Six moves in four years. This averages out to about 1.5 moves a year (I just threw up a little in my mouth). You might assume this would make me a moving expert. Or *notsomuch.* There's a bit of room for debate on this topic, which is why I would argue, that we're here, airing out the issue, casting it down in internet stone, so I can work out my moving issues through a post. Or, apparently four posts (exhibit a; exhibit b; exhibit c; exhibit d) because moving is all I have been writing about as of late.
Move No. 1: The First of Six
First there was the move from the Prairies, (Regina, Saskatchewan to be precise) to Ottawa.
Before making the trek to a new city to start a Graduate degree, I found a nice little apartment for myself by way of internet searching and a total of one phone conversation.
When I arrived in Ottawa I found out the apartment had a beautiful view and also it was located adjacent to a homeless shelter.
Despite the mid-night police show crack-downs of drug deals in the street, and the bums brandishing crack pipes in the double-door vestibule of my building, it was a nice welcome to the city. I mean it had all the down-town living perks (read: close to bars and the school I was going to) for the value of outskirt apartment living prices (read: not too many people want to live rubbing elbows with the locals so it was a steal of a deal.)
Move No. 2: "You Should Think Twice About this One"
The decision to move was made quickly at the end of my first year when funds were running low and the nightly shelter entertainment was wearing thin. A friend looking for a roommate told me she would find a place for two. Before I knew it, the first year in Ottawa was barely up and I was cramming my life into a closet sized room, for half the price of the one-bedroom apartment I had been calling home. This move would never have been made possible if not for the help of my best friend in the world who borrowed her parents pick up truck, and helped me jam the contents of my life, in a series of car loads, through the downtown streets of Ottawa.
The story of this move does not end well. Acquaintance who so kindly invited me into the new found apartment turned out to be a bit of a crazy dead end... as so many room-mate-ships will tend to (caveat: for her portion of the story you are welcome to track her down... I'm not completely absolving myself of wrong-doings... I'm just saying it got hairy really quickly). At any rate, I still refer to her as "my ex" .... as in "my ex room-mate" because that's how it ended. Case in point, I have not one saved photo from that period of time... for which I am grateful... the memories are sufficient enough.
Move No. 3: "An Infestation"
The move-out with "the ex" led to me to a beautiful one bedroom of my own, sans homeless shelter/angry roommate.
I spent my 25th year in Apartment Number 25. Well... most of my 25th year.
It really was a beautiful, glorious six months of freedom.
(Of course there's a but...)
But, the whole bed bugs scare really messed with my brain.
I returned home from my first hard earned vacation of life, to discover a note under the door:
"Tenant in apartment 25. Your neighbor has bed bugs. Your unit will be fumigated because walls shared usually indicate infestation of both units. Please move your belongings away from all the base-boards so that the pest control can come and spray anti-insecticide foam which will eradicate the problem."
Apartment 25 was never the same after that. I don't know if you have ever experienced the psychological effect that bed-bugs will have on you. It's absolutely awful. Any little scratch at night, or unexplained itch? It's always gonna be a bed bug in your brain. Even if they "tell you" "they are gone". The internet doesn't help matters in terms of bed-bug fear mongering. Apparently the little devils are nearly impossible to get rid of. Did you know a bed bug can live in your belongings or in your walls, for up to 6-months, surviving only on their "last feeding" (read: your own blood)?! I wasn't sticking around to find out when they would resurface.
Move No. 4: "Infesting"
At this point, I moved myself, life contained in duffle bag, back and forth between Mike's place.
Really he made this sign so I took it as an impression that he didn't mind me staying (read: living) at his place:
Le Paris, was a quaint little place with downtown charm and great views. Also the building came with a crazy, eccentric landlord who tended to the building in nothing but his boxer shorts and spent the majority of the summer sunning himself on the front lawn. His skin was seriously leathery red all year round.
It was also the first official Lo Mein headquarters... so for that reason alone, the memories of Le Paris are clearly etched in my memory.
Move No. 5: Hollywood Parade
After about 3 months of Lo Mein begging us to find a bigger place we started looking again.
In December 2010 it took about 2 weeks gazing through kijiji before we found the Hollywood Parade (seriously called that, kinda corny). (Well to be more accurate it took about 2 weeks of kijiji looking, viewing a few different places, including One Ghost House, and then we found Hollywood Parade).
It's named for the architect who was I think Italian... I'm still working on some more research into this guy who seems to have been quite a character.
On Moving Day January 31, 2011:
Your first official place together always has a special place in time I think... which explains why I became so attached to it. (That or the stain glass windows and the crown molding...) Regardless, I was certain we had found a place we wouldn't be leaving for awhile.
In fact, on the one year anniversary of not having rented a moving truck/packing boxes, I was all like "Ohh yea... we've been here a WHOLE year, many more to come.. yak yak yak yak/blah blah blah" ...... didn't know it at the time but tempting fate I was.
So this brings us to present day.
Move No. 6: April 29, 2012 - Moving Day rapidly approaching
Did I learn from previous moves? Have I done things more efficiently? Am I trying to paint every surface of the new house before I move in?(Yes). Did I put myself out of commission with carpel tunnel after painting for 11 hours this past weekend? (Yes). Did I purge unnecessary crap that I haven't used since Saskatchewan? (Of course not. It's coming with me.)
So are you wondering what I have I learned from all of this, yes?
A house does not necessarily make a home, but a cat, a little space to think and relax, some elbow grease, fresh paint and a lot of shared heart and soul do.