I’ve been on summer break for two weeks now, and what I have discovered in that time is that the process of preparing for a cross-country move and the need to recover from that preparation really eats into my time. Given that, this is notice that my blogging schedule is going to be extremely sporadic over the next month-and-a-half-ish. The hope right now is to be settled in Portland by the end of July, but there’s still a few details that are unsettled regarding when we’ll have access to our apartment which keeps me from knowing a definite date. Nonetheless, I wanted to mention this because I didn’t want it to seem like I was just falling off the face of the earth this summer.
For anyone curious about more specific updates, I can say at this point that Rachael and I have both secured job offers in school districts where we think we’ll be happy working next year. Our expected income looks like it’s going to be pretty comfortable for the two of us, and we expect that we’ll spend this first year in Portland just getting to know the city and figuring out what areas look like good places to live long term. We’re excited about the prospect of the cooler climate, and we’re hoping that the abundant natural beauty in Oregon will be incentive enough for us to go enjoy outdoor activities more (we both like being active outside, but the climate in Georgia makes the outdoors uncomfortably hot in the summer when we have the most free time). There’s a gorgeous city park in walking distance of where we’re planning to live that we hope to frequent regularly. We’re also just excited at the prospect of doing actual city living for once; we’ve lived in the suburbs pretty much our entire adult lives, and while we’re comfortable with that sort of community setup, we’d like to see what it’s like in a more concentrated community.
Of course, moving to an urban setting involves a lot of downsizing since the apartment we’re renting is probably about half the size of our current home. The last two weeks have been largely preoccupied with sorting through our belongings, determining what we want to keep and what we want to get rid of (we have runs to the local Goodwill for donation drop offs down to a science). We’re also in the process of figuring out what to do with the furniture that we can’t bring with us. If things go well, we expect that we’re going to be living in significantly sparser environs for the last two weeks of our current lease as we give a lot of furniture to members of my family. This broad umbrella of figuring out how to dispose of items in our house has been the single biggest time sink of the last two weeks (we thought that might be job hunting at first, but then we both got offers that we liked within the space of a week). There’s also all the logistical planning that goes into pulling off a move as well (I’m really looking forward to getting our apartment lease settled this week so I can schedule end dates on our utilities). It’s a lot of stuff, and days are often very full as a result. By the time we stop working, Rachael and I both typically just want to veg in front of the TV watching The Office (we’ve binged through nearly four seasons in a week now, and we’re planning on continuing right on into the show’s final seasons which are, to be polite, not as good as its heyday). So that’s why so much radio silence on the blog.
It’s not all drudgery though; part of cleaning house is finding stuff that you’d forgotten you still had and enjoying the memories that come with it. This weekend Rachael and I cleaned out our cabinet of Dungeons & Dragons materials from a campaign that we ran for each other about six years ago. It’s super geeky, because we set the whole thing in a fantastical version of Anglo-Saxon Great Britain around 800 CE. We had this whole grand scheme to follow the adventures of the characters who were meant to be the ancestors of some big epic heroes we had vaguely imagined. There were maps and adventure notes and mounds of character sheets (I think we created about ten unique player characters for this campaign that was just played by the two of us, plus characters for some friends of ours that we attempted to bring in on one very ill-fated gaming night; there were dragons and curses that prevented folks from not being able to get drunk and more than a little bit of petty thievery; unfortunately, we didn’t get to carry on that gaming group). It’s a big pile of old papers, and it doesn’t make sense to take all that stuff with us to Portland, but I am a softy for that stuff (I wrote four NaNoWriMo novels set in that universe), so I spent an afternoon scanning all the documents into a massive PDF that is now safely nestled on one of my archival hard drives. I might never look at it again, but it’s there in the event that I get the itch to review old campaign stuff for another round of tabletop gaming.
Anyway, that’s the sort of stuff that’s been going on around here while I have not been blogging. I’ll try to drop updates when I can, but in the meantime, know that I have not given up on this space; I’m just trying to get my meatspace in order first.