I'm sitting on a really comfy couch my husband and I got at a thrift store today, with boxes, a banjo, bags and mismatched furniture piled up all around me. My cat is lying next to me and he seems pretty happy with the AC in our new apartment. We moved to the Atrium Lofts yesterday from the Fan, where I've lived for six of the last eight years. (The two other years were in Boston). Moving to Atrium was a big transition for me; I was nervous about living in a different part of town and nervous about the apartment complex because it's so different than the apartments in the Fan. Our old apartment was big and open, dishwasher-less, washer / dryer-less, no central AC, radiator heat, clothes hanging on a line on the back porch of an old creaky house. I loved the dark, leafy streets, the hole-in-the-wall bars, the quiet. I was nervous about moving to a place that was "too nice" for me (pool, gated community, gym…my mom told me that there were worse things to be worried about.) I was nervous about moving to Shockoe Bottom, because my primary form of transportation is my bicycle and that is one big hill.
But today, once we got everything in and settled, I looked out the window and could see the high rises. The sun was setting behind them--shades of pink that slowly faded to blue. Earlier today, I had biked to the Pipeline, an amazing part of the James River Park System that is only half a mile from Atrium, and went swimming. The bike ride was so fast that by the time I got home, I was still dripping wet from the river.
I put every single dish we own into the dishwasher (which miraculously fit them all--not sure if it's a freakishly large dishwasher, or if maybe we should own more than two forks). Then I put on a load of laundry in my own apartment for the first time in eight years (I haven't had a washer /dryer since I moved out of my parents' house). The AC feels amazing and our cat, who has spent the summer being hotter than a cat should ever be, is playful for the first time since the spring.
Yesterday, five people from the program (and my parents! :) )helped us move. I was so happy and surprised with how much support we had--we borrowed boxes, a dolly, asked for heavy lifting. It only took us twenty minutes to unload our truck. It was so great to have so much support.
Despite my initial hesitation about the intentional community part of the program, the strange feeling of moving into an almost dorm-like situation when you are married and have been out of college for four years, I'm thinking that this apartment is going to work out for us just fine.