12:57. Waiting for Legoboy to collect the mail (our local post office isn't forwarding all appropriate mail...). We've finished cleaning, walked out, closed up. I am looking up at the balcony and thinking "I don't miss this place." EVERY other time we've moved, as we pack, I start to think that I will miss the afternoon sunlight, or the pleasant aroma of the lilac trees, or whatever it is about this particular place I just love. Several years ago, we were going to move from here to Milwaukee, and I was definitely in that mindset. I would miss the southern sun through the winter.
But this move. Nope. Nothing. The one place I have lived the longest continuously my entire life - 6 years, 2 months to the day from the moment I signed the lease on this apartment to the moment I saw the inside of the house we live in now, and told the new landlady I want it. 4 days later I was cleaning with a friend; 5 days later I was moving our first load of stuff in.
The difference? All those other moves I was moving to something better, for one reason or another, but there would be drawbacks. So it always balanced out. This time? Everything is better. Not perfect (I want to own our own property with at least 3 times the acreage - run a small Montessori farm school). But EVERYTHING is better. No drawbacks (I guess the overall higher electricity bill and the double-rent for two weeks and having to do some of our own maintenance don't really count as drawbacks ;) ). We have a LARGE yard - about an acre, in the shape of a capital T. The neighbor on one side has a decent size yard in between (OUR part of the yard, no less); the other neighbor is the landlord's father and he has tall plants growing along his fence (privacy) and there is a driveway between our house and the fence (leading to the pole barn), with his drive on the other side. Yes, our landlord will use that driveway (the pole barn is theirs) - but he is mowing the lawn - way cool.
There is a decent size garden already. We'll make it bigger in the springtime. A GARDEN!
And apple trees. Edible apples on my own property! We picked a few, and the landlord picks more to sell along the roadside. We can have what we like from the trees of course.
We have maple trees too. Not sure how many (limited time to look) - perhaps enough for a quart of syrup? Just for the fun of it? Maybe! We'll find out.
We have a full basement. Divided into two rooms. One room will be for woodcutting (finally in my OWN HOME! No more driving half hour to a (dear!) friend's house to woodcut. Now I can cut 2 minutes at a time if needed - much more efficiency with Garden of Francis orders!
The other room has an OLD deep freeze (won't be using it - much too big for us) and an old refrigerator (might use it for storing some stuff, but stuff that is mostly canned/sealed already). We are looking forward to purchasing a smaller chest freezer before month's end.
And the BRAND NEW washing machine I just purchased. I have never purchased one before; I made a list of the features I wanted. No agitator being pretty close to the top (no, it IS at the top). Well, that happens to get pricey. Do I "deserve" a new washing machine? No. And certainly not the more expensive one. Many people have pointed out some facts to me though:
- I never purchase something that isn't really good value for the money invested.
- I make things last by properly caring for them.
- I tend to make my own repairs. (I am loving that the landlord/landlady actually prefer I do any minor repairs myself - this is some odd inner need of mine - to care for my own stuff, to feel creative in that way, to exercise stewardship over my surroundings). I make things LAST.
- I have been handwashing my laundry (and sometimes taking loads to a
friend's house, perhaps once every 4-6 months) for 5 years now. And
personal laundry cannot be washed in anyone else's machine because of
the residue build-up, that even with my homemade, no harsh chemicals
still gives me uncomfortable rashes. Sorry Mom and Grandma - your
machines too! And I KNOW those are clean! Our apartment machines were
just awful - and we had to pay for them. NO THANK YOU.
- I am not yet getting a dryer. We'll hang dry a while longer. A
chest freezer is a more useful and wise investment of our money next,
and after that we need to build up savings and pay down debts again. So
I'm not looking to "spoil" myself. Simply utilize my money and time
( just a little excited there )
Then the small bedroom on the main floor, next to the DINING ROOM, is the..... LIBRARY. Half of my bedroom has been the library - now it is a room of its own. And we'll have a good deal of the school supplies in there, using the closet for our main storage of items we use routinely (holiday decor and the like). Both of these rooms (indeed the whole ground floor) is a mess right now because we were waiting for the carpeting to go in upstairs. Yeah. Upstairs. I'd be fine with a ranch-style house and a basement, but somehow this feels more like "home" with the upstairs. LOTS of closet space, one large bedroom, one smaller bedroom, one LARGE closet with a light already in it (now "Legoboy's cave" - he has his Legos in there already), and a large landing for the keyboard, music shelf and a shelf along the rails for the games (doubling as protection against falling through the rails and my fear of heights ;) ).
We are potentially looking to do foster care, so haven't yet decided on the arrangement of the bedrooms. Firstly, the small bedroom will have the bed and be set up as something of a guest room. We'll sleep on the main floor for a little while longer while waiting for the gas furnace to be installed (within the next week, but then we'll wait a bit longer to conserve the gas bill while....)..... I also want to get through the sewing projects I have, so want to use the large room to spread out a bit. Get through all of that, creating a variety of items to sell at local craft shows and on Etsy (I have a LOT of fabric I don't use routinely enough and it just needs to GO), as well as a few other crafty projects. Get all those things done and sold, while going through the foster care preparation process.
By the time we finish all of that up, we'll be ready to sleep upstairs, but also make decisions regarding possibly my own sleeping quarters and Legoboy's - that provides the appropriate balance for him and for any potential foster children.
Our kitchen has light; our bathroom has light - all rooms here have windows (except Legoboy's cave - and he is happy with that). Our apartment had no windows in the kitchen and bathroom; the bathroom was HUGE (way too huge) and our kitchen was tiny (smaller than the bathroom....). The stove here has a light and a window - yeah, I missed that. ;) Weird little things like that, that just make a place more COMFORTABLE. The kitchen here is so much bigger; I could have a small table in there, but I am putting in a long narrow table to have more counter space instead. You know - since we have a DINING room and all ;) The bathroom is SO much smaller, but you know what? I am totally cool with that. It is functional and cute (needs a new sink - but we'll address that in a few months), and still has space for a bathroom shelf to hold our towels and such. It has what it needs AND has that thick frosted glass for a beautiful natural light (I can actually keep a plant in there - it will have enough light!). Yep. All good.
So - issues will come up - but this is the first move I have made in a long time that is truly an upward movement. And the first move ever that has no lingering wishes or something I will miss from the last place. As I looked up at the balcony, I realized, "We have been trying to LIVE in that apartment - for 6 years - and now we can finally LIVE without trying." Pure joy.