Monday, March 15, 2010

Home Sweet (Temporary) Home

What I'm reading: The Medusa Game, by Cindy Dees

The adjustment continues. As we crossed the border into Colorado last week, I had one of those chest-tightening moments and a feeling of "this is real". The mountains are gorgeous, and although I can't predict how I'll react to a lengthy winter season, right now the climate is totally acceptable. We've seen snow and sunshine, and I happen to enjoy dressing in layers.

If phase one was the drive across the country, then phase two was finding temporary quarters. We've been staying with our daughter and her husband, and they have a very nice, very large home, but since house-hunting is likely to be a lengthy process between finding, contracting, and closing, we wanted to find someplace we could stay.

Ideally, we wanted something furnished, and something that would rent on a month-to-month basis, since we have no idea how long we'll need it. Those options appear to be few and far between around here. But we did find one option that met these criteria, so we drove out to take a look.

It's part of an artist's home. She's a sculptor who works in stone, and she has a studio on the lower level of her house. She's also got small "inlaw" quarters, small being the operative word. "It's only temporary," hubby said when we looked at it. "No problem."

Keep Reading...

We'll see. We came from a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house. We've transitioned by living in hotel rooms en route, although we've had almost a week in our daughter's house to get used to being able to spread out again. Now, for an indeterminate amount of time, we'll be living in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath "apartment." It's not part of a complex, which was a plus for hubby. And it's in a very nice wooded setting. But the main space is comprises a couch, a chair, a narrow table with 2 stools and a "kitchen" which is a counter with a sink, and a fridge. There's a microwave, a hotplate, and in the closet, a toaster-oven. A total adjustment in cooking is required.

On the plus side, we don't have to buy furniture, or towels, or linens. Pots, pans, dishes, glasses, silverware—even plastic storage containers for leftovers are included. Phone, heat, water, tv and internet are all part of the package. There's even an iron and an ironing board (not that I'll be using either very much), and a vacuum cleaner. A washer-dryer combo that should prove interesting. They're very popular in Europe, and it should be nice not to have to remember that there's a load of clothes in the washer that's been sitting there three days because you forgot about it and never put it in the dryer.

Since none of the other places we checked into ever resulted in returned emails or phone calls, we decided to use the bird in the hand method and signed the rental agreement. My PC needs a wireless card so I can use it for Internet tasks as well as routine work, so we went to Staples and bought one. We also saw a very inexpensive computer stand, so we bought two of them. Hubby will set up in the "living room" and I'll make a corner of the bedroom my office. The bedroom is a very decent size, and the tv is out in the living room/kitchen, so that decision was pretty much a no-brainer.

I'm sure you'll be getting regular updates on the process of adjustment as well as reports on the house-hunting progress. Meanwhile, I've been sending my submissions to those who requested them at the conferences, and working on the Ancillary Materials forms for my next Five Star book. Keeping 3 books in my head is a challenge, and I don't think it would be much easier even if we weren't moving.

Compared with the stress of selling our house, packing, dealing with 2 conferences, and driving 1896 miles, I'm feeling pretty good!

And I'll be getting some better insights into what should be going on in my characters' heads when I shove them into cramped quarters as a way to elevate the tension.

Tomorrow, my guest is Marianne Stephens, who will be discussing something we can't avoid -- the passage of time. See how she handles it.


Jess said...

Just don't overload the washer, as the dryer cycle can be poor! Hope you have something bigger by October!

Wynter Daniels said...

Good luck with the house hunt. Small places make for a cozy couple or a couple ready to kill each other!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

That sounds like a big adjustment to make, Terry! Good thing you and your husband get along so well... :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like the adjustments are going well so far. Hopefully you will find the right place in no time. Love the photo of your "new neighbors." They're so cute.

Debra St. John said...

Terry, your adventure seems to be going well so far. Good luck with everything!

Terry Odell said...

Thanks to all - so far, one of the adjustments is that I'm in a new time zone, 2 hours earlier than before. Which means a lot of my east coast readers won't see my posts first thing. I could set them up to post earlier, but I still don't trust that I get everything right (like this morning - you early birds got the uncollapsed post), so I don't like to put it up before I'm up to check on it.

Now, if we could just figure out how to get my PC hooked up to the house's internet system. The laptops went up fine, but there are MAC address issues with the PC. We added a wireless card, which was supposed to have done the trick.

Meanwhile, thanks for being loyal followers - pass the word that I'm still here!

Carol Kilgore said...

You'll do just fine. Enjoy finding your perfect new home. Now that you have your little haven to return to each day, you'll be better. Trust me.

Peg Brantley said...

Welcome to Colorado!

Katie Reus said...

Congrats on making it there! I'm sure you guys will eventually adjust to the place and when you do, you'll end up finding a house w/ lots of space ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

Good luck with the house hunting! I'm sure you'll make it work :)

MTZ said...

all-in-one washer-dryer? Oh, I remember how much my mother loved hers. But, that was back in the 60s and 70s. Haven't seen any for ages.

Starting out, I suggest running what seems like half loads. If you get them too full it takes forever to dry and wrinkles are almost certain.

Terry Odell said...

Carol, yes, sleeping in the same bed every night is a good thing.

Peg - thanks!

Katie, any house will be spacious after this one.

Jemi - thanks. Looking forward to beginning the hunt.

MTZ - I figure we'll do lots of small loads -- or else we'll "borrow" my daughter's machines when we visit.

Maryann Miller said...

It must be nice to be finally settled in your temporary digs. Looks like a cute place and the atmosphere should be conducive to writing. It also gives you the freedom to take your time and find the perfect place to be your permanent home.

Sheila Deeth said...

Good luck house-hunting. But temporary digs is good too. Looks like you'll both have your own computer space - what more could you want?

Terry Odell said...

Maryann - "Cute" it may be, but I'd rather have a little more space. However, we're slowly figuring out where things should go, and will get used to the fact that you can't get to anything without first moving something else.

Sheila - my PC is finally hooked up to the Internet, and I can work at an actual computer again instead of the laptop. Now I'll have to coordinate all the files!

Terry said...

I've been there. Hope you find a new home soon!

Lee Lofland said...

Terry - We've made the cross-country move a couple of times. And, in doing so we've stayed in a couple of Extended Stay hotels with the small kitchen/bedroom/office all in one room. We did this while house-hunting and waiting for the new houses to close. It was an adventure each time, and believe it not, we sort of had fun. I even wrote about half of my police procedure book during one of those excursions. I can't say I envy you (been there, done it too many times), but I do wish you luck. I know you'll have some good memories from the experience.

Terry Odell said...

"other" Terry - thanks

Lee, we looked into some of those extended stay options and decided 1) they were pricey since we had no clue when we'd find a house and 2) we absolutely need more than 1 room. Since neither of us goes "out" to work, we'd be driving each other nuts all too soon. Our work styles are too different. There has to be a room with a door to close - and not just the bathroom. :-)

Jana Richards said...

Hi Terry,
Your apartment looks very cute and cozy. It may be small but at least it's all yours, and you have all the privacy you need. Good luck with your house hunting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Terry! I've just been reading your blog. Hate to be yet ANOTHER person to say this but your apartment IS cute! But, I've always LIKED smaller spaces. Good luck house hunting and hope you find the perfect place soon!

Syracuse, NY
I'm reading MERRY, MERRY GHOST, a mystery by Carolyn Hart!