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.

18 thoughts on “Sorry, we don’t take your kind

  1. OK, so … this is the week that I lose all respect from everyone of Jen’s readers.  For the record, it was a tough time … we were just out of school … trying to make ends meet.
    Hmmm … there are some good stories … 🙂

  2. They’re all FULL of kids … I am so tired I can’t even type simple words. Why am I still up? Migraine. Vertigo. General blahs. Maybe this is a sign I should cave in …

  3. I do not envy you trying to find and live in an apartment over the summer! I’d offer a spare room but we don’t have one. They’re all fun of kids or stuff that I really need to get rid of or lose my sanity entirely. Good luck though!

  4. Oooh…I’ve always hated apartment hunting…good luck!!! 🙂  Maybe you can find a house to rent for short term?! Looking forward to those memories…and the announcement!

  5. Don’t envy you, but can’t wait for the stories to come! And I LOVE Nancy’s idea! Just camp out for 3 months… that would be a real story to tell!!!!

  6. There weren’t any apartments available when we were looking either but I put my name on waiting lists. We got a call the next day for a 1 bedroom. We said we would take that but were looking for something larger, we got two more calls upgrading (if you want to call it that) to bigger apartments. But we had another apartment call during that time too. It was stressful but without family in the area our back-up plan was an extended stay hotel until our name moved up on the waiting list.

  7. Can’t wait!!!  Will you be sharing some stripper stories perhaps?  They really were golden days . . . for me, anyway.  You were just a few blocks away and always had to be home so I had you at my disposal.  Looking back, were you so annoyed at how often you had to feed me lunch?! 

  8. Ha! We were slumlords for 5 years before we bought our house in Boise. You know you’ve got a good thing going when you put gloves on your 4yo. and let him help you pick up cigarette butts… like gathering seashells.  We were such trailer trash discriminating snobs after a couple of years…felt so Christ-like trying to keep a straight face while one applicant informs me he’s on the sex offender registry, but it’s for statutory rape…good to know…There are so many that are way too inappropriate for this forum…I’ll save those for later 😉

  9. I’m looking forward to your slumlord stories too.  I always thought you had it so good – free rent in Portland in exchange for collecting a few rent checks.  No?
    I am so hoping you find something soon.  Is there a home to rent in the neighborhood?  Maybe you just need to approach someone who doesn’t know yet that they want to rent out their house.
    Good luck!

  10. Sorry Jen.  Those stories of managing were so funny and crazy I am looking forward to everyday this week!  That is saying a lot since I am sick and I hate being sick – you and your blog are the bright spot in my life!
    I loved hearing the stories then but not as much as you enjoyed living them! I can’t wait!
    As for apartments – that will be cozy no matter what!  Good luck – I will be praying for you – literally every morning and every night and maybe the kids will throw in a few “bless our cousins that they don’t have to live in the slums” too!
    Have a good week – I will be stalking you!!!  Give my love to the kids!

  11. I know what to do jenn. Both families can do the gypsy thing. We’ll pitch our tents on the empty lot next to my future new house, cook dutch oven meals together and watch the kids run around the custom lots. We’ll shower at the Callister’s. Doesn’t that sound fun? =)

  12. Oh boy.  Good luck.  I don’t even know if I’d know how to find an apartment!  It’s been so long.  Looking forward to hearing about your past adventures. 😀

  13. A new house, very exciting!! Will it still be in Kennewick? Good luck with the apt. renting, thats a tough task for sure! If nothing works out maybe your parents will let you pitch a tent in their backyard and you can be gypsies for the next 6-9 months : )

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