Category Archives: moving

safe and sound

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.

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exodus

I am at my mom’s house with BG. My wife brought us here two days ago to stay until we move.

Three days ago, BG had a doctor’s appointment for a cough. His cold that he had never went away, and his coughing was constant and was becoming increasingly worse. At his appointment, I learned that BG had a double ear-infection and on top of that, the doctor heard some pretty nasty wheezing. She asked me if J and I smoke, and when I said no, she asked if anyone smoked in the home. I still said no. Only later did I think about the fact that yes, in fact, someone does fill our home with smoke every day–our neighbor in the duplex next door. The doctor was honestly surprised that I said no, and she told me that BG’s brand of wheezing results in asthma in about 50% of kids who have it at his age. My stomach clenched when I heard this news, and when I got to the car and got BG safely into his car seat, I silently sobbed in the minutes before leaving the parking structure because in that moment I knew that this hell hole we’ve been living in has caused this to happen. Between the constant pot smoke and the exposure to black mold and otherwise contaminated air (did I mention the tar that dripped from the walls when we used his humidifier in his room–even though his walls were freshly painted?), our boy has been breathing crap air for over a month and as a result has gotten sicker and sicker.

I called J at work. She was with a student, but when I picked her up, she was in Super Mama mode. She told me we had to talk, that she wanted me and BG to go to my mom’s and that she was packing us up. Whether we had a place to live or not, we were getting the hell out of there, even if that meant moving everything into storage and staying with my family for awhile.

That night, we got a hotel room and made plans. We had plenty of houses to look at, but J would have to see them herself. In fact, J would have to take care of everything, including getting her grades in. It was all overwhelming, but it was what we had to do. And then, as we got BG out of his bath that night, I got a call from a woman whose house we had seen a couple of weeks prior. She wanted to know if we were still interested. We had just assumed we were out of the running, but she had liked us from the beginning and so had her husband. We were interested, so we scheduled a time to come see it again the next day, and after looking it over, chatting with her for an hour in the driveway, and doing a serious gut check, we all agreed. We’re signing the lease in nine days.

The house is not in our dreamtown. Dreamtown’s rental market has become very unfriendly of late, and the monthly rent on a very small two-bedroom home that would have been affordable last year has risen over 25% per month, so we’ve found a place about eight minutes away on the outskirts of a neighboring city. It’s a city we like well enough, and the location will allow us access to our dreamtown plus lots of other great elements of our county. The house is in the suburbs, and it looks like so many other houses from its era (the sixties), but we like it, and it’s so clean and safe. There’s a fenced back yard with a couple of raised beds and a covered patio–oh, and three bedrooms, so I get to have an office again. It’s not our dream home, but it feels like a safe haven, like it will rescue us and help us get our lives going. That’s really what we want. No, it’s not that idyllic country life we dreamt of, but that idyllic country life has been marred for the moment by copious amounts of pot smoke and rat shit. Somehow, it feels less appealing.

So we’re moving next week. J is packing us up while she finishes grading and finals, and BG and I are waiting it out here. I’m having a terrible time with it. My step-dad just lost his job, so he’s always here and very surly. The television is blaring nonstop playing old westerns, and I generally feel like he’s annoyed with my presence. He is better with BG, but I know we’re in his way, and it sucks. I’m stuck though. My wife has our car. My parents need theirs, and I’m many miles from a nearby town or public transportation even. This week is going to be very long. However, when I look at my son, and I see how immediately his health has improved upon leaving that place, how quickly he’s off the breathing treatments, I’m heartened, and I know we’ve done the right thing. Still, how is a control freak supposed to just sit back and hear over the phone how the packing is going? I’m literally pacing the floors.

I’m a mess of emotions, and I ping from nervous to restless to simply missing my wife like crazy. I’m just trying to look ahead, decorating in my mind, imagining sitting on that patio watching BG playing in the back yard. Now I just need to remember to breathe.

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not so surprising

We have decided to move again. I have never in my life lived somewhere for such a short amount of time, but as you all know, this has been a few weeks coming.

