Posted by: Kate | July 2, 2009

OK, I Give

I’m weak, I know. A stronger-willed person would continue to drop obnoxiously cryptic hints and passive-aggressively skirt the issue, and I’m just not made of such stern stuff.

We have big news, and this is my blog, and it’s where I share that which is important to me. And so…

We’re moving to the Boston area.

Within the next month.

Holy crap do we have a lot to do.

The details: Willem got a full-time teaching job in Boston. It’s at a small, private school – on the one hand, it’s not likely you’ve even heard of it if you didn’t grow up in Massachusetts, and on the other hand, his girlfriend went there so it’s not all that tiny – in the heart of the city. The pay isn’t knock-you-breathless amazing, but it’s three times what he would be making as a grad student, and he can still work on his dissertation while at this job. If he didn’t take the job, he could certainly finish his dissertation, but then there’s no guarantee that another job offer, in exactly the area he was hoping to get work, teaching the right subject, at the college level, would appear.

We just found out last Tuesday. We spent the first few days casting about desperately for any solid reasons not to go. We could come up with lots of reasons to do it, but we just couldn’t find any unassailable, cogent reasons to stay put. And it’s very difficult to weigh the pros and cons when you can’t find the cons.

After a while of that, we decided to make the obvious decision and run with it. It’s scary and intimidating and intense, but mostly because after such a long, unpleasant winter, we had forgotten how to deal with good news and positive plans.

And oh, are there plans. We’d already started the process of calling contractors to do some low-grade repairs to the house, with the thoughts that we could spread that out over a few months and be ready to list the house for sale in the spring. I lucked out and found a really nice, solid, professional sort of guy, and he started yesterday, with one day’s notice. We have a new glass sliding door in the breezeway, to replace the old one which was so heavy I could not close it on days when my back hurt a lot. The new one is a thing of beauty, and I will move away from it without a backward glance.

We viewed an apartment on Tuesday, and it really was perfect in a lot of ways: the location could not have been better for each one of our personal preferences and needs, the space itself was nice, and so on. After getting our hopes all kinds of up, we got an email that they’d decided to rent it out as a commercial space instead of residential, because they can ask for more money that way… I’m bitter, Willem is devastated, but the search continues and we’re seeing at least five more places on Monday morning. And, in an odd way, I’m actually greatly encouraged by that first apartment-failure: at the very least, it proved to me that there are good places, that I would like to live in, within our price range and desired area. Now we just need to find another that would work.

Our realtor is coming to the house tomorrow, to list it for sale. When we met with him in January, the options we had as far as list price were depressing and were going to leave us with very little in terms of equity/profit. At the time, that was a problem and became a factor in our decision to put off the sale for a year. Now, all that matters to me is that we get OUT of this place, without making a short sale and owing on the mortgage. That should be well within the realm of possibility, and so we’ll be pricing to sell. Anybody want a single-story ranch-style 4BR house in New Hampshire? The neighborhood is perfect for kids and we’ve done our best with upkeep… and there’s good yarn karma already soaking into the walls.

Let’s see, what else? I still have my typing job, which I have been assured will continue as long as I want/need it – no small factor, in this economy – and so I can work from anywhere that I have a flat surface, electricity and Internet. The kids are doing well with the news; they’ve always known that we would be moving that way eventually, so the only surprise is in the timing. Of course Emily has concerns about leaving her friends, but we’ve set her up with an email address and promised copious sleepovers and visits, and she has always been very quick to make new friends, so I know she’ll bounce. Jacob is surprisingly relaxed about the whole thing; he’s always been my Zen little guy, but I expected him to be showing more anxiety about the process. I think he’s already had time to think it through, because we had taken the kids with us when we started house-shopping over the winter, and as long as he feels we’re all in this together, he’ll just roll with it.

We’re going to have an enormous yard sale on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend – please, if you live anywhere in the area, please come take our stuff. Mention this ad and I’ll hand you stuff for free. Really. So far, I’ve sorted out the playroom, Jacob’s room and the crafts closet, so we have an ungodly amount of baby/kid clothes and toys ready to go, and I’ll be attacking my room, the kitchen, and the office tonight. Emily’s on her own with her room, as her version of “that’s special and I need to keep it” and mine don’t even bear a nodding acquaintance with each other. Gretchen came over on Monday and – bless her heart, how is it that some people just possess so much awesome? – helped me empty out the attic and sort out the literally-more-than-20 bins of clothes and stuff up there. And without a word of complaint, even. She hasn’t decided yet on whether she would rather I start the process of nominating her for sainthood or just find new, creative sexual favors to repay her, but really, I’m grateful enough for anything. [Sudden scrambling as Willem rushes for the camera.]

So, yeah. Crazy, crazy stuff. Scary, true, but also so exciting. I’m so proud of Willem, he’s doing exactly what he set out to do and bringing us all along for the ride.

And as far as my in-laws are concerned, now they know: we’re moving. But I won’t share the new address anytime soon, so that should help satisfy my need for snark, right?


  1. Just saw this on the knittyboard Kate. We’ve missed you over there. Congratulations! That is awesome.

  2. Congrats on your move and new adventures! We live in the Boston area, and my husband is in higher ed field, which is a great place to be with all of the colleges and universities around here.
    Good luck with everything!

  3. Congratulations again! I am so happy for you guys. It makes me realize that everything really does happen for a reason, just sometimes not the first reason we see.


    Very exciting – happy for you.

  5. WHOOP WHOOP!! Congratulations to the entire family on an exciting new chapter in life!!

  6. Hooray and congratulations! To get out of that house and into someplace new will be wonderful for all of you!!

    And you won’t have to drive so darned far to IKEA and concerts and all your favorite Boston spots!

  7. Congratulations! I know it seems quick, but it also seems as if it was meant to be. Enjoy!

  8. I’m so excited for you guys! YAY!

  9. Well done you. A change is as good as a holiday they say. Wish I could come to your yard sale I need drawers for Clare and a small computer stand . . .and Kate, your Gretchen sounds like a wonderful friend, you hang onto her! They’re rare commodities these days.

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