Finally done with the moving

Moving is one of those things where you’re never really done, but I’m going to draw a line here and declare this move officially done, because: We found a tenant for our winter palace! We didn’t pay the rent for December. Utilities have been switched over to the new tenant’s name, and we’re expecting final bills for the gas and power, and the water. (Bonus: the landlady said that we’d left the place very clean, so we’re getting our damage deposit back.)

We’re not doing with the moving in, of course (although we continue to make progress—we spent some time today hanging pictures).

I don’t have much more to say about it than that, but since I posted about so many of the steps from Country Fair to summer place to winter palace to Winfield Village, I thought I ought to bring the saga to a tidy close.

We are still planning a little open-house event for local friends. We’ll keep you posted.

Window seat

Just a little post to brag on our townhouse, which is gradually getting set up the way we want it.

Of course, unpacking is a lot of work (on top of all our other work)—but that’s okay. When we need a break, we can sit in the window seat upstairs in the study.

I’m planning to get a wedgey cushion, but for now these two pillows are doing a fine job. Behind them on the window sill you can see: My tablet (which I’ll get back to reading a book on, as soon as I post this), my coffee flask, Wellington (one of my science fictional elephants, and sometimes the elephant of surprise), Norman the Chambered Nautilus, a tiny little Ganesh sculpture, a plastic yogurt container (currently empty, but used to hold odds and ends), and a tube full of brightly colored cat toys. And, of course, behind that you see the tree outside the window, and beyond that a view of Winfield Village looking east from our townhouse.

Moving one last time!

All our moves this summer—from Country Fair to our summer place to our winter palace—were in support of a plan to move to a townhouse in Winfield Village. That plan was looking a little shaky along about mid-summer, when we were still far from the top of the waiting list for a townhouse and needed to find a place to live when our sublet ran out, but our plan has come to fruition! We are now members of the Winfield Village coop, and yesterday we picked up the keys to our townhouse.

We’ve spent the last two days scoping out the new place—measuring doors and windows, updating our furniture plan with the new information, etc.

The movers come Monday to move all our stuff out of our winter palace and into what we’re tentatively calling our country estate.

More updates as things progress. There’s a lot of cool stuff out that way, some of which I was completely unaware of. (For example, there’s a gorgeous reconstructed prairie just a few minutes walk from our front door.)

Our next place

So, we’ve not been making progress on the waiting list at Winfield Village. Actually it’s worse than that: We’ve been making backwards progress.

When we first got on the list, we were #5—but they said we were #2 to be called next, because several of the people ahead of us had already been called and had passed because they weren’t ready to move yet.

Then next time, we were #5.

We stayed at #5 for a while, but then a few weeks later, we were #7. How can that be? Well, two ways. First, several people who had been waiting for townhomes had decided to give up and move to the list for apartments instead, and they order people by the date their application became active, rather than the date they asked to be on a particular list. Second, people who already live at Winfield Village who decide to move within the complex skip to the top of the waiting list.

Last week we checked and learned that we were #10.

This was not as discouraging as you might think, because it actually simplifies our life. We had talked about various strategies for temporary housing to span a gap between when we needed to move out of our summer place and when our new place was going to be available. Clearly, those plans would not need to be actualized. Any possible move-in date was far enough off that there was no reason not to just go ahead and sign a one-year lease.

Of course, this necessitates yet another name—for our next place, after our old place and our summer place, but before our new place at Winfield Village.

My propose, which Jackie enthusiastically accepted, is that we call our next place for after our summer place our winter palace.

We’ve so much enjoyed living right downtown that we focused our search on this area. Jackie found a place about a ten-minute walk from here—two blocks further from West Side Park, but about five blocks closer to the library. I called right after lunch. We went to see the place at 2:30, read the lease standing out by the landlady’s van, signed it, and I wrote a check for the damage deposit.

Our winter palace will be ours starting August 1st.

After we signed the lease we walked to the library (I had a book on hold), then to the Blind Pig Brewery where Jackie bought us celebratory beers, which we drank in the beer garden:

jackie-winter-palace-celebratory-beer

Shoulder rolls and precisions

In a very small way, I’ve been persisting with my parkour training.

I’ve been practicing my shoulder rolls with some success: I can now do shoulder rolls from a kneeling start on both left and right shoulders. With that under my belt, I also did some from a standing start on my right side. I want a little more practice before I do them from the left side.

Next will be to do them at a run, and then to do them after dropping from a height. (Not a high height—I don’t want to hurt my feet, ankles or knees—but I want to develop the ability to drop from a height, absorb the impact of landing, and then go into a roll if necessary. It seems like a useful skill.)

The other thing I’ve started with are what the parkour folks call a precision: a jump to a specific point. You’ve seen them in movies where the actor (or a stunt man) jumps from one beam to another over a gap, or jumps from the top of one wall to the top of the next wall.

In the interests of not killing myself with my practice, I’ve been doing all my jumps at ground level, jumping and then landing on a curb. I’m not jumping very far—I still have no explosive power—but so far I have reasonably good accuracy. (The curb is maybe 6 inches wide, and I’ve managed to land on it, and to not topple over, pretty much every time so far.)

The distance I can jump is growing, which I think is just improving neuromuscular recruitment. (That is, at the level of the muscles, I’m getting better at firing off each phase of muscular contraction at the best moment to launch myself, and at the level of the limbs, I’m coordinating my arm and leg movements so that everything works together to launch me the distance I’m trying to go.)

In other news, packing to move proceeds apace. We’re soon to be at the point where we’re living in our summer place as much as we’re living in our old apartment. And we’ve learned that we’re #2 on the waiting list for Winfield Village

We’re moving!

We’ve decided to move. The reasons deserve a post of their own, which I’ll write in due course. This post is about our short-term plans.

We’re hoping to move to Winfield Village, an apartment complex that’s unusual in that it’s owned by a co-op of the people who live there. For a while now we’ve been on the waiting lists for either a two-bedroom apartment or a two-bedroom townhouse.

This has been in the works for some weeks, and we’d hoped to have a move-in date by now, but things are moving unusually slowly this spring.

Lacking a move-in date, but with our move-out date set by the expiry of our current lease, we’ve decided to resort to a delaying tactic: We’re getting a summer sublet. There are lots of reasonably cheap apartments available over the summer, and we’ve found one that’s cat-friendly and pretty nice. As a bonus, it’s just two blocks from downtown Champaign. (It’s a straight shot across West Side Park to the Blind Pig Brewery!)

We were going to hire movers to move us anyway. With this delay, our plan is to get the movers to put all our worldly goods into storage, except what we need to bring to the summer sublet. We’re going to limit ourselves to just what we can fit in the car. That sets us up for possible phase 2 of delaying tactics: visiting every single one of our relatives for a week or two. (We’re not especially richly endowed with relatives, but we have enough that we could stretch that out for a good long while, especially if we intersperse visits with bits of camping. In particular, if we end up going to visit Jackie’s brother in California, we’d almost have to drive through southern Utah, and I’ve been wanting for 20 years to take Jackie to Zion and Canyonlands and Arches and Bryce.)

I find myself really enjoying this process. It’s been years since I felt myself quite so footloose.