Almost exactly one year ago, we decided we were going to move west. We love Kansas City, but we’ve been here for five years, and it’s time for a new adventure. We want mountains and a more temperate climate and more opportunities for outdoor activities. We told my husband’s employer that we were leaving, that it would be great if he could stay with the company, but we were leaving in a few months. The company came through and asked us to move to Salt Lake City! It wasn’t initially on our radar, but the more we learned about it, the more excited we became. It sounds like most everything we’re looking for in a new city. We thought we would move in June, then July, then on and on until now it’s finally going to happen in October. We found a two-bedroom apartment that is close to his work and not far from anything. The dogs will have a little bit of grass on our patio, but they’ll have to get used to not having a dog door.
Our house goes on the market at the end of the week, and I’ve been playing contractor, finding a roofer, landscaper, foundation person, painter, and carpet cleaner. We had a massive garage sale last weekend, then donated a bunch and took a lot to the dump. We got rid of thousands of pounds of stuff over the weekend, and there’s more to go. It’s a relief to have less “stuff,” to be downsizing and getting rid of things we once considered important. It’s also brought my husband and me closer together. We’ve been working hard to get things ready, staying up late, getting up early, packing, cleaning, carrying boxes (and beds, and furniture). It’s been a good lesson in patience and teamwork. We have two more days of push, and then we just maintain things while the house is on the market. Just two more days.
That’s what’s going on here. Still lots of cleaning to do, plus a couple trips to various places. I didn’t think moving would be this stressful. It’ll get done though. And soon!
In the past few years, I’ve been making an effort to read more. I started by reading non-fiction, and though that was nice (and educational), I wanted to expand my horizons by reading more fiction. Here’s what I’ve been reading recently (and some of the best from the last few years):
- The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander: I’ve only read the first two books so far (just started the third), but they are easy reads about being a hero and overcoming pride, set within a mythological world that is similar to Wales. Great books that are wonderful for any age.
- Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson: I read this a couple years ago, but it’s stuck with me. Set amidst a combination of the Arab Spring and an underworld of ancient magic, it is a story about a man doing what is right and protecting those he loves.
- Americanah by Chimamada Ngozi Adichie: Her writing is the most beautiful writing I’ve encountered in a long time. It’s fluid and descriptive and poetic and just beautiful. The story is a compelling one about race and humanity and love, but it was the writing that drew me in.
- La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith: A sweet story about love and loss and suspicion and hope in World War II, the orchestra the main character starts doesn’t actually play a big role in the story. This is not a difficult read, and it’s not “great” literature, but it was enjoyable.
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer: A thriller set in the not-so-distant future, it sets up a world that is exhilarating and terrifying. It is about the data that controls us, and it had me questioning a lot of motives of businesses. I couldn’t put this book down.
- Supergirls by Mike Madrid: A rare nonfiction book among this set, this explores the identities and tropes of women superheroes in comic books from their dawn to the present. I haven’t ever really read a comic book, just the occasional graphic novel, so this was informative and interesting.
- Can’t we talk about something more pleasant? by Roz Chast: Speaking of graphic novels, this is one that I thoroughly enjoyed, though it had no superheroes. A woman struggles to care for her aging parents as they go through dementia and the trappings that come with old age. It was poignant and made me think long and hard about what I want the end game to be like.
I’ll write another post with more books I’ve been reading. These are just the first ones that came to mind.