One year three months and twenty-some days after my last actual life update, life is so very much different from what it was. I got a job, for one thing. A real, live, full-time, every day (sometimes drudgery) job. Not in architecture. But let’s not dwell on that. Nate is still loving his job, which is fantastic and I’m always so glad that he loves his work since we’re not entirely sold on Tucson otherwise. He spent nine months doing the full-time work/part-time school thing, and will be doing that for 2 more years. It’s not easy but we make it work.
The house has been amazing and terrible and fun and awful and expensive and expensive and expensive. We knew it had been neglected for some time, but had no idea that it would take us so long to wrap our head around everything that needed to be done. Nate’s sisters came down to help us one weekend shortly after we moved in, and one asked how long I thought it would take to get settled in. “Five to seven years,” I semi-joked. No. Really. Five to seven years. In our first year we felt like we were working on the house non-stop, except we actually really weren’t and we got so little done. But that’s OK! We go back and forth between hating and loving it, but I spend more time on the “loving it” side – loving the backyard and the patio and the clothesline across the ramada. Loving the gardens that we’ve put in all over and the compost (that refuses to compost, due to the dry, dry heat) and the front porch swing and the neighborhood. We do love the neighborhood. And the cove ceilings and the fireplace (that we use very infrequently) and the nook in the hallway and the daylight in the bedrooms and the family room and the kitchen. Except for the middle of the summer when I also dislike the daylight in the bedrooms and the family room and the kitchen.
I ride my bicycle to work almost every day. It’s a short ride straight through the university and, so far, I have ridden in 30º weather and 100º weather, in gorgeous blue skies and driving rain, in the still cool and the dusty wind. I love being able to get around by bicycle, and being a one-car family has not been nearly as challenging as we thought it might. Besides, I get built-in exercise twice a day. More if I have a meeting or a doctor’s appointment or something.
We have made friends. No one tells you that making grown-up friends is about 1000 times more difficult that making kid friends, even in college. Well, maybe they tell you but no one believes them. But we’ve done alright for ourselves and I am often surprised to find that I have more options of things to do in a weekend than I have time for. There are, of course, many times when we long for the tight knit group that we had in Cincinnati, and that we don’t yet have people we can call and say, “hey I’m coming to sit on your couch for 7 hours,” but we’re getting there.
As crazy years go, I think this was a calmer one in relation to our recent history. But don’t ask me if that is the case on a day-to-day basis!