movin’ on up to the east side (of the alley)

ugh, i’ve been sick since wednesday. today was my first day really getting out of bed & putting on normal pants. i feel like i’ve been sick for most of 2015 so far…& now that i really think about it, i really have been sick off & on for at least half the year so far. at the risk of being disgusting, i will confess that i actually coughed up blood the other day. jared, who is usually hard to rattle, asked if i needed to go to the hospital, but it only happened once, so i’m not gonna stress about it.

in the midst of all this illness, our ladlady texted me the following: “i just realized the text i sent you weeks ago didn’t go through. my friend does want to rent the house at the end of july.”

i think i mentioned a month or two ago that our landlady somehow got the idea that we were planning to move this summer & offered the house up to a friend of hers. when she contacted me about showing it, i was like, “uh…we were hoping to stay?” & she was totally flummoxed. in any case, she showed the house to him anyway, as is her right, & he liked it, as is his right, so we have to clear out.

it’s a pretty major bummer in a lot of ways. i’ve lived in this house for longer than i’ve ever lived anywhere in my entire life, even as a child. it’s been four years. ramona has lived here her entire life. we’re only looking to be in lawrence for one more year (though we’ve been saying that for a few years now, so…) & of course it’s a giant pain in the ass to move, only to turn around & move again a year later. we love the location, so close to downtown, & the rent is dirt cheap. yes, the house is small (only about 375 square feet), but we’ve been making it work for years now.

i was pretty pissed off when i first got her text. finding a decent place to live in lawrence is ridiculously difficult. pretty much anything that isn’t on the verge of being condemned is already leased for august by mid-march. the landlady has known for a MONTH that her friend wanted the house & just didn’t tell us, despite seeing us out in the yard, walking up the street, etc. there are some hidden jewels here & there, but you have to know the right people, run in the right circles, & keep your ear to the ground to find out about them. if you don’t mind living in some anonymous townhouse on the edge of town, finding an apartment is a snap, but if you want something with some personality, it’s nearly impossible.

thankfully, i did happen to stumble into one of the right circles at the right time (thank you, local mommy facebook group!) & tomorrow we’re hopefully going to be taking care of all the necessary paperwork on a new house. the pros: it’s a house! no sharing walls/floors/ceilings with randos who might annoy us or be annoyed by us. hardwood floors! not one, not two, but THREE bedrooms, which means ramona will have her own room, we will have our own room, & we can turn one room into a home office for jared! there’s a sunny little breakfast nook that jared has already earmarked for my sewing table! cupboards cupboards & more cupboards in the kitchen! a washer & dryer in the house, not in a scary spider-y basement that can only be accessed via a bulkhead! a fenced-in yard for ramona! central air! & it’s less than a block away from our current house (same alley), which means we’ll still be super-close to downtown, the farmer’s market, the library, etc! the only quasi-downside is that it’s a pretty big increase in rent, but i knew we were paying below-market rent for our neighborhood & never expected to find similar quality in the same location for the same price. for all the great things about this place, the rent is more than reasonable.

i mean, there are things we haven’t loved about our current house. we don’t have any cabinets, for instance. there’s only one built-in countertop in the kitchen (we provided another by owning a butcher block table), but it’s not braced well & can’t really be used for anything. our bathroom mirror is smaller than the average hand mirror, there’s no ventilation in the bathroom, the bathroom is so tiny that ramona’s potty won’t fit inside, there’s nowhere to put the litterbox except for somewhere in the kitchen (yuck), the washer & dryer can only be accessed via an outside bulkhead, the yard isn’t fenced & opens on to a busy alley, the backyard has a pond in it so ramona really couldn’t be out there alone at all even if it was fenced, & now that i’ve started listing things, i’m surprised to find that i could keep going.

i mean. we have a bathroom door. that’s a big step up from the place we had before this. & it’s not a studio apartment, unlike the place we had before that. we have not had to have the house condemned by the city, which is an improvement from the place before that. & we’ve never been victims of a home invasion here, unlike the place before that.

i guess you could say that we’re pros at making do with what we have.

anyway, now that it seems we might have a pretty decent place waiting for us, i am a lot less grumpy about having to move, & feeling more like, oh boy! when can we move?! i mean…not sharing a room with ramona anymore? she’s the greatest kid in the world, i love her more everyday, etc etc, but that is going to be AMAZING.

over the course of the four days that i have been sick, i read seven books cover to cover. i also ordered even more fabric & findings to make bras. i’ve decided the underwire on the black cherry bra is too short & it makes me want to kill someone every time i wear it. i ordered longer wires & plan to make a swap as soon as the new ones arrive. i’m still pretty far from being 100% better. i’m maybe like…20% better. but i need to get my shit together because now i have “pack up the house” added to my to-do list.

i also made a (secret) new year’s resolution to make baby quilts for everyone i know who has a baby this year. well. two people i know have already had babies, another is about to pop any second, & four others are at various stages of pregnancy. i guess i have A LOT of quilts to make if i’m actually gonna stick to this resolution. i don’t think i was thinking clearly on this one.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “movin’ on up to the east side (of the alley)

  1. Sounds like the move is going to be a good thing! I can’t even tell you how great it is to have a fenced in backyard. We have a friend who likes bringing his kids over just because they can run around as much as they’d like and we don’t have to worry about chasing them down.

    1. we actually decided to go with a different house, which doesn’t have a yard at all, fenced or unfenced. i keep feeling weird about this, even though the house is literally steps away from the main city park (which has a playground & a free wading pool). oh well, the lease is signed & the deposit has been paid so we’re locked in now. & we’re allowed to paint the living room & jared actually suggested PINK! i never thought i’d be able to have a pink room again after we moved in together!

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