The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “Over the Teacups,” 1891
via: Spilling the Beans
After two whirlwind weeks and one week of recovery, I’m back to feeling like I have a little control again!
On Tuesday the movers came. Unfortunately there was no directing from the couch for me. I wasn’t incredibly surprised, especially since I figured the furniture would be last. I had to check off each box that came in, so I couldn’t get anything unpacked while they were moving stuff in. On Wednesday, I spent the majority of the day cleaning our last apartment. On Thursday I unpacked like a crazy, but made a surprisingly small dent in the disaster. On Friday, bright and early, we hopped on a plane for Ohio! We spent the weekend there for a friends wedding, and returned late Monday night. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I unpacked, cleaned, worked on finding a job, etc. Friday Nate had off from work, so I was super excited about getting a large chunk of unpacking done over our three day weekend! Until I got sick. Boo hiss. So I was knocked out until about Tuesday. My two whirlwind weeks. The next few days I took off. It was nice.
It’s Moving Day!
Never have I been more excited for a moving day than this. And moving days were always pretty exciting things in my childhood, and I usually didn’t actually have to carry much, so the miserable part was not present. Which might be why I’m excited for this moving day – I don’t actually have to move anything! And all my stuff is coming back. HOORAY!
So you can find me SITTING ON A COUCH (!) directing traffic and trying to figure out how our whole house full of items is going to fit in our new apartment. (Washer and dryer in the living room? Desk in the dining room? Will all the boxes from the basement fit in the spare bedroom?) I keep trying to remember that it all came out of a two bedroom apartment less than a year ago, so it must fit. We didn’t purchase very much after we moved into the house, except the washer and dryer and some yard care items. We didn’t take our lawn mower with us, as there are no lawns here, so we don’t have to figure out where that goes. Part of my head tells me that it will fit just fine, and the other part is not believing it. We’ll have to see how it works out! After all the build up about the things I’m excited to get back, I wonder which ones I will appreciate the most once they are here!
I wrote this over a month ago right after the movers finished packing everything but hadn’t loaded the truck yet.
I’m sitting in my house by myself. It’s not for the last time, but pretty close. I dropped Nate off at the airport so he could get back for work tomorrow. The movers just left. There is cardboard all over our little house – covering the floors, stacked against the walls, holding all our physical belongings. The furniture is still left, so I’m sitting on the couch. It’s something Nate and I did a lot this weekend, enjoying couches and chairs and beds – basically anything padded to sit on above the ground.
Our carefully painted walls hung with photos and artwork are again bare. You can see how many tries it took us to get the nails in the right position. The movers complimented me on my kitchen organization. Score.
It’s kind of unnerving yet oddly familiar to see the boxes everywhere. We just did this, although today I sweat significantly less than usual. That’s the great thing about movers: the do everything, and so quickly. Tomorrow they will come and load it all into the truck. After that, we wait and search and hope that someone will buy our house and we will buy another so that we can get our stuff back.
Shortly after the mover finished the kitchen, I found a water glass I had stashed somewhere. I’m notorious for hiding glasses around the house, for filling them, drinking half, and forgetting where I put them. It worked out today, though. It was the only beverage container I had. After drinking so much water almost constantly in Arizona, my body has been thoroughly confused about why I’m not drinking as much water here. Also about the lack of sleep and the odd eating hours. I imagine that by the time I make it to my parents’ house later in the week I will be exhausted and probably sleep a lot of the time. Or I could just wait until I get back. We all know I don’t have anything pressing going on.
I’m closing up the house, turning off the lights, shutting the windows, closing the blinds, pulling the shades. I remembered to turn the air conditioning back to 85, but I doubt it will get that warm before 9 am when I return.
It’s so odd to have someone come in and pack up your life, put it on a truck, and drive it away to a new place. I know I’ve done this a million times, but it’s always so strange.
The summer has positively flown by – and I’ve done surprisingly little for all the time that has passed. I have several posts that I started but never finished and I’d like to post them even thought the events have long passed, and several posts that I’d like to write reflecting on the past few months before we enter yet another stage of our crazy lives.
We rented a bigger apartment closer to the center of Tucson and we scheduled to get our stuff back. It’s been a truly eye-opening experience, and I foresee a significant amount of purging once our boxes arrive. We don’t need all the stuff that we have, plus we will have to move it again soon – we only signed a 6 month lease and we haven’t fired our realtors. We’ll hope our house sell before the holidays, try to manage said holidays without too much stress, and start again in the new year.
Until then, the to-do list grows. Nate wonders what I do all day, and I can never really put it into words. This weekend we made a list and it was even longer than I expected. I think it’s about time to end my summer vacation, though, and get back to work. That will take some time and energy on its own, but it’s time. And then I’ll have to balance a whole new set of challenges. Or old challenges that I’ve not missed.
But! Enough of my grumbling. My tall decaf iced Americano is gone (because Starbucks doesn’t have iced decaf coffee – really, Starbucks, really?) and I have a trillion things to do. Onward to tomorrow!
We’ve been here over a month now. I’m finally getting used to Tucson. It still looks like a wasteland when you drive around – huge wide streets, gravel, dead grass that grew last monsoon season and was never removed when it returned to desert condition. The mountains are beautiful, but they’re often foggy and distant.
I’m getting used to doing nothing. Nate actually asked me what I did all day today. It’s not that hard, you guys. I live in a one bedroom apartment with very little actual furniture. We have so little “stuff” that cleaning is a joke. The only thing that actually takes any time is doing dishes. We have a dishwasher, but too few dishes to make use of it efficiently. I basically do nothing all day.