Now that the moving stress has worn off and J and I have had the opportunity to settle in a bit, explore our neighborhood, and most importantly, spend some time in our lovely new town, we both agreed that this is the very sort of place we want to live. We love the town so much. We love the neighborhood. We want to see BG grow up here. We don’t, however, want to spend exorbitant amounts of money improving someone else’s property when what we really want is our own home.

The idea of buying a home is central to the American dream, but for years, we have wanted none of it. We considered ourselves nomads. We never really knew where we would end up, and we didn’t want to be tied down somewhere if it wasn’t where we planned to stay. This is why we never entertained the idea of buying a house in Humboldt, even though the prices would have been more our speed.

But here, both of us are dreaming for the first time of seriously putting down roots, and with that comes buying a place. We have a long way to go before we get there. We’re probably looking at a few years of saving, planning, trying to make our work in academia somehow more stable while pursuing our other goals at the same time. But we want it, and both of us have admitted it to the other at the same time.

What does that have to do with our current living situation? Well, we know that we’re going to have to put in at least a thousand dollars to make this place livable, and that sort of makes us sick. We don’t want to put the work in here. We don’t want to improve this jerk-of-a-landlord’s property value when she’s not willing to spend a penny on it herself. So we’re going to find a place as soon as we can–probably some kind of townhouse in a complex in town. We just sold our second car, so it would be convenient to be able to walk everywhere, but it would also give us the opportunity to save a little while having someone else take care of issues like lawns and such. It has to be somewhere with a little yard, which is going to be challenging to find but not impossible. It has to be safe, and it has to be free of rodents and pot smoke and mold, and it needs to be suitable for a couple of years. The great thing about this area is that the country is no more than a mile away regardless of the direction you drive, so we won’t be far from peace or even lots of apple trees. They just won’t likely be ours–for now.

It is rather anxiety-inducing to think about moving again so soon, but we plan to move when J finishes up the semester, and my mom will be able to help us with BG, and everything will be rosy and positive and a step forward. Hell, moving back to our old place (which is NOT something we’re going to do) would be a step up from here. But we’re taking wobbly little toddler steps (thanks, Strawberry) toward our dream, and that’s starting to feel good. I already feel a bit lighter.

In fact, we packed a few boxes today. That’s how serious we are. Holy hell, I can’t believe we’re going to pack again.

In other more escapist news, it’s been since before BG was born that we have taken a proper vacation. We had planned to do a Yosemite trip, but to do what we wanted to do, we needed to have planned our trip a year ago. Therefore, we’re going to San Diego at the end of May–maybe spend some time at the beach, hit up some children’s museums, venture through the zoo, and more. I cannot begin to tell you how delightful this feels to be planning such a trip. Anyone have any suggestions for must-see stops there? We’ve both been there but only for brief stops and never to spend any time, so we’re very excited for the upcoming respite and some adventure with our boy genius.

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Filed under Baby Genius, moving, new beginnings, vacation

landed

Well, we moved. We’re still sitting amidst piles of boxes, but we finally have keys to only one residence, and that residence is the one in the country. The last two weeks have been so hard for us in so many ways, and even now, we can’t take a breath. Let me back up a little though. Warning: this is going to be long. And probably negative.

Last I wrote, we were in the midst of a whirlwind of packing the old place and prepping the new one. With those preparations came more and more discoveries about what a crap state the place was in. J cleaned everything, and I joined her, and it was rough. My brother showed up one day and helped us paint. The next day, J hired the boyfriend of one of her students to help her paint. The next day, she had a whole crew of her own students helping out. This got expensive very quickly. One wonders how much it would have cost us just to hire someone from the beginning. Alas, lesson learned. So the paint was better, but the house still smelled awful. It was this combination of wet dog, dog piss, and pot smoke. We got some N.ature’s M.iracle carpet shampoo and did the carpets again, which made it better but not completely. It had to be good enough though because by then we were moving in the next day.

We hired a couple of guys after placing an ad on CL to help us move, but surprise, surprise, we couldn’t get a big enough truck for all of our shit, so the guys filled up the truck, and because we couldn’t afford to keep them on or to pay for the mileage on the truck, we were left with multiple carloads of our crap to bring over. Not what we had in mind at all.

