Eric is wrapping up Institute today. They did closing ceremonies last night, at which I hear he was highly recognized by his peers for his leadership and dedication. This doesn't surprise me in the least, as I think he is very brave, strong and leader-like for giving up what he had going in NYC to do this in the first place, plus he has been working so hard and has been doing such an excellent job. It sounds like he really made strides toward being the teacher he wants to be, although of course we know that ultimately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. But to hear him speak about what he is doing and will be doing come fall is a beautiful thing, because for the first time in a very long time he sounds excited. He's passionate and eager and just plain pumped. To hear that enthusiasm in his voice is refreshing and reminds me of the young, idealistic Eric that I used to know, who seemed to take a brief vacation during firm life, but who has now come back with a vengeance. His enthusiasm is contagious and so in turn, I, too am so excited to see what lies ahead.
In terms of firming up details for our new life, Eric does have a placement for the fall. He will be teaching at a high school not far from our new apartment, and I think it sounds like a great opportunity. Subjects are still being confirmed, but the strong hunch is that Eric will be teaching Precalculus and "Math for College Readiness." These classes are much higher-level content than he had anticipated, but if anybody is up for the challenge, Eric certainly is. He has heard a lot of positive things about the school and got a good impression from the administration when he interviewed with them. There is even potential for him to take on some sort of athletic coaching role, although this fall his priority is teaching.
And we definitely have ourselves an apartment, one that I am very excited about. It's huge, especially compared to the shoeboxes we've been living in, with closet space that nearly made me weep, it was so beautiful. It has hardwood floors, a fireplace, a screened balcony (with ceiling fan!), pass-thru kitchen, washer/dryer hookups (we purchased a new washer/dryer that will be delivered on Saturday), two bedrooms (Ellie will have her very own room for the first time ever!), and two bathrooms. It is on the second floor of a corner unit, and overlooks a large grassy area that will be great for Ellie and Achilles to run around in. As I mentioned before, the complex also has a resort-style swimming pool and kiddie pool, playgrounds and a dog park, and is located very near many shops and restaurants. It is also conveniently located to downtown and the beach, so it sounds just perfect and I can't wait to see it myself!
Our new living room and balcony
View looking towards the living room from the dining room, with the kitchen on the left
So, Wednesday is moving day. Needless to say, my blog-posting might be a bit sporadic (if at all existent) for a week or two while we get moved and settled in. Eric is coming back home tomorrow sometime, and on Sunday we'll be at a friend's son's birthday party. Monday we'll finish up whatever needs to be done and have dinner with Eric's family, and then Tuesday we'll pick up the truck. We'll load the moving truck on Tuesday, then leave first thing Wednesday morning for Jacksonville. I'm a little anxious about how the move will actually go, given that it is our first without using movers in quite some time, and we have to lug everything up to the second floor. It's possible we're very dumb people for taking this on. However, on the plus side, we purchased a new living room set that will be delivered tomorrow, so we won't be lugging our couch and such upstairs. So that helps.
Speaking of the couch, can I just say that I hate being such a sentimental person sometimes? I attach such sentiment to objects that it makes it so hard to give anything up. For example, I recently didn't want to upgrade my iPhone because my old phone was the phone on which I texted everyone about Ellie's birth. I mean, that's silly. But everything holds memories and meaning for me, so I never want to throw anything away. Seriously, I'm probably just a few sappy greeting cards from loved ones away from being an actual hoarder.
Because we purchased a new couch, today I left our old couch out on the curb for sanitation to come pick up.
Achilles helping put the couch out on the curb
When they came, I watched them load the couch into the truck. The compacter split it right in half and then crushed the back end to pieces. And it nearly broke my heart.
Farewell, old friend!
Now, this is not a normal reaction to the disposal of 1) any couch whatsoever, if you are a normal person, and especially 2) a couch so old, so faded, so worn that the cushions were splitting in half, stained beyond repair. I have been recoiling at that horrid thing for years and longing for something new and pretty.
But it was such a good couch. Eric and I bought it second-hand from another tenant in our apartment building in Washington, D.C., and it was our first "big" furniture purchase. It was ugly, sure, but it was crazy comfortable and a great price for a sleeper sofa, which we deemed a must for all of our out-of-state visitors. Since we bought it all those years ago, we have more than gotten our money's worth. That couch has traveled with us through four states and six homes. It slept countless visitors. Eric and I cuddled on it, cried on it, laughed on it. I labored on it in the days before Ellie's birth and after she was born, I camped out on it as I recovered. She and I would spend hours resting on it as she napped beside me in her early days. We would prop her in the corner to sit up when she was small, and when she got bigger she liked to stand up against the back and look out the window for birds or arriving family members. Achilles has always liked to sleep on top of it or nestled into the corners. It has really served our family well.
So, I was sad to see it go.
But I remind myself that the couch is sort of symbolic, that I have to say goodbye to our old life now and look forward to the new and exciting life ahead of us. It may be painful to say goodbye, to watch the old being completely broken down, but we need that break and we need to move forward and make a fresh start.
And there is a lovely, soft new couch just waiting for us and our fresh start in Jacksonville. I can hardly wait to make it our own.