where the writers are
Home Sweet (Temporary) Home

The adjustment continues. As we crossed the border into Colorado last week, I had one of those chest-tightening moments and a feeling of "this is real". The mountains are gorgeous, and although I can't predict how I'll react to a lengthy winter season, right now the climate is totally acceptable. We've seen snow and sunshine, and I happen to enjoy dressing in layers.

If phase one was the drive across the country, then phase two was finding temporary quarters. We've been staying with our daughter and her husband, and they have a very nice, very large home, but since house-hunting is likely to be a lengthy process between finding, contracting, and closing, we wanted to find someplace we could stay.

Ideally, we wanted something furnished, and something that would rent on a month-to-month basis, since we have no idea how long we'll need it. Those options appear to be few and far between around here. But we did find one option that met these criteria, so we drove out to take a look.

It's part of an artist's home. She's a sculptor who works in stone, and she has a studio on the lower level of her house. She's also got small "inlaw" quarters, small being the operative word. "It's only temporary," hubby said when we looked at it. "No problem."

We'll see. We came from a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house. We've transitioned by living in hotel rooms en route, although we've had almost a week in our daughter's house to get used to being able to spread out again. Now, for an indeterminate amount of time, we'll be living in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath "apartment." It's not part of a complex, which was a plus for hubby. And it's in a very nice wooded setting. But the main space is comprises a couch, a chair, a narrow table with 2 stools and a "kitchen" which is a counter with a sink, and a fridge. There's a microwave, a hotplate, and in the closet, a toaster-oven. A total adjustment in cooking is required.

On the plus side, we don't have to buy furniture, or towels, or linens. Pots, pans, dishes, glasses, silverware—even plastic storage containers for leftovers are included. Phone, heat, water, tv and internet are all part of the package. There's even an iron and an ironing board (not that I'll be using either very much), and a vacuum cleaner. A washer-dryer combo that should prove interesting. They're very popular in Europe, and it should be nice not to have to remember that there's a load of clothes in the washer that's been sitting there three days because you forgot about it and never put it in the dryer.

Since none of the other places we checked into ever resulted in returned emails or phone calls, we decided to use the bird in the hand method and signed the rental agreement. My PC needs a wireless card so I can use it for Internet tasks as well as routine work, so we went to Staples and bought one. We also saw a very inexpensive computer stand, so we bought two of them. Hubby will set up in the "living room" and I'll make a corner of the bedroom my office. The bedroom is a very decent size, and the tv is out in the living room/kitchen, so that decision was pretty much a no-brainer.

I'm sure you'll be getting regular updates on the process of adjustment as well as reports on the house-hunting progress. Meanwhile, I've been sending my submissions to those who requested them at the conferences, and working on the Ancillary Materials forms for my next Five Star book. Keeping 3 books in my head is a challenge, and I don't think it would be much easier even if we weren't moving.

Compared with the stress of selling our house, packing, dealing with 2 conferences, and driving 1896 miles, I'm feeling pretty good!

And I'll be getting some better insights into what should be going on in my characters' heads when I shove them into cramped quarters as a way to elevate the tension.