All told, it took us almost five days to move our things here. I kept imagining us as ants toting bits of things from here to there. This was so hard on all of us, but especially BG. On moving day itself, we tried to keep him out of the fray, so I took him to the  new place early, and we hung out getting things done; then once the truck arrived and he saw some familiar things coming in, we went back to the old place where we hung out and he saw that our stuff really was moving into the new place. He only needed this once, though. He didn’t need this time and again.

Since then, we’ve been in a bit of a downward spiral. Moving meant lack of sleep and exhaustion from so much activity during the day anyway, so when you add extra duties on top of that, it can be too much. We also had to split our forces because we had no one to watch BG, so J would go to the apartment to pack more and clean while I would stay behind, unpack, and toddler wrangle. On one such day, I was utterly wiped out. It was a sucky day. BG was whiny and clingy and cranky. We all were, as a matter of fact. I decided I needed to wash some of his clothes, that maybe a bit of normalcy–some laundry–would help. We don’t have a laundry room inside here. Instead, it’s out the front door, and into the garage. I have been afraid of the garage. It’s nasty–the one place we had no time to clean (it will take a week solid when we do). It’s fully of cobwebs, and what we thought was mouse shit. So I opened the door to this garage, already feeling creeped out, got the laundry in, and started looking around for a couple of boxes I needed to bring in. And then something caught my eye, and then I screamed. There was a fucking rat hanging from the rafters. A RAT. It was dead, caught in a trap, but I didn’t care. I ran out and slammed the door. Sadly, I had to return a bit later to fetch the clothes, and when I did, I found that the washing machine had flooded half of the garage. Holy hell. Holy fucking hell.

We have since learned that there was a rat problem in this garage before. This is the country; things like this happen, right? Apparently the tree that was allowing them to get in is gone, and we also have our cats, who are expert hunters, so we’re hoping that this was just a straggler and that this won’t become an issue. Oh, I’m positively chilled just thinking about it. Fortunately, we have a very helpful and generous neighbor who came over and helped us dispose of the thing and who helped us change out our washer and dryer (so glad we didn’t sell ours!), and who even gave us a bottle of wine. Nice, nice guy. I’m currently using his internet even–a long but far more boring story about four-hour windows for technicians to show up.

So this move has really sucked, and just two nights ago, my wife and I were sitting on the sofa crying and planning our great escape. Ultimately, we’re in a one-year lease, but we’ve got a landlord who won’t maintain the property, so we could find a legal way out at any time, I’m sure. In the meantime, we’re trying to make it home. Now that we’ve done some cleaning in the garage, I’m not even scared to go in. It’s going to be okay.

What isn’t going to be okay is this: we’ve lost one of our cats. The first night we were here, all of our cats (we have three) wanted to go out. Actually, the two older ones did. We opened the door to let them out onto this little patio in front of our house, and the youngest (a ten-year-old) bolted. She has been an indoor cat for three years, so she had no collar, no tags. Nothing. Our oldest boy cat bolted too. We saw and heard nothing from them for two nights. The morning following the second night, our boy cat came home. But there is still no sign of little Zoe. The sad thing is that she was always a little feral, so she doesn’t trust people and won’t go to them. We’re afraid that she just keeps running farther away. So far, there have been no neighborhood sitings. We don’t have much of any hope of seeing her, and now that the dust is clearing from the move itself, we’re really starting to mourn. So are the two older cats. We all miss our little cat.

I think we’re going to be okay. I talked to my mom last night and she said she had visions of us in some shack with a dirt floor. It’s not like that at all. It’s an okay little country home–not anything much like what we’re used to, but it has great paint on the walls, clean carpets, and it’s in a beautiful location. More importantly, it’s gotten us to this great community where we’ve already had some wonderful interactions, even just going to the market. It’s all going to be okay. It really, really is. At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.

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welcome to my whirlwind

Oh, these are busy times. We have keys to the new place and have been there a couple of times already. We’re painting and unfortunately have a lot of cleaning to do. It seems the previous tenants decided to leave a few things behind: a couple of grills, various satellite equipment, hair, dust, cobwebs. It’s icky, and now we have to take care of their nastiness before we can move in. On top of that, they were heavy pot smokers and had a couple of dogs, so while they apparently cleaned the carpets, there is this hideous lingering dog and pot smoke odor that just doesn’t make for a pleasant home smell. So now we have to clean the carpets again too. It’s too much.

