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So here’s the latest shake of the snow globe. We decided to go for location, location, location. After standing on the future back patio of a not-built home in a planned community, we chose peace and quiet, birds and butterflies, the murmuring of the trees, and the close proximity to walking/biking trails over the promise of what we could eat, explore, and experience in the city. That’s the good news. The bad news—it will take three to four months to build said house and one month from “date of proposed occupancy” to close. So, no matter how you crumble the cookie, we will most likely not be putting up the Christmas tree in our new house.
Once thrill and euphoria gave way to buyer’s remorse and should-ofs, the reality of being houseless (I won’t say homeless—that would be insensitive and over-dramatic. Although I did recently moan, “Well, I guess we could live in our car!”) settled in. The last time we rented an apartment, we folded the classifieds, circled potential candidates, conducted drive-bys, and called bored landlords who had something everyone wanted.
Today there is Craigslist, Apartment Finder, Airbnb, and Mr. Google. Just like the search for a job, a house, or a golden lab—personal contacts beat all. Unless you’re the first to know, by the time a good one is made public, it’s gone. We expanded our circle of potential locations, upped the dollar amount, and lowered our expectations but the search was grim. $10,000 should buy a five-month stay in the South of France, but today it covers a below-ground, 600 square foot, unfurnished one-bedroom, adjacent to the community basketball court/playground—and if you’re not interested, there is a line waiting to sign up.
To put a personal spin on Blanche DuBois’s last line in Streetcar Named Desire, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”, we will depend on the kindness of our friends and family. We will cook in exchange for a room, promise to put our dirty dishes into the dishwasher, take our shoes off, hang up our wet towels, fold the newspaper neatly, not let the dogs out, be vigilant when using the garbage disposal, and stay out of the good candy. For those of you on our short list, thanks in advance for your kindness.
Hold the presses, there’s been another shake of the snow globe:
After cycling through four of the five stages of loss—denial, anger, bargaining, depression—I finally reached acceptance this morning during my swim. I was ready to hit the vagabond trail (espresso machine in tow) to surf couches, cook in new kitchens, and, when necessary, turn my underwear inside out; but while I was accepting, the Sweetie was looking and found a beautiful, lower level, furnished, two bedroom apartment on Craigslist less than a mile from where we currently live.
“One bath sunny daylight basement home with garage. Private, surrounded by woods, meadow, and Puget Sound view. 5 minute walk to charming Proctor District. Just uphill from historic Old Town. Next to Puget Park. Highly desirable neighborhood with easy freeway access to I-5. Fully furnished. Washer and dryer too. New stainless appliances. Gas fireplace. Both bedrooms have huge walk in closets. This is a very nice place and the location can’t be beat.”
Dog not included
We saw the place this morning, wowed the landlords with our charm, our age, our no-pet/no-smoking status, and signed a four-month lease for about the same price as we paid for our first house. Oh well. So we will spend August vacationing instead of wandering, with a place of our own to come back to on the first of September. Thanks to the Sweetie for not giving up and thanks to our friends and family for your interest, your help, your warm invitations, and your kind words.
If you show up at the door with this Cinnamon Apple Cake in your hands, they are sure to let you in.
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. salad oil
- 1⁄4 c. orange juice
- 2 c. sugar
- 2 c. flour
- 4 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. salt
- 2 t. baking soda
- 4 c. small dice Granny Smith apples (It’s important to chop the apples into small pieces)
- 1 c. chopped walnuts
Fold in apples and walnuts. Bake for 1 hour in 325° oven or until firm on top.
Cream Cheese Topping
- 16 oz. cream cheese—room temperature
- 1 c. sifted powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 T. vanilla
Beat on machine with whip until light and fluffy.