We got the apartment!

Oh, I’m so happy. We’d just about convinced ourselves that it wasn’t going to happen – no, no particular reason, just that we are the kind of people who routinely need proof that stuff like this is gonna happen to us. Said proof arrived yesterday, in the form of a call from the property manager, and boy are we not complaining.

Two-bedroom apartment! With…OK, this is going to be hard to explain as squee-worthy, given that it’s what the people on any given ep of House Hunters are looking for in a spare bedroom alone, but…doors! That close! Walk-in closet! Storage space up the wazoo, in fact! Space to entertain! Living room, to put the TV in, that is not either of our sleeping spaces! Means losing the unspeakably thrilling biweekly oh-am-I-getting-popcorn-in-your-bed-I’m-sorry-I-don’t-have-to-watch-this-no-wait debate, of course, but we’ll muddle through somehow.

And the whole newly renovated – they’re apparently upgrading the individual units as they rent them, which hey, new bathroom faucets! Did I mention the new bathroom faucets? Oh, lord, people are going to think we live in a cardboard box right now. Which we don’t, really, but… Ooh, something else I just remembered – our friends live there, two couples’ worth actually, and a couple more in the building right next door (including the mother-daughter team we went to Florida with). So. Cool. For starters, what with all the big strapping husbands hovering about, we are totally set come moving day (June 1st). The beer bill might be a tad high.

Ooh! Also, we have a landlady who likes to tell stories about the time she got drunk and her boyfriend had to take her home, and when she passed out on the floor decided to stay all night to look after her – but not touch her, no sir. She knows this, because she went to the doctor the next afternoon to confirm it, and he told her that she was totally un-taken-advantage-of, and didn’t that tell her something? So she married him – no, not the doctor, her boyfriend. Honestly, I am torn between hoping this woman never comes near us again and inviting her in for coffee on a regular basis.

*sighs happily* So much to think about, so much to do…new bedroom furniture to buy…what do you guys think of taupe and cream with rosy accents as a colour scheme?
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Moving, the sequel: The Day Our World Didn’t *Quite* End

Toronto, my beloved city, is 175 today – and here are 175 reasons, courtesy the hometown Star, why that’s a Very Good Thing.

Which also seems like a very decent segue into a progress report on the Great Shoe Migration of ’09: The moving part is still on. Really, we swear.

However. As it turns out, thinking seriously about leaving a place, and leaving the people, are two distinctly different things. Witness congregations are static within a given area, rather like a Catholic parish; once you move out of the [preaching] ‘territory’, that’s it, whole new congregation. Sure, there’s nothing saying you can’t keep up with your friends anyway, but…well, you know how that works. "We’ll have to get together real soon!" "Oh, I know, I’ve been so busy!" *trots happily away, never to be seen again*

So basically for the last couple weeks it’s been talk excitedly about moving, go to meeting, feel crushed at thought of parting, talk a little less excitedly, go to meeting…lather, rinse, repeat. The lack of excitement was getting to elephant-in-the-room levels – and if you’ll recall, these are very small rooms – before we finally both broke down last night and admitted that taking everything into the balance, we weren’t ready to give up what we have just yet. She would rather take more frequent days right out in the country over a compromise position somewhere in suburbia, and frankly I don’t fancy complicating my commute the way I’d have to anyway.

On the other hand, the lack of space is still a major issue. I do honestly long for a bedroom, with a bed, which isn’t separated from the kitchen only by a low counter that the cats keep knocking things off all night. For that matter, Shoemom wants a living room that she doesn’t have to worry about explaining away all my tchotchkes every time she has adults over – much less the nephews. Some of them are glass.

Thus, new plan. Friends in a nice-but-affordable old building nearby mentioned the other week that there was a two-bedroom coming up there. Shoemom loves the friends’ apartment, is ecstatic about the tree-intensive location (it backs out on to the huge historic Mount Pleasant Cemetery – very quiet neighbors!) and just generally ‘has the same connexion I felt when I saw this [current] place for the first time’. And we’ve been here five years. Kitchen’s a lot smaller in this new place, but not-futon sleeping place….mmmm. Also, walk-in closet. I feel so shallow, but it’s true.

