Obviously Adam and I knew when he got the job in Seattle that picking up our lives in Chicago and moving them across the country would be difficult. But remember, this isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve relocated from Olympia to Anchorage, AK and then from Anchorage to Chicago. Picking our lives up and moving to the other side of the country is something we’re not only familiar with, we considered ourselves to be kind of good at. But then this relocation happened. Our final relocation that is attempting to destroy us.
Maybe it’s because there are so many more moving pieces this time? Maybe because previously we did the whole move in under three weeks, and this time we had almost two months? Maybe we just are old and less flexible? I don’t know what it is about moving to Seattle that’s making it feel so unlike relocations of the past, but it has been a bit of a doozy.
This week Adam went to Seattle for work and to also find us somewhere to live. I stayed home with Nellie because A. flying across the country for 4.5 hours with a lap infant is never fun and should always be avoided if you can, and B. I don’t have any time off work. I was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to see the places we’d maybe rent, but I trust Adam’s judgement and it had to be what it was going to be. We had hired a relocation assistant to book homes for us to view and it had taken a HUGE stress of my plate seeing as the Seattle housing market is absolutely bananas right now and homes are renting and selling faster than I’ve ever seen. Adam received a detailed itinerary of the homes he’d view, the times to arrive, and little details about the various properties. It felt so neat and tidy and wonderful.
And then I reviewed the properties. One didn’t have a garage (SCRATCH THAT), another only 900 square feet with a single bathroom. Suddenly our list of 8 was down to only 6. The first house Adam arrived at stood him up. Strike one. The second house was lovely, but as he left the house driving 45 miles an hour on a busy road someone pulled out directly in front of him and he T-boned the driver. His rental car was totaled, his shoulder jammed up and in a lot of pain, and he clearly was no longer making his next appointment. Strike 2. After meeting with the police, getting a tow truck, talking to workmans comp and getting a new rental car, my determined (and possibly crazy) husband was back at it. He viewed two more houses that day, went to the doctor, and we put in an application on a home. There were two other people already with applications in, so even this wasn’t guaranteed. Adam and I went to bed that night out of houses to see, with nowhere to live. I began texting friends frantically asking if we could live with them for a few weeks until we found something. We were panicked. Strike 3.
Meanwhile I am at home with a child who apparently caught the plague and is on a mission to have me attend work never again. The kicker too is my mother had offered to come stay with me this week while Adam was away and I had told her that it was no big deal, Nellie wasn’t even hard to handle by myself and she should save her money. What the hell cosmos? Not a funny joke.
Adam and I talked on the phone and wondered why in the world this relocation was so much harder than others. We had wanted to come back to Seattle for the last 8 years, and it was finally happening and yet Seattle wanted to make this experience as hard as humanly possible. Things had begun to look pretty bleak.
Thankfully we finally had a win. Bruised and broken Adam went and viewed a little home in West Seattle Thursday morning and called me a half hour later in a complete huff. He loved it. He said it was perfect. It had a huge deck with views of downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainer. It had a hot tub for crying out loud! There was an office for him to work in, a new kitchen, and a fenced yard for the dogs. We had dreamed so many years ago of living in West Seattle, but we’d never expected it would ever work out with the housing market in such a crazy state. We put in our application, were accepted, and that night Adam handed over bundles of cash to secure our little piece of home in West Seattle.
We’d never imagined we’d actually have a Seattle address again. That we’d be so close to the things we’d loved about Seattle so many years ago. I never thought I’d be able to bike to the Puget Sound, walk to a farmers market, take a short Uber to a baseball game, pop over to my friends homes without it being a huge production. We’d accepted a long time ago that we’d live deep in the burbs, that we’d work a little harder to explore Seattle, and now we’ve been given this amazing gift. Now as we reconnect with Seattle we won’t do it from afar. We won’t be outsiders wishing we were close. We’ll live in the city once again and I’ll make dinner in my new kitchen looking out a wall of windows at the Puget Sound. A view I fell in love with when I was 17 years old and decided I’d make Seattle my home.
There is still so much ahead of us with packing, shipping cars, and you know, driving across the country, but I’m so excited I have this view to dream of. I can already taste that glass of wine on my deck, and you’re all welcome to join us. Door is always open.