As I mentioned in my last post, we sold our house this month.  This is big news for us, as we’ve been trying to decide whether or not to move for the last half of a decade.  (Really.  We’ve been talking about it for five years.) Should we:

a) go to Portland or b) not to go to Portland?

a) upgrade or b) not upgrade?

a) live within our means or b) keep up with the Joneses?

As you can see, we finally settled on (b), (a), and (b).  And we’re excited.  Kind of about the new house, but mostly about keeping up with the Joneses.  What can I say?  I love the thrill of competition.

So my big project for the week was to find an apartment for our family to stay in over the summer while the new homestead is being built.  I took on this task with the naive optimism of a freshman in college trying to register for a 10 am Communications class.  Yep–all filled up.

Did you know that the rental occupancy rate in the Tri-Cities right now is 99%?  There is nothing, nothing available.  (Okay, that’s not completely true.  There was a two-bedroom available for such a low price in such an unsavory part of town, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  If my mother thought I was unfit before, she would have had CPS at my door had I taken her grandchildren to dwell in this meth lab.)

So the hunt is still on, and I’m not giving up.  If the Universe can clone our family to move into our old house, it can certainly produce an apartment for us to live in over the summer.  Said clones have politely asked us to extract ourselves from their new place by early June, so we’d better hustle.

The funny thing is, all of this pavement pounding has actually evoked some lovely memories for me.  You see, in our early years of marriage, Derrick and I spent a couple of years managing apartments.  No, I didn’t say we lived in apartments, like most young couples do, I said we managed them, which is, ahem, somewhat of a different experience–and certainly more enjoyable when it progresses from an experience to a memory. But as I toured apartments this last week, smelling the heavy cigarette smoke in the stairwells and hearing the little bell ring as I pushed open the door that said “MANAGER,” I couldn’t help but drift back to those rainy Portland Saturdays when Derrick would pull weeds for six hours while I collected smashed beer cans and cleaned green stains out of the basin in the laundry room.  Ah, the innocence of youth.

So to honor this week of The Hunt, I will be posting a new memory every day, for the next seven days, that will illustrate for you–and recapture for us–a day in our past lives as the ever-earnest, always-detested, often overdressed slum lords that we were.  I will be calling it Thisisanewlow Week, and I hope you’ll join me.

The exciting thing about Thisisanewlow Week is that on Day Seven I will announce here, to my three faithful readers and the world at large, where the Smith family will take residence for the next four-to-six months. (or six-to-nine.  we’re building a house.  who are we kidding?)  By announcing it here I am committing myself to find a place within this time frame while you will read things about my past that will make you oh-so grateful for your present circumstances, humble as they may be.  It’s a win-win, no?

I hope my trip down memory lane will help pass the time until the grand, highly anticipated announcement is made.  I know you’re all just dying to find out where we’ll end up.

So am I.

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