for number two. For now, we’re living for each day.
I’ll have photos and more updates and reflections soon.