Today, I am installed at my desk by the front window of our new apartment in Cleveland. There is still much unpacking to be done and I still have to go back to the house to pack a few things I ran out of time to pack there, things like lamps and slow cookers. And arrange for the floors to be redone & all that nonsense that goes along with selling a house. If anyone is looking for a lovely 4-bedroom, 3,200 square foot house in Greene County, Ohio for under $200,000, I'm selling it! I already miss the space & the big trees. I don't miss the yardwork & maintenance involved in home ownership, though.
Our new apartment, large by New York standards, I expect, seems like a tiny, tiny thing to me. However, it is lovely & the people here are friendly. We have spent a great deal of time down at the pool, we have discovered restaurants (like the Winking Lizard Tavern) and bookstores (Borders has a great food writing section) and grocery stores with gorgeous starfruit and handmade pierogies. What's more, the public library is fabulous! I have my card now. The first day, before I got my card in the mail, I was only allowed to check out 10 books. One guess as to how many I got. I just finished reading the first of them, Julie & Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen by Julie Powell. It's a great account of a temp secretary who decided to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year. I had heard of her blog & had been meaning to read the book. Well worth while for any fan of food writing.
As exciting as finding the restaurants, the library, and all that...possibly more exciting...is finding that we are about 10 minutes from the beach!!! It may not be the ocean, but Lake Erie is pretty damn big. I have been pining to live near a large body of water for quite awhile now. I knew the lake was close, but not this close. I looked up the best-sounding beach on Mapquest last night & found that it's incredibly close. So, this morning after taking J her glasses & a chai latté at work (and meeting her friendly new employees), I took a side excursion to see if the beach is, indeed, as close as Mapquest told me it is. It is! I passed the city limit sign for Bay Village and was immediately struck with house envy, which only grew worse the closer I got to the beach. The village is full of beautiful Victorians, complete with gingerbread and well-groomed lawns. Just the sort of place we'd have to hire all sorts of people to maintain. But, droolsome nevertheless. Maybe I should become a handywoman instead of a minister. Nah. Right by the water, the houses began to really look like lake houses. I expected to see signs with the homes' names on them up by the road. If I ever become a rich & famous writer, I will buy J one of those houses. And we will name it something deliciously inviting. The beach has picnic tables and, as evidenced by the happy-looking Latina I saw in the parking lot with wet clumps of sand all over her feet, a decent sandy beach. I am taking J there as a surprise on Saturday, after we check out the West Side Market. I may even make Ina Garten's filet sandwiches with bleu cheese sauce. What fun!
Speaking of fun, the news we got from J's attorney is not. Her ex, SS, is hauling her to court for yet another round of custody nonsense. She chooses a job that drops his travel time for visitation to about an hour and a half (from about 6 hours), getting considerably less pay that the offers she had in far-flung places like Monterey and Nashville, and this is the thanks she gets? What a tool. In fact, one of the most thoroughly unpleasant men I have ever come across.
Anyway, I should resume unpacking so that when I bring the rest of the things I left behind, there is room for them. I want nothing so much as an orderly, restful home and clutter and chaos are neither orderly nor restful. I want to get the apartment in order quickly so that I can spend the rest of the summer working on a cookbook, relaxing by the pool, and exploring Cleveland. Oh, and launching an additional blog, a specifically foodie one to be called La Luna Cooks, here on Blogger.