The apartment seems so much smaller now that it has walls.
Small is relative, of course. But with two adults, two men-children (a 16-year-old and a 12-year-old who is almost taller than me), plus a smelly little Jack Russell, the accommodations will be at the very least cozy, bordering on, "Oh for God's sake, go outside and play catch until it's too dark to see the ball" as we prepare to once again live together in the basement at House226.
We'll be moving in next weekend. We were hoping for this weekend, but Chuck won't be able to start tiling until Friday.
What's good: the together part. We've been living separately (me and the dog at our friend Todd's, Chuck and the boys at his mother's), for almost three months, and everyone is going a little crazy. Bobby is leaving this weekend for two weeks in Guatemala and El Salvador, and lately when I go to see everyone after work, I'm getting frantic communication from my mother-in-law. He's been sleeping all day, she says, he hasn't eaten or drank anything and she's worried that he will die in Guatemala because of his heart condition. (He's been sleeping all day because he stays up all night, he's a teenager and he's on vacation. How that translates to death in Guatemala, I don't know. I didn't say it made sense. Work with me here.)
What's hard: the together part. I thought we were cramped in Berkeley (1,200 square feet, plus the rat-to-human ratio was against us) but the basement at 226 is about 800 feet. It should only be for a month or two, and the boys will be gone for about a month of it at various camps, but it will still be tight. It will give us time, though, to work on the yard more, get everything planted that I want to plant and possibly keep the hookers from invading the yard on Sunday mornings.
Or at least that's the hope of Dawn, the nice woman who owns the restaurant across the alley from our back fence. I met her the other day when we were there talking to Al, arguing over the carpeting he wants to put in the basement bedrooms. (It'll be nice, he said, a change from the rest of the apartment. Yeah, I said, it will be like traveling to a new world -- ooh, I was in Tile Land here in the kitchen, but I think I'll go to Carpet Land here in the bedroom. He won that round, because the carpeting is less expensive than the laminate. But if he thinks of suggesting carpeting for the main house, I will cut him.)
Anyway, Dawn saw us outside and introduced herself. She's so happy people are moving in-if we need anything, please let her know. And maybe people living there will keep the hookers from climbing over the fence like they do on Sunday mornings.
"Why Sunday mornings? Why do you think they choose Sunday morning?" I asked her. "I honestly don't know, but here's the part of the fence they've broken down trying to get into your yard," she said.
Speaking of the yard, there's a new group called Sustainable Salinas that wants to transform people's lawns into vegetable gardens. They're looking for a yard where they can run a pilot program, and they want to talk to us about using our yard as a test case. I'm excited about the possibility--it's what we want to do anyway, and we have a small budget for the raised beds and irrigation--but this could mean some free manual labor too.