Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Moving to a New Home: Finding Surprises
The last five days have been a wild ride and we have been without internet so we weren't able to keep you all updated. On Saturday, we had to move to a new place. We stayed the first two weeks with our friends Jan & Pat but they had other guests coming in this week. We arranged a few months ago to rent some rooms from a retired woman in the area. We had several conversations on the phone and on e-mail and it seemed like a good situation - 2 bedrooms, our own bath, a fully-equipped kitchen and she lives downstairs. She works 5 days a week and eats all her meals at her job so she said we had full-run of the kitchen.
In between sessions of a conference I was attending on Saturday, we moved to Lynn's house. We drove about 15 minutes from campus (a little farther than we expected) through the quaint streets and a quiet neighborhood. Lynn came out the front door and helped us with our luggage. Her forte is definitely hospitality and she welcomed us like long-lost relatives. She's a sharp woman, very educated. Meilani took to her like a grandma.
However, when we walked in the door we were a bit overwhelmed by what we saw. Lynn is the ultimate pack rat - she has books, magazines, refilled water bottles, stuffed animals, antiques, old newspapers, plaques, you name it stacked from floor to ceiling in her home. You can barely walk anywhere in a straight line without knocking into something. Every inch of wall space is covered with paintings, photographs and other knick knacks.
This, of course, is a 1-year-old's dream and Mommy and Daddy's nightmare. Meilani immediately hunted down all the stuffed animals in the home (and there are plenty!) while Ericlee and I brought our bags to our rooms. After Meilani almost pulled down a bookshelf and I caught a lamp mid-air, the stress started to set in. Needless to say, this was not the best situation for living or for concentrating on school work.
To make a long story shorter, we've spent the last several days trying to find an alternative housing situation without hurting Lynn's feelings. She has proved to be a wonderful hostess and she did clean off the furniture in her great backyard so we have somewhat of a retreat from the clutter in the house. We spend a lot of time outside!
After discovering there is nothing available on or near campus, going to about 10 hotels and motels, and asking around for tips, we have found an alternative. We will be staying with Lynn until Saturday and then we are moving to an extended stay place down the street - complete with a nice bedroom, bath and separate front room with kitchenette, internet, cable and even a little picnic table and grill in front. We found a reasonable rate (a bit more than Lynn's house but we're biting the bullet). The tension has finally started to leave my back and I feel truly relieved that we have a new opportunity and change of scenery for Meilani. If nothing else, we can always tell her stories of "the days when Mama was in grad. school."