Adventures in Moving

We’ve received the official written confirmation that my husband’s transfer has been approved and so yesterday morning, early, we loaded the whole family in the van and drove three hours to what will be our new state so that we could view apartment complexes and find out if we liked any of the ones I’d written down from my online searches, and find out if they had availability when we’re looking to move.

The drive went smoothly, if you can call any drive that takes place on Indiana’s roads smooth, and while the first complex we stopped at didn’t have availability when we needed it, it did have an extroverted, motherly leasing agent working the front office, who plied our children with packets of cookies and pop and cheerfully told us as much as she could that she thought might be helpful in our search.

Next up was an older complex built in the 60s, which I loved because it was full of green grass, filled with large trees, and had pretty architecture that was old enough to have some unique quirks you won’t find in newer apartments. Unfortunately there were two major drawbacks: they did not know if they would have availability when we needed it, and few of the apartments had washer/dryer connections due to the age of the complex.

The next had affordable 4 bedrooms, which was just about all it had to recommend it, though they were also uncertain about having availability when we needed it. We were a little too early in our inquiries, it seemed. The next – well, it earned the nickname Cancer Town and the hallway we first stepped into when on our way to view an apartment smelled of smoke and mildew and was visibly caked with filth. It was the only one of the day we viewed to which we all agreed was 100% not an option.

The 5th we reached was a newer complex, with a park-like setting, as green and pretty as the complex built in the 60s, though the trees were younger and smaller. They were also the first to have availability exactly when we needed it. The whole family promptly fell in love with the place – my oldest son with how it looked outside, my younger son with the fact that each apartment had a fireplace, my older daughter with the way the apartment looked and my youngest child with the vending machines in the gym.

My husband and I easily decided to make it our new home – it was pricier than some of the other options, but more affordable than where we live now – only to find out that the couple that had arrived mere minutes before we did had already placed a hold on it. If I’d been able to find clean, presentable clothing faster that morning, if we hadn’t got lost searching for an apartment complex that couldn’t be found, if we hadn’t wasted time on Cancer Town – we could have arrived first and have a place to live that the whole family liked.

We were offered a sliver of hope – the other couple had one more place they planned to view, and might remove their hold if they liked that other place better. We left our information in case that happened, but I doubt that first couple will give it up. As we were driving home yesterday evening it started raining, appropriately enough for a day whose searching ended in disappointment. We’d only had time to view one more complex after the one we’d wanted, and we hadn’t liked it nearly as well. We ended up deciding since we still had some time to play with that we would give ourselves until the end of May, at least, so that we could find out if our top pick had another spot open up.

Very early this morning, while it was still dark outside, I woke up in a hazy state full of depressed feelings that we’d been denied the complex we wanted because the universe had it in for us and didn’t believe I, and by extension my family, deserved nice things. Wholly irrational, of course, but difficult to shake in the small, dark hours of the morning. I still feel depressed about losing out on a perfection option, though in daylight it’s easier to go back to seeing it as random chance and mishap rather than the intentional act of a spiteful consciousness.

At least I know now that the whole area we viewed of our new city is going to be a nice enough place to live, nicer, in fact, than several places I’ve lived in the past. I love that the neighborhoods within range of my husband’s office are old enough to have a variety of architecture instead of sprawling suburbs of the same five ranch style homes repeated over and over in the most depressingly utilitarian fashion. There was also more greenery and more trees than I’d expected, even though I spotted fewer parks and forest preserves than exist around our present region.

So at least I have the consolation that even if we can’t get what we wanted, we should at least be able to get something acceptable. In the meantime, crossing my fingers that a spot will open up for our favorite option.

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