It’s too much because it’s already crazy to move. It’s crazier to move with a toddler. Throw in the timing and that we’re moving in the middle of J’s teaching semester and my work semester, and it’s a little more nuts. On top of that, we’re entering the season where J and I contract with an academic scoring organization and have insane extra work hours. Oh, and they just promoted me, so it’s better money, but lots more work. Holy hell, it’s a busy month. Holy, fucking hell.

Need I even write that we’re a little stressed out?

We really want to make this new little place our own and feel comfortable there. It’s a bit lifestyle change because the place is a bit more rustic, a bit less modern, so the extra work to make that happen is frustrating to us.

But it has been great going there. We bought BG a new noisy, flashy toy–something we don’t ever get for him–and we put it in the new house in his room. He loves it, of course, and moves it around his room to try it out from different corners. He likes to wander around the house checking things out. He likes to open the fridge and open all the cabinets. He always enjoys going there, and that makes us so happy. Already, he’s standing at the door, looking outside and enthusiastically cheering, “Outside! Outside!” Sadly, we’ve had torrential downpours all week, so he has yet to experience the great big yard. He will very soon. That reminds me: he needs boots. 

We move next Thursday. With any luck, we’ll be ready to move. We have hired a couple of students who used to be movers to load, drive, and unload our truck. We may hire someone to clean the apartment. We should really be hiring someone to do everything, but that’s just not our reality, so we’ll do what we can to make this place the best that we can for now. And it will all be okay. It will.

How can it not be when you live on an idyllic little street like this?

Or live across the street from this:

Yes, that is a vineyard.

We’re going to love the change of pace, just as soon as we get to live that pace. I just have to keep reminding myself to breathe.

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home sweet home

Suddenly, I’m living in a whirlwind. We’re moving out at the end of the month, but we’ll get keys to the new place on the 22nd. J liked it, by the way. She saw tons of potential in it. It’s a country house, so there are some things that we’ll have to grow accustomed to, like no dishwasher. Other things, we’ll have to add ourselves like extra counter space in the kitchen. But we get to paint if we want to, which we will do over time, and we get to garden, which we’ll start right away, and overall, it’s going to be an excellent experience. I know this. We have french doors in our bedroom that look out onto a huge yard with fruit trees. There’s not much one has to do to get used to that.

J and I have been talking so long about moving to this town, but now that it’s happening, we’re having to give ourselves some reality checks. Moving isn’t going to change everything. It isn’t going to take away our relationship problems or solve our son’s sleep issues (although, wouldn’t it be cool if that country quiet was just what he needed)? It’s not going to change the fact that we are underpaid and that I’m underemployed. These are some tough things to keep in mind when I just want to jump in and be excited, but it is important that we do, that we don’t paint this as some sort of utopia where we’ll have everything we ever wanted and all our troubles will be erased lest we be hugely disappointed when we get there. But we can have the things we want if we work toward them, and this place is going to make that so much easier.

In the meantime, we have to plan this move, and we have a few obstacles. First is determining how to make this as easy as possible on our son. We may be weary of this apartment, but it is the only home he knows, has ever known. He knows where everything is here and where everything needs to go (he lets us know when things are out of place). He has his routines, and when we come home from a trip–long or short–he likes to say “Home!” as we climb the stairs and then again as we enter the door. He’s going to miss this home, and I think it will be hard for him to understand for awhile that this new place is home. It pains me a little to think about this, to think that he’s going to feel displaced and disoriented for awhile.

But kids are resilient, and my son is no exception. He’s going to love that he can just step out the door and be outside, that we won’t have to carry him outside and down the stairs and then cling to his little hand as we venture by the parking lot in order for him to walk around and enjoy some fresh air. Instead, he’ll be able to roam as far as our fences take him. He can play with the super-friendly dog next door. He can pick apples and eat them. He can dig in the dirt and roll around in the grass. Our Baby Genius is soon going to have an outdoor life, and that is going to trump any attachment to this apartment, right?

