I’ve just returned from The Land of the North, where My Favorite Domer will be moving later this summer.
Our journey was necessitated because Domer rather likes — and needs — a place to call Home, yet he obviously didn’t have one since he’s never lived North.
(Other than four years in South Bend, which often felt like “North”!)
We packed the car on Sunday and took off, Google maps in hand, prepared for an eight-hour road trip. Domer took the wheel first, giving me a chance to file my fingernails, place some phone calls, and read.
Some time after lunch, we found ourselves in the Podunk region of a neighboring state, watching as farm after farm flashed by, enjoying the bucolic scenery of cows and hay, corn and trees.
But we were on a two-lane state highway, and Domer was “lucky” enough to have several slowpokes in front of him — with no easy way of getting around them.
“Can’t we go any faster than 50?” he wondered aloud.
Not really, I said. The road is twisting and turning, you’ve got hills and No Passing signs.
“I can’t stand this! The idiot in front of me is just far enough behind the guy in front of him that I’d have to go around the whole lot of them, and there’s no time.”
Want me to take over, I asked.
“What more could you do?”
He had a point.
Eventually, we landed in The Land of the North, checked into a hotel, and decided to look around.
How can one city have so many confusing road signs, I wondered.
Normally, I have a great sense of direction. Sure, the compass inside my rear view mirror helps, but still.
These streets felt as if they were going north when they were going south, east when they were actually west, and I felt much like somebody had blindfolded me, spun me in circles, then instructed me to walk a straight line.
We learned it was easier for Domer to play navigator and me to drive.
Fewer angry words, too!
Because it was after-hours for leasing offices, we opted to eat dinner and get an early start the next day.
Armed with a map and a list of addresses, Domer and I set out in hopeful spirits.
The first couple of places we checked felt a little sketchy.
Nice enough, I suppose, and certainly reasonable in price, but nothing to write home about.
“Remember,” my sister had advised me, “Shacks are cheap for a reason.”
She knows this, having helped lease apartments for her two kids several times now, and I’ve never felt the need to experience everything for myself when I can learn from others!
Finally, I sensed Domer’s growing frustration and suggested we look at something on the pricier end of his list.
“I can’t afford that,” he whined.
(Yep, by that time both of us were whiny!)
We’ll just look, I said. You can’t compare if you don’t have anything to compare to.
(Where had I heard that before??)
Long story short, we both fell in love with the “fancy” place, and if all works out, that’s where Domer will live.
A place that’s safe. And clean.
One that fits his budget and has amenities (like snow-removal and private entrances).
A place I wouldn’t mind living myself.
If it weren’t in The Land of the North!
Moving to a new locale is so difficult, especially if you don’t have other people to guide you to the “better yet affordable” places to live. Good luck to Domer!
Thanks, Suzi. I think we’ve chosen well, but of course, only time will tell. The hard thing about apartments is the usual turnover of tenants. It’s not like the neighborhood he grew up in, which has had the same people for many years!
Debbie, I remember when I moved back to the northeast and went through the same thing. I literally had ONE day to find an apartment and put down a deposit. I hadn’t lived here in over 20 years, so I had no idea where to look. Luckily, the very place I looked at had what I wanted (a studio apt. close to work and had indoor laundry facilities and at a price I could afford). I looked at one other place, just to make sure, but I ended up taking the first one. I got VERY lucky!
Glad to hear that Domer found what he wanted and one that fit his budget.
Ron, you DID get very lucky, my friend! It’s practically unheard of to find just what you’re looking for on your first viewing.
Fortunately, Domer has a couple of weeks before he has to start work, so that should give him time to get settled. And since he’s never really had to “count pennies” before (thanks to good ole Mom, ha!), it should be a very interesting experience. Ah, well, he didn’t major in Finance for nothing, I guess! Thanks for stopping by.
Sounds like you had a very successful road trip! So glad you found a place both you and Domer like. And if he decides he wants something different he can move—kids do it all the time. Tell him to find a friend with a truck! 😀 I’ve always heard and followed the advice that you should never “save on rent.” And you have raised a frugal boy who minds his money (or your money) Good Job.
Lots of changes for you, you just went through your own storm–filled with wind, rain, and rainbows. Be kind to yourself! Take time for yourself. Don’t expect to much right now. . . ♥
That’s why he doesn’t want a truck, fear of getting sucked into helping everybody move!
Oh, you’re so right about his being frugal. Frugal to the point of stingy! He’s been tallying up possible expenses for weeks now, trying to calculate whether he’s going to have enough money for savings. Savings? Are you kidding? At my first job, I did good to meet expenses, without worrying over whether I was going to have money to tuck aside into savings! But as he’d say, that’s the difference between a business major and an arts-and-letters major, ha!
Good luck to him in “the land of the north.” Good that you figured out the best driver/navigator combination too!
Thanks, Barb. I think he’s going to like “the land of the north.” He doesn’t mind cold weather or snow, not that he’s had to drive much on it. And at least he’s got a while to get acclimated and find out what’s where before cold weather hits!
I had to spend a little time cooling my heels in the dermatologist’s office today, and was reading Larry McMurtry’s “Roads”. I laughed out loud when I got to this – it made me think of you and Domer on your trip. Domer especially, I suppose.
“It may be that the availability of speedy travel has mainly worked to make the human animal – or at least the American animal – more impatient. This opinion can be confirmed by walking through any large airport on a bad travel day. Getting places quick is a habit so rarely thwarted now that when it is thwarted the shocked travelers almost immediately go to pieces.”
Isnt’ that just the truth? And in fact, that’s true in other realms. Think about the dude with the T1 line who suddenly finds himself with no other option than dial up. I suspect one of Domer’s biggest struggles is going to be discovering not everyone’s fast-tracking. 😉
But so far so good, it sounds like to me. This is going to be quite an adventure for you both!
Linda, you’ve analyzed Domer to a T — sadly, he inherited the “hurry” gene from his mama, so I can’t fault him. In fact, both of us hate getting behind slow pokes. I’m glad he was driving and not me, ha!
McMurtry certainly had an astute observation. Then, again, he usually does. We’ve gotten so used to fast things — fast food, fast checkout lines, immediate service — that we find it hard to abide anything that doesn’t meet our criteria of speed. Perhaps that’s why it’s hard for Americans to relax on vacations or in retirement. It’s almost comical when you think about it — I mean, shouldn’t we prefer getting to our destination safely rather than swiftly??
I hope all works out well for Domer in his new digs. And the “north” isn’t so bad. (Wait. Who am I kidding? You read my blog!)
HaHa, you’re so right, Terri — remember those late April snows?? So do I — luckily, Domer survived four years in South Bend, with their “lake effect” snows, so he should be good to go. I hope!
Debbie, When will he know if he got the place? I’m keeping my fingers crossed. After all, I lived in the Land of the North and it’s a fine place to be!
As far as I can tell, he’s definitely got something. They didn’t have any vacancies in the size he wanted when we looked at model units, but they assured us they would by the time he needed one. So, wow, big step! Thanks for the vote of confidence on the Land of the North! How’s your daughter coming along on her move? (wait, never mind — I’ll just hop over and see if you’ve posted something!)
Finding an apartment can be difficult. So many unknowns- things you won’t find out until moving in. I hope the fancy place does work out. The lower rent places are comforting for the budget, but not so much in terms of safety 🙂
I agree, Janna. And as a mom, I want to make sure he’s settled in a safe place. I worry enough without adding that to my list, ha!