long count

(I periodically get emails from a PR person named Deborah Cox and that has led to this song periodically being in my head.)

We’re moving.

No, not anytime soon. We still have a more than a year left on our lease.

It kinda sucks that it’s settled already, because we’ve only been here four months and I’m already telling myself to not get too attached to the place. But that’s life.

There are two big reasons why we have to move. First, humans are the only animals Missy tolerates because she’s literally a cranky old bitch. Getting her in and out of the building so she can do her business is an ordeal at times. She’s gotten better, but if she can have a yard where she doesn’t see any other living creatures, especially other dogs, the world would be a better place.

Second, the terms of our lease change upon renewal. We got an incredible deal when we moved in here, and all of the fees that were waived will become fees again. Additionally, we’d have to pay for water here. That means, along with rent, we’d have to pay a pet deposit, pet rent, for parking, an amenity fee and all utilities if we stay. It’s almost like we’re paying a hefty fine for not having a lawn.

We might as well rent a house until we’re ready to buy.

So we are.

Where we will live is the issue.

Although the schools aren’t so great, I still want to live in city limits. Despite all of my travels, I’ve always lived in a city. Not once have I lived in something that did not have city status. The only time I’ve legally resided in a county was in North Carolina, because it doesn’t have independent cities. Additionally, I never changed my address and moved back before the point when I had to change my address, so that almost doesn’t count.

Although I’ve lived in four different places in Richmond, they’ve all been relatively in the same area. For six months, I was in Forest Hill, so I would take the Boulevard Bridge or loop over to Belvidere, when I didn’t have change, to do stuff in the Fan or Carytown. After that, my life also included Church Hill and Eastern Henrico.

Staying in the East End would be unfair to Renée. I work downtown and my day starts in the middle of the afternoon. She has to go through the Bryan Park interchange at rush hour. We should live in a place that is in a position that allows her to avoid it altogether if she needs to. She has said she doesn’t mind, but I feel bad about being able to get to work in about 10 minutes, including walking four blocks. That pretty much narrows things down to west of Meadow/Lombardy and large chunks of North Side.

That’s a big leap for me.

As I said, my life when it comes to Richmond has had everything east of Shockoe Valley as the point of origin, even when I lived in Manchester. (I was barely across the James River.) Except for forays into Carytown and Devil’s Triangle/the Museum District, my world pretty much ended at Boulevard. On special occasions, I would go as far as Parham Road/Westland Shopping Center. After that, I called everything “Charlottesville,” and I wasn’t going to drive all the way to Charlottesville when I had pretty much everything I needed between the Whiskey Grill and the Airport Drive Wawa.

But I’m happy that I have to change my frame of reference in the city. I built myself a little Richmond bubble over the past eight years. It’s past time for it to burst.

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