I guess I may be having my own feelings of sadness leaving this place. It’s where J and I found ourselves outside of Humboldt County, where we had our successful insemination, where we had our positive pregnancy test, where my water broke. It was the home to which we brought our brand new Baby Genius, the home in which he uttered his first babbles, ate his first foods, took his first steps. It’s a place we’ll miss because we have memories here–really amazing memories.

But we know well that memories are created wherever we are, and frankly, I look forward to making new ones–planting a garden, picking apples, canning our own applesauce, watching our boy run around in the yard, seeing our cats basking in the sun in relative peace. These are going to be beautiful new memories, and they will be the memories that make this new place home for awhile.

Eventually, and so long as we find this town to be the community we truly have been seeking, we hope to be in the position to buy a house there, to put down deeper roots. It’s hard picking up every few years, living like nomads. Moving to this community, though, is a chance for us to relax, to settle in a little, to stop searching for just the right place. We fully intend to invest ourselves in the community, work on making more friends, and find friends for our son. All three of us are tired of living lives on hold, and it feels like maybe, just maybe, we’ll starting living in our new place. April 1st can’t come soon enough.

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a little serendipity

It’s hard to believe March has arrived already. March. That means spring is almost here, and with spring should come new beginnings. Well, we may have one to report. We’re 90% sure of it anyway.

It seems that the Reproducing Genius family may finally be moving to a little home in the country in our favorite town. BG and I viewed this tiny little duplex on an acre and a half of land this past week (J was, sadly, teaching at the time), and it was cute–tiny, but cute. The land, though–oh the land. The back yard is sprawling and huge and has fruit trees (the lemon tree was just dripping with lemons). The road it’s on is this quiet, lovely country road lined with old oak trees. It’s so serene and just plain pretty there. The inside of the house is, as I said, tiny, but we can manage tiny. We would have a garage in which to store things that didn’t fit into the house. And we would have ample space to stretch out on our shared acre-and-a-half. Yes, it’s a nice chunk of land on which we could garden–where we could even have some chickens if we so desired. It’s dreaming kind of land.

When I was looking at the place and chatting with the owner, I mentioned my partner, and I used the feminine pronoun. A few minutes later, the owner said, “You know, my partner is a teacher too. She teaches kindergarten.” She half-smiled at me. Ahhhh…family! We finished off the rest of our tour as another potential tenant arrived, and she gave me an application. Later she emailed me and urged me to send our application. Later that night, after I sent the application, she wrote back to tell us she would probably be renting to us. Then yesterday came, and she wanted to talk on the phone. She told me that when people call about the property, she tells them it’s rented, that she just needs to see if our information checks out, that J needs to see the place Sunday, and then we can give her a deposit. Just like that.

But then she asked how old we were. I told her, curious about why she asked. Then she said, “And which of you carried your son?” I told her I did. “Oh good! You’ve got time to have another. See, we waited too long to have our daughter, so we couldn’t have a second.”

So that’s how it has gone down. We might have a cool place to move to in the country at the end of the month for less than what we pay for this apartment. And our new landladies are lesbian moms. And did I mention it’s across the street from a vineyard. It’s almost too much to bear.

Please keep us in your thoughts that the next twenty-four hours bring good news.

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no more mystery

Well, the mystery adventure was certainly an adventure. We were looking at a house in our future town. We knew it was an unusual situation going into it–the owner wanted to rent his home but store his belongings in his garage. For a reduction in rent, we would also have taken on some administrative assistant duties for his lucrative software business. The house was in a very nice neighborhood and was a 2, 000 square foot, 3 bedroom house at the price of a very small 2 bedroom apartment. So it would have been a good deal, except when we got there–surprise, surprise–the man had slightly misrepresented the situation. He would be walling off the large den to maintain his office and servers, so we wouldn’t have access to that. Some of his things would be stored in the garage, but what he really wanted was for us to be so grateful to have his things around that he wouldn’t have to move them out. We’re talking an enormous entertainment center with an equally gigantic TV, a huge china cabinet that was completely glass (I had very scary images of BG’s future encounters with that cabinet), and many, many more items, including his wife’s coats, which she planned to keep in the hall closet. Oh, and we would have to endure weekly visits from his IT person. And we would have to pay for our own repairs. So, um, yeah. While he represented this as a great deal, it was far from it. The man thought he was doing us some sort of favor, but in fact it was insulting and honestly extraordinarily off-putting. Imagine our surprise when his wife was telling us we could even use their special garbage can in the kitchen! Ugh.

