1. As you may have gathered if you read my training recap earlier this week, I’m officially a suburbanite.
I moved last Wednesday, and the move itself went well. I hired The Professionals, the same movers I’ve used for the past two moves, and they were just as fantastic this time around as they were in 2014 and 2017. I’ve always been impressed with their efficiency, but in the past, I was only moving a single bedroom a little down the road. This time, I was moving an entire two-bedroom apartment to the suburbs. The entire process, from the time they parked at my apartment in the city to the time they left my apartment in the suburbs, took two and a half hours. Two and a half hours! That’s it! I still can’t believe it. If you ever need movers in the city, I can’t recommend them enough. I don’t like spending money, but I’ve never regretted a single cent I’ve spent on movers.
The whole process was a lot less traumatic than I anticipated, which was nice. I was sure leaving the city would break my heart into a million pieces, but I didn’t cry at all. Of course, I’ve been itching to get out of my current apartment since last winter (like January 2018 last winter) and was so thoroughly over packing that I guess it’s maybe not all that surprising that moving felt more like a relief than a loss.
2. Life post-move, however, has just been one thing after the other.
It started Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, when I was startled awake by scratching and squeaking that seemed to be coming from the wall by my bed. Whatever it was sounded way too big to be a mouse, so I spent the rest of the night with visions of rats and/or opossums gnawing their way through my walls. The next day being July 4, the management office wasn’t open, and animals didn’t make the list of after-hours emergencies according to the after-hours maintenance phone number’s message, so there was nothing to be done until Friday. I did spend some time looking out the window Thursday evening, though, and discovered 1) that the creatures were not in the walls, but rather scratching against the walls from the outside and 2) that said creatures were not rats or opossums, but a family of skunks. Delightful.
The building contacted a pest control company that has now set catch-and-release traps for the skunks outside their burrow (which, upon further inspection, was pretty obvious from the mound of dirt they had dug up). I was really concerned the building would hire someone that would kill the skunks, so I was relieved to find out they only plan to catch them and move them somewhere more appropriate. I don’t have anything against them–the babies especially are super cute!–but it’s probably not best for the structure to have them scratching at it every night (and it’s definitely not best for my sleep quality). Plus, they are a bit on the stinky side, and I would prefer that my room doesn’t smell like Pepe Le Pew.
As I also mentioned in my training recap on Monday, I started to come down with a cold on Friday, and it has been brutal. Coughing, congestion, sinus pressure, sneezing, headaches, runny nose, low grade fever, malaise: the whole nine yards. Maybe I don’t get colds often enough to remember how long they normally last, but this one has felt particularly long-lived. Given my mucus-y cough (you’re welcome), I’m pretty sure it devolved into a case of bronchitis, similar to what I dealt with during week 11 of marathon season 2014. (My training recap next week, spoiler alert, will look pretty similar to that one, though with more rest and less yoga.)
I can’t say I’m surprised, given my through-the-roof stress level and non-existent sleep schedule over the past month (I normally average about 7:0x minutes of sleep per week; in the month before the move, I was averaging more like 6:2x or 6:3x, and hadn’t had eight hours since the night of May 31 into June 1. Yikes.). I do wish my immune system would take care of it, though.
And then, just to top EVERYTHING off, I worked from home on Monday and, when preparing my breakfast, was struck by how soft the English muffin I took out of the fridge felt. A few hours later, I went back for yogurt, and was struck by how creamy it felt, and not in a good way. I stuck a thermometer in the fridge and got a reading of 58 degrees, which is, you know, a bit higher than the at-or-below 40 degrees the FDA recommends.
So I, clearly the simplest tenant to manage of all time, submitted yet another request to maintenance, who came by in short order and, upon opening the frost-filled freezer, let out an audible, “Oof.” Turns out the vents from the freezer to the fridge were blocked, which kept the fan from working, which led to major ice buildup in the freezer and April-esque temperatures in the fridge. He got everything back in working order before lunch, which I very much appreciated, but sheesh. Can’t a girl just settle into her new apartment in peace?!
3. Despite my various woes, I do have to say that I really like my new apartment. I liked the character of my old place, but my new place is a lot more comfortable for several reasons. I have central air, a dishwasher, and in-unit laundry, none of which I had in my previous apartment. I have an en-suite bathroom, which I’ve never had in my life. But the biggest comfort-adder, by a long shot, is this:
AN ELECTRIC STOVE!!!!!! *all the praise hand emojis*
I have loathed gas stoves since the moment I started having to live with them. You would think I’d adapt to them over the course of seven years, but nope. I hated them more and more as time went on, and it eventually got to the point where I flat out stopped using them. I’ve been fortunate enough to be in living situations since 2014 where I’ve rarely had to cook, and when I did need to cook, was able to finagle my way into meals using electric appliances and/or food that didn’t need to be cooked.
Gas stoves were an enormous source of stress and anxiety for me in all three of my Chicago apartments. I never lived with one prior to moving to Chicago, and in fact never even knew anyone who had one prior to living in Chicago. The idea of piping highly combustible gas into my living space and then intentionally lighting it on fire seemed to defy all logic to me (still seems to defy all logic to me), especially when there was a perfectly viable alternative in electric stoves. Sure, gas stoves may provide finer temperature control, but I’m not aiming to win Iron Chef over here. I just want to be able to feed myself without constantly worrying about gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, or something quickly and easily catching fire from an open flame. While none of those things were likely to happen, the knowledge that they could happen was enough to literally keep me up at night, and I have spent the past seven years longing to live in peace with my kitchen appliances. I’m so, so happy to be able to 1) cook at all and 2) cook without crushing anxiety for the first time since I moved to Chicago.
(For the record, I think induction stoves are the actual best stove option, because you get precise temperature control with next to no risk of anything catching fire and/or burning yourself. My dream home will have an induction stove, a geothermal heat pump for both heating and cooling, along with hot water add-ons to the heat pump, solar panels all over the roof, a backyard that’s about 85% native plants, 14% fruit/vegetable/herb garden with composting, and 1% grass (to get to the garden), a small front yard with a garden entirely of native plants (and as little grass as I can get away with, because the idea that a good lawn makes you a good person is one more social construct that’s contributing the death of the only known planet that supports human life), a garage with enough electric capacity to support a family of exclusively electric cars, and absolutely zero gas lines connected to the house. Oh, and a smug sense of superiority about the size of my carbon footprint, of course 😉 ).