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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feels like home - for a while, maybe longer

I think I may have mentioned a few times that we moved to a new place at the beginning of November. We're mostly unpacked now, so I have some time to catch my breath and think about what we've done.

We only moved across town, but it feels like a very different place. For three years, we lived in an apartment complex that was literally built around the train station. Each building had 18 to 24 units, and some of the largest ones - three-bedroom units like ours - were occupied by families of four or more. Most of the residents had more than one car, too, and all of the parking was in outdoor lots. We were on the second floor, so we had neighbors both above and below, but since we were in an end unit, there was a neighboring apartment on only one side. The point of all this is that it was rarely quiet around there.

We're now living in a gated townhome community that's a small part of a major subdivision. We're still in an end unit, with a neighbor on one side, but there are only four units in the building. More importantly, since each unit has two stories, there are no up-or-down neighbors. Each unit has a garage, so there's no busy parking lot outside. But there is a park just on the other side of the fence behind us. And the train tracks are a couple of miles away. Sometimes it's unnervingly quiet here.

We hadn't been actively looking to move, but the chance to rent this house came up through a woman in my book club. Her family had decided to move east of Los Angeles for various reasons, and she and her husband had decided to rent out their house here rather than try to sell it, and it all came together so well it made Tall Paul and me a little nervous. We're committed to an 18-month lease, and our landlords have told us that they have "no plans to sell," period. We're already hoping they won't change their minds - not only would we really prefer NOT to move again in a year and a half, we already know we like it here a lot and would be happy to stay as long as we can.

We have more space - the same number of bedrooms, but more living space and all of the rooms are larger. Tall Paul is very happy that he has a garage, and we can actually get both cars into it and store stuff out there! There's enough storage space in the kitchen that we can actually put things away and clear off the counters, and a built-in cabinet in the upstairs hallway has already been put to use for much-needed book storage. (And it's not full - yet. That will change, especially if we're here longer than the current lease term.) The house are big windows and lots of light. There are also lots of trees around, but no yard to speak of, and the homeowner's association is responsible for all the groundskeeping. The whole neighborhood is great for walking, and the park is well-lit at night - and since it's a park with no playing fields, it's pretty quiet there too. Our dog Gypsy seems to appreciate both the change of scenery and the quiet - she's even quieted down a bit herself since we moved in here. And of course, there are so many new things to sniff while out walking - the rabbits and squirrels are a fine bonus, too.

Real-estate agents know what they're doing when they talk about helping people buy "homes" - it's an emotional term. They deal with buying and selling houses. As far as I'm concerned, any place I've lived was the place I called "home" - as long as I could make it comfortable and welcoming, it didn't matter to me whether it was owned or rented, spacious or small, house or apartment. Those details still don't make a lot of difference to me. We haven't been in this new place long, and since we don't own it, some might say it isn't truly "ours," but we're already making it feel like home, and we'll treat it like it's ours for as long as we're here. We just hope that will turn out to be for a good long time.

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Since we're starting to feel "at home" in our new place, I HAD to take this Blogthings quiz:



What Your Home Says About You






You come across as very intellectual. People take your wisdom seriously.

You have amazing hygiene, and it shows. You are sparkling clean!

You are a very domestic person. You enjoy decorating, cooking, and making things homey.

You are not a nurturing person by nature, but you can easily take care of someone you truly love.

You feel settled in your life. You have enough time to focus on little details.

You are a very self sufficient person. You can get along well without much help.

Your friends see you as honest, humble, and responsible.



So, are you a "homebody"? What does "home" mean to you?

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your move. I'm glad you're settling in and making it 'home'. :)

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  2. Tanabata - Thanks, me too! I do NOT enjoy living out of boxes :-).

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  3. Your new home sounds wonderful. I took the quiz and it says I'm a goofball - no lie! I think my son would agree.

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  4. I wanted to drop by and wish you an awesome Thanksgiving. :)

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  5. Sounds like everything is working out well with the new house. Hope you get to be there as long as you like. Moving is never fun!

    The quiz said our hygine is good but we are hiding some dirty secrets. They must have peaked. :)

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  6. We just moved in October. The extra space and not having to deal with noisy neighbors is great. Our old complex was also by the train tracks. That was like my alarm cloick in the morning. Sometimes I miss the trains but not the noise...

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  7. Florinda: First, I wanted to thank you for your comment over on my blog. I appreciate your words of encouragement. I'm trying to get out of my reading (and midlife) slump, but it's not easy.

    As for your post, isn't home where the heart is? ;) But in some ways, it's true. Of course, I guess, it's easy for folks that have a home and aren't living on the street. :(

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  8. Kathy (Bermudaonion) - It's definitely the nicest place I've lived in awhile, and maybe the quietest neighborhood ever.

    If I'd come out as a goofball on that quiz, I'm sure my son would agree too!

    J. Kaye - I stopped by your blog to wish you the same :-).

    Mike - Go ahead and keep those secrets secret, OK :-D?

    Yes, it is off to a good start. Our landlord came by a couple of weeks ago to check on some things, and reiterated that they don't plan to sell and see this as a long-term thing. We wouldn't mind that at all.

    Shiona - I know what you mean. There was a train that came through at 5:20 every morning - that's when I knew my husband needed to get up :-). Yeah, I don't miss that very much. Hope your new place is working out well too!

    Bryan (Just a (Reading) Fool) - Home is what you make of it, I think - but yes, it's much nicer if it has four walls and a roof.

    I just wanted you to know that your contributions to the blogiverse are missed, and I hope you'll be back in the swing soon. I know how difficult it can be, though. Hang in there, and I'm glad you stopped by.

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  9. congrats on unpacking and starting to settle in. It can be a big pain. I hope you will be happy in your new place.

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  10. Serena - So far so good, thanks :-)!

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  11. hi; just found your journal; very cute! I had fun reading some of your entries before this one; I'm south of you in the Temecula area

    your new home sounds nice! so good to have more space and more quiet!!

    betty

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  12. Betty - If we had a real yard, Gypsy (our shepherd mix) would think it was just perfect, but it's pretty good all the same. Nice to meet you!

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  13. What a beautiful post, Florinda! I am so glad things have worked out for you the way they have. Your new home sounds so wonderful.

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  14. Wendy (Literary Feline) - Thanks! We're pretty happy about it too. Hopefully, our landlords won't change their minds about this being a long-term thing, because that would be fine with us.

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