It’s been difficult to admit that I do nothing. The last time I had this little to do I was probably 12 years old. Even then, my Mom kept us pretty busy during the summer, and imagination and free play is way more acceptable when you’re 12 than when you’re 26. I went from being employed full time straight out of college to being unemployed. I spend my days inside my dark, empty, tiny, one bedroom apartment. I have a list of really tedious things that need to be done, lots of making phone calls that never get returned.
For the first few days we were here, I would get up, shower, put on my brand new shorts (I never needed shorts before! I was always working in the air conditioning and I had a few sun dresses for the weekends, or gym shorts, or I’d just wear my jeans), do my hair and my makeup.
Now I try to wake up at a reasonable time (the sun comes up REALLY early here, its usually pretty light out when Nate gets up at 5:30) putter around for a while. I’ve started going to the gym. It’s kind of far away, so by the time I get there, work out, and drive back, its usually been at least 2 and a half hours. Sometimes I dry off for a while, slather on my sunscreen, and go lay by the pool. For one hour. Mandatory. 30 minutes on my belly, thirty minutes on my back. Try not to get the library book soaked. Sometimes I just hang out inside.
I read a lot. The library is my new best friend. I got twelve books out of the library and I’ve finished six. Only one book was from my reading list of classics. I try to have dinner ready every night when Nate gets home from work.
Writing about all this, I hardly feel sorry for myself. It all sounds like a grand vacation. But a vacation with no end in sight. And I’m not a sit-still person.
By the time Nate gets home from work, I’m crabby. I’m crabby and he’s jealous that I’ve been sitting around all day, and we have nothing to do but sit and crab at each other. At first, we would go out and buy something just to get out of the house. It was awful.
That lasted for about a week. Then we gave in and bought an X-Box and a little TV. As much as I complained about video games before, I never would have guessed that they probably saved our marriage. We got one with a Kinect, so sometimes we play funny little games together. But usually Nate plays with his friends online while I continue puttering – reading or writing or finding one of the many other ways I have to entertain myself. I have to say, there was no such thing as “bored” in my parents’ house. “Bored” was not allowed then, so it makes it very difficult for me to be bored now. And that has really come in handy.
We’re going back to Ohio for a wedding this weekend. I really can’t believe it’s been so long since we moved! I’m super excited to sleep in my own bed, with my own pillows that fit the shape of my head perfectly. And then all of our stuff will be packed up and stored in an undisclosed location (seriously, they won’t store it in Tucson because it’s too hot) until we figure out what we’re doing with our living situation.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll give a tour of our apartment. Ha! It probably won’t be very exciting, but at least it will give me something to do!
It’s kind of funny, after some of my previous posts about being overwhelmed and over extended that I am now with almost nothing to do. It has been nice to regroup and take some time to reevaluate what I really want to be doing and what is important to me. But I think I will have to get a job soon or I might go crazy.
I write this at our new folding table, peering out the balcony windows through a tree that I don’t know how to identify to the blue cool of the swimming pool. In the morning, the birds coo and cluck. At night, the sprinklers knock against the stucco walls. The palm trees sway as the oppressive sun heats the curved clay tiles that line the roof of all the apartment buildings in our new complex.
Yes, I wrote that correctly, our new apartment complex. Although, I’m waiting for the realtors to come pick me up. It turns out that once you’ve lived in your own house, it’s hard to go back to apartment living – even if the house was only lived in for 6 months, and the apartment will be lived in for far less.
We’re in Arizona. Tucson, to be exact. Chasing Nate’s dreams, because that’s what we do. Chasing Nate’s dreams to the desert, a dry bowl surrounded on all sides by mountains. It’s beautiful if you can look beyond the dry, dead grasses, endless lanes of road, and towering utility poles. To the mountains that turn pink as the sun sets; to the trees – palm, olive, citrus, pomegranate; to the blue, blue, blue sky.
Maybe this is why I started this blog all those months ago – to catalogue a journey I didn’t know I would be going on. Six months ago I would have said that journey was owning our first home. Turns out God had bigger plans for us.
So here we go! Again. Another new chapter of the never-boring adventure that we call life.
A few days before Christmas, Nate and I, with the help of so many hardworking friends and family, moved everything from our apartment to our new house. If you had asked me three months ago, I would have told you that no, thank you, I would not be buying a house in the near future. With interest rates predicted to be low for the next few years, many fine houses on the market at low prices, and uncertainty about what we would be doing, we were in no hurry.
Then, after a short series of unfortunate events and a mini-freak-out from Nate about what he wanted to do with his life, we decided to rent a house near our apartment, stay for a few years, and reevaluate.
Thus began the rental house search.
It’s not an easy task, you see, to find a house that is nice enough that you want to live in it but ugly enough that you can afford it. After several “NO” houses, I took Nate to drive by a house that I though looked promising. It turned out to be quite far from our dream house, but on the way there, we passed a house with a gigantic “for sale” sign and noticed a little, tiny “for rent” sign next to it.
So we called the number and I went to see it the next evening. Nate was in class, so I went by myself. I liked the house. It was remodeled, clean, and the landlords were super nice. Because the house was also listed for sale, I showed Nate photos online that evening. He first asked me why I hadn’t just signed the papers while I was there, then asked, wait, why are we not looking at buying this house?
Well, dear, because we just had this huge discussion about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to be and why we couldn’t buy right now and how we could manage oh whatever should we do. And we came to a conclusion and we’re following that path WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE BUYING A HOUSE.
We bought the house.
And really it’s turning out to be a great decision. Of course, there will always be projects and headaches and upkeep, but it’s OURS!
And it’s cute, of course.
As packing has overtaken my apartment, I’m feeling more and more overwhelmed by all the stuff everywhere! So I turn to the more extreme examples of order and organization for a chuckle at myself and how I hope for things to be when I finally get everything together.
Check out the 3form Blog » Extreme Order for more fun examples!