When we were looking for a place to live in Ithaca - from afar, mostly over the internet - I decided there were two things I would prefer not to compromise on. I really wanted a garage or at least assigned, close-proximity, covered parking, and a washer/dryer inside the apartment. In addition, a garbage disposal would be fantastic. Anything else, I could take it or leave it, but those were three things I really cared about.
Somehow, though, I ended up caving on all three. We live in a place that has unassigned, off-street, uncovered parking, no washer or dryer, and no garbage disposal.
We do have a dishwasher, and it's the cutest little one I've ever seen. I actually like it because it fits our family size. With a big dishwasher, it seemed our dishes sat in there for days before it was full enough to run, and by that time, I had retrieved and hand-washed any number of utensils I'd needed to use in the meantime. With our new mini dishwasher, I can run it almost every day and it takes about 45 seconds to unload. Brilliant.
The parking situation, while it didn't meet my high standards, is just fine. I thought we'd be fighting for a spot and walking many yards just to get to our front door, but actually it's not a problem at all. I reserve the right to complain more about the uncovered part when the winter snow comes, though.
I am struggling a bit with the laundry issue, so I'd appreciate any tips from the experienced laundromat crowd. Our building does have one washer and one dryer in the basement, but six apartments share them, they are old, they are expensive, and they are inconvenient. I'd have to go down two flights of stairs and open and close four doors (and lock or unlock two), while holding laundry. With two kids in tow. One of whom would have to be carried on the stair parts. Given that situation, I'm thinking it would actually be easier to strap the girls in the car, throw the laundry in the trunk, and go to a laundromat. That way, the kids will be somewhat contained, the machines will be nicer and cheaper, and here's the best part - I can get multiple loads done at once. What do you think?
(An additional bonus to the laundromat would be chillin' with the locals. We met a lady at the laundromat on Saturday who has two three-year-olds. Twins? we asked. No, "Irish twins," she said. I've never heard that term before, but I guess it means that she had a baby, got pregnant immediately, and then that baby came early. So her two three-year-olds are seven months apart.)
Even with the minor bumps and things to get used to along the way, I think I can cautiously say that we really like our place. The location is fabulous - we live on the edge of a nature reserve with wood-chip paths throughout. I was sad to give up our beloved River Path/Walk in Tucson but this will be even better for running and exploring. There are lots of young families - Mormon ones, even - in our apartment complex, which is great for all of us but especially Miriam and Magdalena.
Plus, our apartment has an attic. A real-life, stairway-that-drops-down-from-the-ceiling, axe-murderer-hiding ATTIC. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I honestly didn't know those existed outside of the movies. How exciting! Besides the novelty/terror factor, it's great for stashing stuff we don't want to see around the house, like empty packing boxes.
So we're feeling more and more at home, but the following things will really help:
-getting internet service at home (tomorrow, God willing, not that I'm counting down the days or anything). Once we have that up and running, I'll be able to re-design this blog, which means that YES, I am keeping this URL. Jeremy is against this plan but it is easier and it won't confuse the search engines so much. Sorry if any of you were hoping for a graceful time to de-follow this blog.
-acquiring some kind of seating device for the front room, like a couch. We left our huge old free one in Tucson because it wasn't worth the space it would take up in the moving pod.
-figuring out how to arrange our furniture in the front room. We're having a hard time getting it to feel and look right. Maybe it's because none of our furniture matches, I don't know. Moving furniture you acquired in one house to a totally different one is tough because it's like trying to force puzzle pieces to fit together into a totally new picture.
-purchasing a TV and a DVD player. These might have to wait for a while, which is fine. We haven't ever owned a TV as nice as Jeremy's iMac computer screen, which plays DVDs, so where's the need? We'll see.
-finishing unpacking. I don't know if this process will ever end. And with moving so much recently, I have a strange aversion to unpacking things like books even though I know we'll be here for a while. Plus, it's hurts my brain sometimes. I come across a single pile on the kitchen table consisting of a paint can key, a camera case, two padlocks, magnetic letters for the fridge, a set of Russian teacups, a lightbulb, and earplugs, and it's like, what am I even supposed to do with all that?
I'm sure we'll finish eventually. Maybe.