In the three months we have been in Tennessee, there have been three moves, in addition to the move to TN itself. We had a brief stint in a cool, 100+ year old, converted home in Shelbyville. Shelbyville is not for the faint of heart. Give me Compton. Give me Watts. Give me Maryvale… Give me Shelbyville, and I run for the hills. Who knew such a quaint, Mayberry-like town could be so unsettling! The landscape is beautiful. The historic homes are unlike anything I’ve seen- breathtaking. But the quiet that screams in the middle of the night from the void of city life can drive a girl to insanity! Coming from a city of approximately five million to a town of 15,000, this was the epitome of culture shock. And let’s not forget to mention the spiders that are on steroids! Despite these things, the move was made because church, school, dance, work and life were in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville was simply too far. That and the fact that Isabel and I being followed by men of all ages in cars as we were walking was also a bit creepy. I’m just sayin’; people don’t do that kind of craziness in the city.
From Shelbyville we moved into a small, and I mean SMALL, one bedroom apartment near MTSU. I love this area. I drove through it today and love how all the streets are lined with trees that are turning colors. It looks the way I have always envisioned autumn to look. The homes pre-date the 1950’s. It is a short walk to the square, to the market and to Cannonsburgh, a replicated Colonial village. But due to a lack of income stream, we were unable to stay there long. Truthfully, it wasn’t perfectly suited for us; and Isabel hated it. So I guess there was no love lost there.
The next move is where true Southern hospitality enters into our story. A friend we met at the dance studio the first week we arrived generously opened his home and invited Isa and I to stay in his spare rooms giving me the opportunity to get on my feet and begin earning money. We were there just under two months. As comfortable as life was there (I mean who can complain about watching Dancing with the Stars on a mega big screen tv???), it was time to settle into a place that we could call our own, one that suited all of our needs- unshared bathroom space, our own kitchen to cook in, autonomy for Isabel and all of life within a 5 mile radius. It all was a matter of money. When would I have enough for first and last and utility deposits? I was finally bringing in a paycheck; but being commission sales, the checks were meager at best.
I had one particular apartment community in mind. It is wonderfully located backing up to a river. It is a bike ride away from all things important to life: church, the greenway and Starbucks. I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the rental office; but when I walked out, I knew this would be our new home. The six days it took to get approved seemed like an eternity. I was marking off the days on the calendar the way I used to do with Isabel when she was three and awaiting the arrival of Christmas.
Moving day finally arrived. I had the whole event planned. I can hear some of you laughing already. I was convinced this plan would come together. It wasn’t anything all that complicated. There was only one bed, a tv and about 30 boxes. I should have been able to do most of it myself, even with a doctor’s appointment in Nashville. Did I mention that I forgot to check the weather forecast? Clearly, there is a steep learning curve on that lesson! It rained and rained. An accident closed the freeway. The doctor ran exceptionally late. And of course, there is Isabel’s schedule. I didn’t start moving until the hour in which I had planned to be finished! But in the end, it all got done and Isabel had a real bed to sleep on for the first time since we moved.
A week has passed and we have settled into our new apartment and our surroundings. Life is nearly “normal”. Maybe I should rephrase that and say that home life is nearly normal, which means we race past each other in the hall giving a shout out as we high tail it from one event to the next. I am back to cooking dinner, on the random occasion that I cook dinner. We are getting a schedule that is consistent (ah, how I like the comfort of structure!). Isabel and I are getting a little more time together, even if it is in the car driving her to school. The organized chaos which has always defined our lifestyle is finally within my sights again.
Bienvenidos a Murfreesboro, TN 37128!