So our search for the perfect home continues. Hell, we don’t need perfect. We just need livable, pleasant, and dare I say, normal. However, now we have to add to our wish list that we don’t want any strings attached–and that we would prefer not to live with someone else’s coats.

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our beloved pacific

 

J and I drove an hour and a half to get to the beach today, and it was well worth it. We used to live less than five minutes from the beach. We would see the surf every day. We could hear the waves pounding the shore at night during the winter. It was part of our everyday existence, and it’s hard to be so far from it now. 

 

Today started off a little cranky. We’re dealing with cat issues (post to come), and we were both a little in the dumps, so we needed to get out. It turned out to be a lovely day. Here, it was in the nineties and unbearably hot, but on the coast, it was in the upper sixties with a light wind and plenty of sun.

Families were out flying kites and having picnics. Kids were burying each other in the sand and getting wet in the freezing ocean. It was beautiful.

We walked along the beach for awhile examining the bullwhip kelp that was washed up. I believe this one speaks for itself: 

 We also simply sat on a giant piece of driftwood and stared at the surf. We were windblown and sun-kissed by the time we left, and our spirits were lifted tenfold. The beach and the forest are two places that are guaranteed to calm me and lift me out of even the worst funks. As you can see, I was downright breezy by the time we left: 

Next year we are hoping to move about thirty miles west of our current town, and one of the reasons is so that we will be closer to the ocean. We won’t live nearly as close as we once did in our old hometown, but it will be less than half an hour away, which will be blissful on those days when our moods seem irreparable and all we need is some salty air and the rhythm of the surf. For now, it’s a lovely treat when we get to go. I had forgotten how much I missed it.

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Filed under diversions, fun, moving, the beach

pickle

J and I have found ourselves in a bit of a quandry this week. We both admitted to each other this week that we’re not happy here. We don’t like this town.

Living in wine country is a bit like being on vacation all the time. We love that feeling, but eventually, the vacation has to end. We still love going wine tasting; we still find our surroundings beautiful; we still love so many things about this place. But the town feels somehow soulless. Every weekend, and now throughout the weekdays, our little main streets are inundated with tourists. There is no parking should one need to visit a business downtown. Giant tour busses line our streets. It’s a circus.

The other issue is the median age of the people who live here. I would say that we’re some of the youngest people here at 32 and 35. The majority of the people who live here are retired–or nearly retired–and very, very wealthy. I know I’ve mentioned this before in the context of making friends, but this also lends a very stuffy sort of air to the town itself. It doesn’t feel family friendly, and while people are fine about us as a couple, the only other queer folk in our town seem to be retired gay men.

This is not the place for a couple of lesbians trying to start a family. It’s a great place to visit, but we’ve got to start looking for a new location to move to once our lease is up next April. Luckily, the surrounding thirty-mile radius has a lot of towns to offer. We admittedly didn’t do a lot of research before moving here because we thought we sort of knew the area–and we thought most of it was the same–but now that we’re here, we’re realizing that each community here is fairly distinct. We’re discovering some cool bohemian communities, areas that are filled with families, areas where we would probably feel a little more at home and a little less like tourist attractions. The good news is, each of these areas is just as beautiful as this one (some even more so), so we won’t have to sacrifice beauty for comfort. For that I am happy.  We’re going to keep studying our possibilities, but this has been a pretty significant realization this week. It’s not necessarily one we’re happy about, but it was important nonetheless.

So now we have a year to spend trying to soak up what this little town has to offer whilst not going absolutely crazy with tourist hatred. It’s going to be interesting. I think we will make games of it. We also have a year, though, to figure out precisely where we want to live, and that is a nice feeling. I like time.

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Filed under moving, new home