Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Southern Summer

Last year, at about this time, when I was telling my friends and family that I was planning on moving to North Carolina, the most common retort was, “The summers there are stifling. Humid, miserable. Why would you want to move there?” Funny. Summer here, now that we’re in the throes of it, is turning out to be my favorite NC season. I say that with perfect legitimacy, since I’ve been here for a complete fall, winter, and spring. It is hot, but not stifling, and certainly not as hot as California—well, not as hot as Sonora, my hometown. And the humidity? Not bad at all. I do need more “frizz serum” for my curly hair, but after spending a summer in Costa Rica, this place is not that humid. I like the sultriness, the warm nights, and best of all, the lightning storms. Almost daily, late afternoon, the skies darken, thunder rumbles, and the skies let forth a deluge of Biblical proportions—but only briefly, typically. The warm air remains, resulting in steamy streets, dripping leaves that dry suddenly, and the most beautiful display of clouds as they travel onward. The weather here is dynamic.
This may sound odd, or, well, gross, but I love how much I sweat during my runs. I’ll go out for an evening run and return home completely drenched—like, wringing out my shorts drenched. But it’s cleansing, sort of like sitting in a sauna for twenty minutes. I feel cleaner, released. The long trail runs are the best. C and I are training for a trail marathon, so we increase our mileage every weekend. Three hours on those trails absolutely defeats me, but I mean that in the most positive sense. I hit the trails in planning mode: How C and I are going to coordinate picking up my latest purchase off of Craigslist, or figuring out my next house project, but after zigzagging through the trails, I forget it all, sweat profusely, and just run. Cicadas hum in the trees, the nearby lake swirls with colorful birds and insects, and I feel so good.
Best of all, these southerners know how to make good iced tea, though I take mine “unsweet.”

Settling in

After spending the past week cleaning, shopping, unpacking, and organizing, my house is starting to feel like home. Every night I go home from work with a list of projects to tackle: dressers that need new pulls, chairs that I’m re-upholstering, a coffee table to paint, a garden that needs mulching…but I love it. I love being a home owner and having innumerable projects to occupy my time. My next big projects: painting the bathroom and guest bedroom and re-landscaping the front yard. Once I finish those projects, I will mostly likely tackle the kitchen. I think new countertops would be nice, and maybe new hardware for the cabinets. It’s amazing how many “home improvement” projects I find as I become more settled.
Last week, in the midst of my moving frenzy, for once, I had no desire to stop and go out for a run. I was so consumed by the moving process, that I forgot to eat, and finally, in the early morning hours, I forced myself to get into bed. I’m feeling better this week—I’ve set time limits on how long I’ll work on something, and I make sure I get my run in right after work.
Home ownership really does change you. I can vouch for it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A little neurotic

I’m gearing up. I can feel my neurosis hitting. Moving always sets me into a wild-eyed panic, as in, I have to have everything unpacked, decorated, and shiny the same day I move in. So, being that my house closes at 9 a.m. tomorrow, I’m getting prepared for a full day of marathon unpacking craziness.
I don’t know why I turn into such a, well, fill in the blank as you choose, but my normally calm, easygoing self is possessed by something quite other when it comes to moving and unpacking. I took tomorrow and Wednesday off of work to facilitate my moving rush. (It’s always a competition, right?) I know that I could, like a normal person, wait until this weekend to do my miscellaneous house shopping and tie-up loose ends, but I can’t wait that long. By Wednesday night, the place will be home. Or else.
I’m agitated by a few hang-ups, that right now, are hindering the “completion” process: I ordered a new mattress through Sealy, one of our clients, so I received a discount, but because the mattress is coming directly from the factory, it’s not here yet. My room won’t be complete until it comes in, and that disturbs me. Also, I haven’t yet bought a washer and dryer. They’re plentiful on Craigslist, but I’m (deep breaths) trying to wait until this weekend, mostly to spare my boyfriend the moving hassle.
It will be a miracle if Cullen and I survive this week. He’s the type who still has boxes unpacked and rooms unfurnished, three years after being in his house. But, to his credit, he’s being tremendously accommodating of my craziness, and we’ve had the “okay, so I’m going to be a little neurotic this week…” talk. He’s handling it well.
I’ll post pictures soon.