If we were having coffee, it would probably be at Hyperion Espresso and we would be sitting outside, enjoying today’s beautiful spring weather. We wouldn’t be sitting outside at my house because there we’d have to listen to all the power equipment being used by my neighbors. Because it is such a nice day and so everyone is catching up on yard work. Or cutting down all the trees in their yard for some reason.
No, if we were having coffee it would have to be somewhere downtown where we could sit and relax and do a lot of people-watching. I love to try to guess whether someone is a local or from out of town. And by “out of town” I mean not a city resident. I’ve been both so I’m not saying one is better than the other. It’s kind of funny but there are so many people who live not far from “downtown” and they have no idea how to get around in our tiny little downtown area. I used to be one of them until not too long ago.
I lived in the downtown area for about 5 years. Before that I was in the suburbs, and that’s where I am now. I’m in a great big subdivision with amenities like a pool, tennis courts, lots of trees, and schools almost in our back yard. Those amenities are great, but we’ve never used them. As much as I love swimming pools you would think I would spend a great part of my summer at the pool. But at the risk of sounding quite a bit elitist, I much prefer a private pool. Without a bunch of kids splashing and yelling, and no one there to wonder at my nerve to wear a bikini. I used to think I wanted to live in a neighborhood like this, where we could make friends with the neighbors and have each other over for dinner. But if your neighbors aren’t friendly, or maybe they feel a sense of loyalty to the previous residents of our home (who still own the house), then you’re just living in a place where you have to put up with loud neighbors and their loud mowers and weeders.
In just over a year we have to move. Our landlords gave us a three-year lease and they plan to come back their house at the end of the term. So we know we’re moving. The big question is where to go. Back downtown? It would be great to be able to walk to the library, the coffee shop, the butcher, our favorite restaurants and bars. Choices are limited downtown though. Parking is very limited. And that’s no small issue. You’re probably familiar with some of the videos that go viral every once in a while showing a woman trying to park. Stereotypical and unfair to most women, yes. But they kind of apply to me and my parking skills. So we need a place with either off-street parking, or some kind of designated parking area. For two cars (for now, anyway). And when we lived downtown we did complain about parade traffic, football game traffic, and the neighbors there weren’t always the greatest (although it did get a little better when one particular neighbor was forced to change his address to one behind bars).
So our other choice is not in another suburb, but “out in the country.” We could end up somewhere a little out of the way but with an easy drive to and from work. A little house with lots of privacy and space between us and our neighbors. A small place that wouldn’t take all day to clean. But then we would be back to having to drive everywhere.
I think when it’s time to get serious about looking for a new place it’s going to come down to the house (or apartment). As long as it has all the basic elements we’re looking for, the location will end up being secondary. I guess that’s the downside of renting a home. We could be moving quite a few more times, so we’ve already started thinking about downsizing our “stuff” and paring down furniture. When we moved here we got more “stuff” because we had more rooms and needed to fill those rooms. But we moved here for my son, who is still in school. This location put him near his school and his friends. He’s graduating the same month our lease is up.
This time next year is going to hectic and stressful. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it. And I know the next twelve months will be gone in a flash. Wish us luck.