Omir the Storyteller

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nothing sucks like moving, except more moving


So things are going nice and happy, I get an offer for a full time job, the landlord is talking about extending our lease another year or two, life is good, right?

That's on a Thursday.

The next Thursday my wife calls up the landlord to see if they got the rent check. Oh yes they did, the landlord says, and by the way we've decided we want to live in your house, so we will need you to be out by Labor Day.

Wife goes into a weird combination of funk and panic. I'm momentarily depressed. Meanwhile son has been living with his aunt (wife's sister) for several months since an acrimonious breakup, and while everyone concerned has been pretty cheerful about it, it's starting to feel like time for him and the kids to move on. Daughter starts trolling Craigslist for houses.

Saturday we go look at a house. The house is smaller than what we have now, the bedrooms are tiny (even though there are about four of them), there are too many stairs and they're pretty steep and narrow, and there are a bunch of weird rules laid down by the landlord (no pictures on the walls, for example). He has six more people to show it to that day. We pass on the house, even though it's offered to us.

Sunday I decide to do my own search. Sunday I find a six bedroom house up in Shoreline, about four miles north or where we are now. Aha, I say, but based on the response to Saturday's house I'm worried that there are going to be people lining up around the block to try to see it. I respond to the ad. No, the landlord says, you're first in line, it's available immediately, can you come look at it on Monday?

First, the downchecks to this house. It's not nearly as nice as a Cape Code my wife went to look at that same day (that rented for over $500 more). We would have to do the yardwork. It has carpet instead of hardwood floors. Whoever lived there before didn't do much of a job of cleaning up after themselves. The deck off the living room wobbles a bit. And worst of all, it sits in the bottom of a depression, equidistant from the four bus routes that surround the house. It will be an uphill climb to get to a bus in any direction.

Now for the good bits. When we arrived the neighborhood kids were out riding their bikes in the middle of the fairly wide street. (We didn't see a car other than the landlord's going down that street until about our third visit to the house.) The house is surrounded by tall evergreens of an as yet undetermined species -- possibly lodgepole pines or some other similar type that starts its branch growth well up the trunk. This should make it pretty cool on hot summer days. There's a mini-fruit orchard in the back with apple, cherry and plum trees. The rooms are big enough that the kids will be able to stretch out and have some room to play. There's a living and dining room upstairs, a large common area that could be split into a playroom and office downstairs, three baths instead of the one we now have to share . . .

We signed the lease the next Friday and have half a month left to take our time moving.

The moving is the worst part. When you live in a house for a while like we tend to, you collect a certain amount of detritus that has to be weeded through unless you want to pack a pile of junk with you when you go. We are to the "sorting through detritus" part, which gets complicated because there's stuff in there that it's hard to contemplate parting with. Do I really want to get rid of some of my tschotchkes, even though I haven't seen them in three years? How about those decade-old computer books that, while possibly still relevant, aren't much use to my current career? Life is full of difficult choices.

Once we get into the new house we are going to enjoy it. Getting there, though, is the sucky part. When we're done, though, we'll have our son and his two kids in with us, our daughter and our granddaughter. I'll have my nice new job, my daughter will be closer to work, the kids will be in better schools, and we'll be set until the next time we want (or need) to move again.

Life really is good, innit?