“The best-laid plans of mice and men go oft askew.”
Here’s the problem with planning, and with making rash declarations, they usually commit you to whatever it is you swore you’d never do. At least, that’s how it often works for me. The day I said I’d never wear skinny jeans in public, three years ago in a Delia’s dressing room with Stef and Laura, doomed me. I didn’t give in until recently, but I gave in nonetheless.
In this post, I ranted and raved about having to move for renovations. I even had some of my facts wrong. And I made this declaration: “…they pay for us to move wherever our little hearts desire, which will most definitely not be back to their stinking duplex.”
A couple of weeks ago, John went to a town hall meeting that was held for our housing community to ask questions about the whole relocation/renovation process. He came home with a copy of the floor plan for the new four-bedroom duplexes opening on the East Reservation. (For those unfamiliar with Barksdale, the East Reservation is still on base, but it’s a good 15-20 minute drive from the main part of the base.) My initial reaction? “Wow. This is pretty big. I wonder if it’s nice.” To which John said, “That’s not the point. I don’t want to live attached to another family again.”
The farther removed from the initial shock of having to move I get, the calmer I feel about it. We received an invitation to an open house to look at the new duplexes this week, and we decided it would be prudent to at least see what we were refusing to live in. I prayed and prayed about it ahead of time. If we liked this duplex, it would save us so much hassle and stress. John has been stationed here for four years. As soon as we went out and bought a house of our own, he’d be almost certain to receive orders to move. Murphy’s Law and all that. Plus, staying on base means not having to worry about a mortgage payment, homeowners’ insurance, our own maintenance, and all the other things that go along with owning a home (I’m sure I’m leaving plenty out, as we’ve never owned a home). Our BAH would still automatically go to Pinnacle, so we’d never see a bill for our rent, garbage removal, water, electricity – it’s so mindless and easy. I prayed that it would be obvious. If we were supposed to move to this duplex, let us love it. If we’re not, let us automatically hate it.
On Thursday, we went to the open house. The duplex is really nice. It has four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, 2,272 square feet, it’s carpeted, has an attached two-car garage, separate laundry room (it’s in the kitchen of our current house, so this is a big deal to me), lots of storage, and we’d be the first people to live in it. The biggest drawback is that there is no yard. There’s a patio in back and lots of landscaping, but not much grass for the Hankster. In the unit we looked at, there wasn’t even enough grass to put a fence around. They may not all be this way, but having to walk Hank whenever he has to use the bathroom may alleviate some of the problems we’ve been having with him. He hasn’t been getting enough attention, and we’ll have to give him attention if we’re putting him on a leash each time he goes outside. I digress.
When we got back in the car, we were confused. We expected to hate it. We expected it to be small and have industrial tile everywhere, just like our previous duplex. We had to pray some more.
Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling like the duplex was the right choice for us right now. We went to the leasing office to change our minds on paper. Next week, the contractor will be releasing the houses to Pinnacle, and we will get our move-in date. All we know right now is that it should be before Christmas. I hope now that once we get the move-in date, we’ll be able to coordinate movers in a timely fashion, because we have family coming in on December 17th! It definitely gives me a goal and a reason to unpack quickly. (Don’t worry, Jamie. I plan on getting your stockings finished before Thanksgiving. I’ll just have to keep an eye on which box they land in.)
I’m excited, even though this will be our fourth residence in the time we’ve been at Barksdale. Neely will no longer have to live in the sunroom, which is difficult to keep heated and cooled. I won’t have to break out the mop and bucket near as much. There will be no squirrels in the attic. I won’t need to stop the dryer to enjoy dinner with my family. This will be good for us.