We moved to another country.

All the public schools and universities are cancelled today. I don’t have work, so Logan and I are having an impromptu snow day together. I’m making this amazing winter vegetable galette, so fennel, beets, butternut squash, and carrots are roasting with some olive oil in the oven right now. The smell is wafting around our small 60’s apartment and I watch as people struggle to get through the wet, icy snow outside and feel glad we didn’t bring a car to Canada.

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We moved, somewhere I hoped wouldn’t be snowy but has thus far been snowy enough Logan can make jokes about leaving me because of the snow. (I may or may have not sang false promises of a snow-less, seaside town that would bring us both calm and ease of dressing.)

VICTORIAAAAA!!!

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We’re here, baby. We got an apartment in two days by viciously contacting every listing on Craigslist and taking the first one that approved us. The lobby of our old building smells like stale cigarettes and cooked chicken but we live on another floor and it just smells like new paint up here. I can hear the upstairs neighbors stomp around, and I already feel like a cartoonish version of myself, flipping a middle finger at the shoddily installed wooden floors that allow me to hear every footstep above me, wanting to grab a broom and slam the handle against the ceiling and yell like a cantankerous old woman. Morally, though, it feels much better to live in a slightly weird old 1960s apartment building than some upscale, ridiculous gentrified high rise that displaced people. I’ll take the chicken-smelling lobby over a place that asks $1700 for a 400 square foot one bedroom apartment that has one window and left some people worse for wear fending for themselves.

Logan started school full time. I’ve started a job hunt full time, working part time at a clothing store while I look for something that hopefully won’t suck out my soul. An archivist job was up but I didn’t get it, c’est la vie. I’ve moved around so much that it’s hard for my resume to look impressive- a lot of one or two year stints here and there, then moving again. Something will come up eventually (I hope!).

Moving is The Worst. The absolute Worst. My blessed mother, who should be a saint but isn’t Catholic, drove her truck full of our stuff up here to British Columbia from snowy Montana. We managed to pack our entire lives into a bed of a not-enormous truck. Books, clothes, dishes, and all. Art, too. No mattress, no furniture, nothing big, leaving behind so many things that carried memories but couldn’t fit.

Sleeping on an inflatable mattress in our new place was fun for a bit. We refinished an old oak table from Value Village. We have two chairs, a mattress that came the day before Christmas (best present EVER), two dressers, a table a downstairs neighbor gave us, and some dishes. That’s it. There’s a cooler in the living room full of books. Our 4 person tent is propped in the coat closet. We are living in the most ramshackle fashion but it’s great, because it’s our ramshackle fashion in our apartment, and I cannot express here how much I missed living with Logan.

The stress of job hunting has driven me to bake more and more. A few nights ago, to test drive Logan’s birthday cake, I made Gennaro Contaldo’s red wine chocolate cake in a bunch of ramekins, because I don’t have a cake tin yet. Long walks are a thing again, trying to get all my thoughts out of my body and finding that the only way is by pacing, climbing on rocks, looking at the ocean and feeling humbled. I feel so lucky to be back here, this time with my partner in crime, but all the luck we’ve had scares me. Two people can’t get this lucky, I fear and feel. I knock on wood a lot, and felt so happy when Logan hung a devotional by Saint Benedict in our room that his grandmother gave him. I’m not religious but I am superstitious and all the love and protectiveness of such things can’t hurt.

When I’m not trolling for employment there are books to be read. We live a few blocks from a branch of the public library and I’ve thus far devoured Deborah Blum’s fantastic “The Poisoner’s Handbook” for the second time. There’s a hefty history of the Italian mafia that eyed me from the library shelves now sitting on my bedside table, and a book about the history of surgery has taken up residence here too. Historical nonfiction is my beat and I can’t turn away! Is it perhaps because I not-so-secretly want to write something nonfiction someday and am just trying to absorb good prose, ideas, structuring, and such through osmosis? Maybe!

In any case, seeing as I am very under-employed right now, you might see more writing here. I missed this blog, it’s been a part of my life for so long now.

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