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Life Behind the Blog Posts

27 June 2007

I’ve just taken a look at my list of entries for June, and I’ve been posting pretty regularly. That’s not a surprise; I try to post at least 3 times a week as a general rule.

However, except for some pretty flimsy mentions in passing, I haven’t talked about the Elephant in the Room. That may be due to the fact that I warned you all not to talk about it too much; I don’t know.

So, the sabbatical move. The Consort went out to New Hampshire two weeks ago, with the job of finding us a place to live for the next school year. He whittled it down to two, before dragging me (from a distance!) into it. Even though I told him I was happy with whatever he chose. But noooo – my life had to be stressed out as well. Urgh. House A cost twice as much per month as our mortgage here (keep in mind that a prof on sabbatical at Mr. Duck U receives 70% of their regular salary). It was available July 15, out in the woods, beside an apple orchard, came partially furnished, with a sunny office on the south side (important for the long snowy winters of NH), a counter island in the kitchen, a 45-minute bus ride (each way) to the school for the girls, so remote that we’d have to get another car for the Consort to be able to get to his office without stranding me, and too far out for anything but dial-up internet (remember, I need to keep working during this year adventure). House B (faculty housing) cost one and a half times as much per month as our mortgage. It was in town, across the street from the middle school both girls would attend, on the bus line into town, near the town pond and bike paths, beside the Connecticut River (for exploration adventures), wired for cable internet, came unfurnished, was available September 1 (school begins August 29), and was small (how small? When the Consort said it didn’t come with a dishwasher, I replied, “that’s OK, we can buy a used portable dishwasher for the—” “No, it’s too small for a portable dishwasher,” he interrupted) (another example: He took the camera with him, so he could take pictures for the girls and I to be able to see where we might live. He took. not. one. single. picture). He couldn’t make up his mind. He came home. Those two days after he returned were hell. We talked. And talked. Trixie was looking forward to living in the woods and taking a long bus ride to school. Impera told us in no uncertain terms, “You may not realize this, but I’m a city girl, you know.” (At least we knew whatever decision we made, we’d be able to fulfill the Parental Imperative and make somebody unhappy.) We’d decide to come to a decision, and within the 15 minutes before discussing it, we’d each change our minds three times.

In the end, we chose to be reasonable about the whole thing and take House B, in town and tiny. This was disappointing because I had visions of hosting friends and relatives in a cottage in the woods. But! Considering the savings, we will be able to do more fun adventuring than we would have, otherwise.

The second part of this sabbatical move is getting our house rented out. I put together a blog with pictures and descriptions of the house and rooms. I created a list of links to local businesses. I took out an ad in our city’s paper. It cost me 69 bucks for a tiny 4-line ad (hence the decision to provide a Web link with lots of detail). I put a free ad up on our local craigslist. This experience, by the way, has taught me that newspaper ads are completely last-century. I got two phone calls from the ad, and neither panned out. We have gotten close to ten contacts of interest from the craigslist ad!

Now, I am a listmaker, I am a preparer. To find myself, two and a half weeks from our desired departure date still without the house rented out (and still calm about it!) is very unlike my preferred style of being. I’m OK, for the most part, although I have burst into tears at random times, with the Consort and Impera telling me everything will work out fine.

The Powers That Be do seem to enjoy serendipity. For example, did you notice that we picked the house with a September 1 move-in date? Hmmm, July 15 to September 1—that’s six weeks. Well, it so happened that on the day that the Consort was flying back to Iowa from the house hunt, his sister (who lives near where we’ll be in NH) received 30 days notice from one of her tenants (she owns a big house split into several apartments, lives in one of the apartments, and rents out the other 2 or 3). She’s offered to let us rent her empty apartment over the 6 weeks we’ll be “homeless.” See? Serendipity.

The households who have shown interest in renting our house are quite a hodgepodge. There’s the new prof who would like to rent it, but needs to find a roommate (there’s another new prof who might be the second renter, but he’s been “out in the field” and unreachable right now). There’s the campaign organizer who has folks needing a place to live at least through the Iowa caucuses (that’s in January, and we’d like to find someone to rent our place for the entire time we’ll be gone). There’s the Army recruiter and his family who came over to look this morning and need a place starting July 9. There’s the law student and spouse who are thinking about renting the place sight-unseen (they live several states away) for their clerkship year coming up. There’s the med student and spouse who will be coming for a viewing this weekend.

One of these is going to work out. Right? (On second thought—don’t answer that.)

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on, behind the blog posts.

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