So we’re all set to initiate paperwork. Friends are good buddies with the super, so things are looking…gahhh, don’t want to get too excited about this in case it doesn’t happen…let’s leave it at that, shall we? Will report developments as they come in….

….eeeeeeeeeee i hope i hope i hope

Planet Earth is blue/and there’s nothing I can do…

*returns from further web search* So nobody commutes from Milton to Brampton? At least, not by public transit? *sigh*

So yes, I think we’re serious about moving. Something has to be done, anyway, because Shoemom is going quietly stir-crazy as things stand. She’s a small-town – rural, really – Niagara native who’s been doing her level best to keep up with the urban mileu for five years now; in one of the most multicultural cities in the world to boot. While she assures me she has no regrets (and well she shouldn’t – the woman has a more active social life than I do at this point, for cripes’ sake), apparently enough is enough. She’s not getting any younger, and while she ‘never thought she’d be the kind of person to care about this kind of thing’, the fact is her ‘roots’ are calling her back.

I can’t really complain about any of this, since I’ve had it pretty much all my own way in the matter for those same five years. She can’t afford to live on her own, and neither of the Shoesisters are viable alternatives at this point, so we’re joined at the hip for better or worse – better, since we’re buddies as much as we are relatives at this point. I love her especially for picking up after Shoedad’s desertion and making a strong, independent woman of herself, and I love her generally for what she’s done for me since, well, birth, so what can you do?
Besides…while I also love my city truly madly deeply…I’ve been here for more than a decade now, and have reached the stage wherein most of the reasons I love it can be just as easily pursued at a distance. You know, I’ve been having a lot of fun playing at the city sophisticate – the way you do, in your 20’s and early 30’s – but I’m not really, never will be, and have the strong idea that it might be time to stop trying so hard.

Back to where, now, is the bit we’ve still got to sort out. Shoemom’s idea is naturally of someplace corresponding much more closely to her experience; especially so since as a ‘pioneer’ (that is, one who works full-time in our preaching ministry) she’s out in her community’s face more or less constantly. Thus being able to relate in terms of language, culture etc is important to her well-being on several levels.
Also high on the list of priorities is lowering our expenses, simplifying our lifestyles at least a little. At the moment, we have a great place at a reasonable rent in one of Toronto’s most desirable neighborhoods – and it’s a jr. one-bedroom apartment. We’re literally stuffed into two tiny rooms. An upgrade would be very nice indeed.

Thing is, there are complications. The big one is that I don’t drive – and I work in Brampton, not Toronto anymore. So the search for Shoemom’s more relatable mileu is limited by the exigencies of public transit.  As it turns out, apropos of my post last night, there are a lot of exigencies in the preferred corridor. It’s doable, but it’s nowhere near as simple as we’d thought it would be. The GTA commuter train system is set up to shuttle people back and forth from the outskirts to Toronto, not from outskirt to outskirt. Which is efficient use of resources I guess; but not at all helpful in re: ours, just now.

This nixes, unfortunately, most of the places in which she would be happiest – Niagara Region and immediate environs. Of the remaining possibilities, Burlington is the most desirable – since we lived there for awhile in the 90’s – but still too far away, Oakville is kinda pointless anyway if the idea is to simplify living expenses, and Mississauga and Brampton are just…well, Mississauga and Brampton. All the same objections to the current situation apply, with ‘all there is to do there is shop’ thrown in.

This leaves Milton. Amazingly pretty, fashionable little city, all the amenities (it better have, being the fastest-growing city in Canada) close to everywhere else we’d want to be…a matter of minutes down the highway from Brampton…and no ruddy GO bus. Aargh. Will keep you posted.