Thursday, September 9, 2010

Autumn is icumen in

It was over 90 every day last week, but I can feel Fall coming in my bones. I'm hoping my bones aren't given to wishful thinking. It helps that we just got back from Michigan and have been wearing long pants for the past four days. It was over 90 again when we get home, but temperatures have dropped below 80 again as apparently the weather from Michigan has obligingly decided to follow us home.

There's something about the change to cooler weather in the fall that reactivates me and makes me want to make changes. Maybe over 20 years of living on the academic calendar primed me for the idea that September means starting something new. Or maybe my inner psyche wants to observe the Jewish new year. Either way, this year we're giving into that impulse in spades.

The first change is one I've been talking about for a year now, a larger car. We just paid off the current car, so of course it's time to take on a new car loan, yes? Aargh. I would love to keep our current car and drive it to death, but because we only have one car, it has to serve every purpose we need a car for, including cross-country trips, and after a few trips where we could barely slip in a piece of paper between the roof and all of our crap, it's abundantly clear we need something bigger. Everyone in the back seat would also be a lot more comfortable in a slightly bigger car as well.

I had been thinking about procrastinating on this until the new year, until I talked to my brother about it today. He's buying our old car, and starting in November, he'll have a hard time getting vacation time for a while, limiting when he could travel out to get the car. And then my mother mentioned she had been thinking about driving out this fall, and could bring my brother along, saving the cost of a train ticket. So suddenly a new car by October seems like an excellent idea.

The second big change we're thinking about is moving. Which isn't so much a big change except that B brought up that since the Free Library has a bunch of branch head positions that need to be filled and is therefore about to do a round of promoting and hiring, now is an ideal time for him to ask to transfer to a library in the Northwest part of the city. We had been wanting to move over there right before he was offered his current position, and it's been a very good library. But as I've complained so many times, our section of the city has all of the drawbacks of both the suburbs and the city, except that in the actual suburbs here, there's shopping available. In the Northwest, they have walkable shopping areas with bookstores and coffee shops. Here, we were unbelievably excited when we finally got a Starbucks last year (really, this is possibly the only densely populated geographic area this size I've ever encountered without a Starbucks. There's practically a Starbucks in the parking lot of Starbucks). It's not that I ever really wanted Starbucks per se (although I've managed to develop a shameful frappuccino addiction), but there aren't any local coffee shops either. Or bookstores. Or anything interesting within walking distance, including a train line.

Basically, if we have to live in the city, we'd like some of the positive aspects of city living, like cool shops and convenient public transportation and a playground we don't have to cross a twelve-lane road to get to. That's available in the Northwest. As an added bonus, the fact that the Northeast and Northwest splay out like two outstretched arms over the rest of the city means that we'll be as close or possibly close to most of the places in the suburbs we go now, plus we'll be much closer to all of the things we'd like to do but don't because it's so much effort to drive to the opposite side of the city.

So now we're contemplating which libraries B should express an interest in and I've started looking at rental listings in the Northwest as well as the Northeast. I've been pleasantly surprised at the offerings - when I was last looking two years ago, we couldn't afford nearly as much as we can now, so looking at my target price range has gotten a lot of results. And some of them aren't even cookie-cutter postwar rectangles. Gosh.

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