Immediately after the storm, my friend Aimee invited us to stay in her spacious and warm garage apartment — which we gratefully did, for six weeks. After that time, however, I began to itch for a space to call our own. “We need to start replacing the things we lost in the flood,” I told Marcus. “If we move into an apartment close to where we’re rebuilding, we can slowly accumulate what we need, and we can visit the house every day as it’s constructed. It’ll feel like a step closer to home.”
So October of last year, we moved. I found an apartment complex about a mile south of our home (and our familiar neighbourhood). We bought a couple of beds, some sheets, a couch, a breakfast table and some chairs. We got a desk for me, and a desk for Alex. We put up the art that Marcus saved from the old house.
And the apartment was full. And it was cozy. And it was perfect while we waited to make decisions for our future living arrangements.
In April, we signed with a builder, which means that we had an idea of what kind of house we were getting — the different rooms, their sizes, their layouts.
(In other words, I began to dream about what the house was going to look like.)
And so, the shopping began. We bought some armchairs. A cabinet for the television.
My parents downsized. We inherited things from them like a barbecue pit and a wine fridge. We asked our apartment complex if we could rent a garage, to store them. And we began buying more things — a chandelier for our dining room. A tool chest for Marcus.
And now, our builder is telling us we’re about 5 weeks out from moving into our home. And this apartment is a cramped nightmare.
As I type, I have damned near a dozen rugs rolled up against our bedroom wall. In the garage, we have a stack of blinds for all of the windows of our new home, all lying on top of additional furniture we purchased from another downsizing friend. There’s also an art table for Marcus, still flat-packed on a pallet. Bed frames for our family, as well as our guest room (we have family coming for Christmas). Stacks of books we’ve accumulated in a year of living here. Decorative African baskets I couldn’t resist.
At this point, it truly feels like we’re living in a storage container, and if I’m honest, I’m close to my wit’s end. But I just got back from the house, and appliances were installed today. Electricity was connected. The grounds were cleared, getting ready to have our new lawn laid. And this weekend, I picked up some empty cardboard boxes from a friend to begin packing up.
I should probably start doing that soon, actually.
Things are beginning to move.
Soundtrack: Home by Johnnyswim