We had a very successful trip to DA City this last week and it felt like we'd been there for 10 days rather than 4! We had dinner and lunch with new colleagues - I showed The Dutchman around the department, my new office, the campus, etc. Medieval Pop drove in and we spent some time with him and Medieval Aunt #2 who lives in the area...
And we looked at a few hundred apartments (or so it seemed)! TD and I had a very weird slightly existential moment during our visit - we were snarking at each other because we were driving around a new city that is a bit complicated to traverse - lots of one-way streets, etc. We were looking at apartments in complexes that were about a 15-minute drive to campus - this isn't the biggest commute in the world, but for some reason I was feeling more and more isolated the more we saw these apartments. I had this inexplicable feeling that I would be living in no-man's land and that this would seriously impact my experience this next year in my new department. So, we were sitting at the Steak n' Shake (heaven!) one night after we'd been looking at apartments all day and I realized that it wasn't necessarily where I would be living that was making me feel lonely, but that I would be living there alone. Once we talked about it I started to feel better.
SO! On Friday we got up and were on our way out to the most promising of the apartment complexes (even though it was about 20 years old and needed a bit of renovation) and TD said we should drive by this little bungalow for rent just to take a look. It turned out to be located only a mile from campus (if that) and it was the cutest, nicest-kept little house you could ever want! It's in one of the lovely neighborhoods surrounding campus where tons of faculty live. It's a two-bedroom, 1000 sq ft. house with a landscaped yard, central heat/air, a working fireplace, a washer and dryer already there AND it's cheaper than any of the apartments we looked at! I had a brief heartattack and then called the owner to try to book a viewing. However, they weren't starting viewings until this week, but she had some pictures of the place if we wanted to come by. The pictures were very nice and the owner lived there for 10 years before she and her husband bought a larger place - she's very invested in keeping the place nice and in good repair, so I rented the place without even seeing the inside! (She will have 2 full weeks to clean, paint, touch up, make repairs after the current tenant moves out and before I move in).
I instantly felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders - for some reason, living close to campus and in that faculty-rich neighborhood had made all of my misgivings go away.
So, to celebrate, we did a little furniture shopping - we bought this couch (pictured below on the left) but in a deep red microfiber:
And a dark wooden frame chair in a very funky pattern that I can't really describe. The furniture should be ready right around the time we move to DAC.
So, all in all, it was one of the most successful trips on record - we just got everything done we needed to! Now, how else can I avoid writing this article??
Random thoughts addendum:
1) When I saw the permanent nameplate on the door to my new office - a nameplate that they'd deliberately ordered and spent money on - I got choked up.
2) I crave tuna fish salad and Triscuits right now.
3) Why am I only wearing one flip-flop around the house?