Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Quarterly Update

I'm afraid I set too high of a standard for myself with my last post. After that, I felt compelled to only publish stories, and not the meandering rambles so typical of this blog. In the past I have written stories on this blog interspersed with the rambles. I've written narratives with a beginning, a middle, an end; a crisis, a conflict, a resolution; but feeling like I must do so made adapting my experiences to fit within that framework seem like an insurmountable challenge. These are a lot of words to express the thought most people would succinctly sum up as, "overthinking it."

Handsome Man and I have lived in Georgia for almost a year. I see that I have not written (although have probably drafted) a post about where in Georgia we live. Our neighborhood and our house seem like a good place to start - the beginning, the foundation, the home.

We agreed to move into our home without having seen it in person. The landlord seemed nice but also organized, responsible, and normal, from his ad and from phone and email conversations. We got a good vibe.

We were both completely aware of how dangerous it can be to make a decision on something administrative and important, like a house, based on a "vibe." A vibe combined with concepts such as "cute," "historic," and "space for a garden." That vibe can quickly turn into such realities as flaky landlord, irresponsible landlord, landlord with improper sense of boundaries who sneaks into the home while you are out to snoop and you'll discover to your surprise that a stranger has used your toilet while you were gone. (See the following here.) "Historic" and "room for a garden" can suddenly turn into "falling apart...cute...but perhaps a charming way...but bordering on ramshackle nonetheless," coupled with "one small raised bed in the backyard, which is deep shade, and a lawn you're not allowed to turn into garden but you also have to mow, but I guess you could put some flower pots on the (partially covered and therefore shady) porch if you want."

We left New Jersey, about ten days after our wedding, on the morning of move-in day. Thanks to some traffic jams and one extraordinarily drawn out stop at a Dunkin Donuts (a story for another time), we arrived at our new home at close to midnight. Our new landlord was waiting for us with the keys and a few rolls of toilet paper and paper towels, because it occurred to his wife and him that it might not have occurred to us to pack such essentials. During another visit that same week, they both individually and separately said we could do what we wanted with the yard, that while we were paying rent it was our home to do with whatever we want except "just don't burn it down."

So, in short, taking a chance, choosing a home, and putting down a deposit without an in-person visit, based on some photos and a "vibe," worked out very well. Our apartment in Portland was lovely, but at least once a day, since August 1st, I comment to myself how fortunate I feel to be here, in a house, small but still a house, with no upstairs or downstairs neighbors, no one sharing the laundry machine except my husband, no one to be bothered by my noisy heavy walk or loud Jersey phone voice, no way that a stranger can fill my house with cigarette smoke; lucky to also be in a large yard, a shady backyard that I can and am allowed to turn into the woodland garden of my dreams, and a sunny front yard where I have the same permission to plant all of the herbs and vegetables and perennials and cutting garden annuals which have accumulated over the years (since roughly 2007) on my dream plants list and in my seed collection.

I have more topics to cover just to tell you about my home. I would like to tell you about the secret historic neighborhood where my tiny dream home is located, the wonderful food market visible from my living room window, and some of the other surroundings that are less idyllic than those I've described so far. I'd also like to switch scale to the small contents and surroundings of our home and life in Georgia. Its critters and bugs are plentiful and interesting enough to fill a post on their own.

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