Last month I wrote that we may have found a new house to rent. Well, cross of the "may have." Our application was accepted, and we begin moving next Friday.
I'm still working on that research on cost of living, by the way.
That means a few things: I'll need to find new places to train, we'll need to seriously downsize our possessions, and we'll need to get used to a new neighborhood.
There are plenty of benefits to living in the new house (else we wouldn't be moving, right?). For one thing, it has an attic, some double paned windows, lots of shade, and at least a touch of insulation. In an area with actual seasons this is not a small consideration. The last two years here have taught me that coastal California dwellers are s.p.o.i.l.e.d. when it comes to comfortable living. High ceiling, A-frame houses on top of a hill sure look picturesque, but when there's nothing between the ceiling and the roof it makes for either exceedingly uncomfortable living quarters, or exceedingly expensive ones. The rule in my house is that the air conditioning is forbidden when the inside temperature where the thermostat lives is under 90 degrees Fahrenheit. That translates to 96 degrees in the living room. In winter time we spend most of the snowy days within 4 feet of the fireplace bundled in our winter coats, willing the thermometer to hit 55 degrees by late afternoon. We all know how expensive air conditioning is, but what I didn't know before living here is that a tank of propane costs more than $500 to fill. Yikes.
An attic will help with the heat. The shade will help a lot, too. For the winters we will graduate to a wood-burning stove, and around these parts it is entirely possible to get your hands on a cord of wood for $10, provided you're willing to fell, chop, and season your own wood. Sign us up for that deal!
Incidentally, I marvel at and salute the pioneer women who came to the foothills before such things as weatherized, insulated structures and air conditioning. I can't imagine cooking over an open flame in a modest, floor length dress and petticoat in 105 degree heat. You can't tell me that hanging a wet blanket in the doorway is an adequate solution. Believe me, I've tried it.
Anyway. Back to the benefits.
The other thing that we are allowed to do in our new abode is plant whatever we would like in the ground. I mentioned my vegetable garden, and the new landlord said that would be fine and that I can certainly put those in the ground. If we end up staying for a while I may even get bold and look into purchasing some fruit trees...
We will also have a brand new trail head about 5 minutes up the road that leads to some amazing views of the foothills. I hear a rumor that on a clear day you can even see out as far as the Coastal Range, although I do wonder how many clear days we get anymore.
In the other direction a 5 minute drive will land us at a small lake, open for swimming, fishing, and non-motorized boats. There's a playground for the kid, and the beach is an off-leash area for dogs (not that we have a dog, but it sure is fun to play with them). It's a nice place to go to get away from the heat. Today, for example, we plan on going up there with the surfboards and paddling around a bit. Hey, they still need to get some use, right?
If it sounds like I'm trying to convince myself that it'll be a good move, then you're onto me. I won't miss the indoor heat (or the cold), and I won't miss having to use a gate card to get onto the road to my house, but I just can't shake the feeling of...I don't want to move. I like going out onto our deck in the morning with a cup of coffee and seeing the pine-forested mountains. Or sitting in the evening with a glass of wine watching the sun set through the trees. We won't have those kind of views at the new house. We won't have the quiet, either. Gated communities are known for being pretty snooty (which I won't miss), but they certainly are quiet. The new house is on a road that leads directly to Main Street in the next down over, so there is a lot more traffic. It's nestled in the trees, so we'll lose our mountain views.
But mostly I guess it's that it's change. I don't like things to change too much, and the last three years seem to be nothing but: my husband losing his job, me losing mine, getting a new job, moving to a brand new area of the state, unexpectedly getting pregnant, each of us losing a parent, and now up and moving again. Sure it's just up the road, but it's still a disruption.
I just wish (and hope) that things could be a little more...boring for a while.