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a white christmas

December 26th, 2010 by

OK, this is getting silly.  I mean, I understand now that North Carolina is not Georgia; that it gets really wintry here.  I get it now.  Snow happens.

But come on…North Carolina house covered with snow

This much snow?

Car covered in snow

a cold welcome

December 16th, 2010 by

Welcome to North Carolina!  This morning, it isn’t snow: it’s freezing rain, sleet that turns to ice when it hits the ground.  As I write this, it sounds as if a thousand tiny dogs’ toenails are clicking across our roof, a whole herd of them dancing on the skylights in our rental house.  I look out the window of my office onto an ice-covered roof, a frozen brown lawn, and a gray dreary morning that belies the beauty we’d seen here before.

“Are you sure you don’t miss California?” my friend Lin asks.  Ummmm….can I get back to you on that?

the view from a (small) hill

April 13th, 2010 by

Tuesday, April 13

This is the day we try to find a temporary place to live that doesn’t feel so temporary.  Let’s face it, we’re both terribly spoiled; we like our creature comforts, and we are creatures of habit, so a two-bedroom townhouse in a crush of other townhouses that all look the same isn’t going to cut it.

I’d set up several appointments to meet with property managers and look at potential rental houses.  Some of those came from Craigslist, some from other sites online.  Some had pictures, some didn’t, but mostly they were in the higher end of rental houses—or so I’d hoped.

The first place we saw pretty much ruined us for other houses.  It sat, bucolically, on a pretty little hill overlooking a horse farm and a perfect little pond.  The house wasn’t so little; it held more than 3,000 square feet of very comfortable living space, a LOT of that in the kitchen, and had a screened porch the cats would just love.

screened porch

The view from our temporary home in Chapel Hill

Security system?  Check.  Wi-Fi?  Check.  Desk space in the kitchen?  Check.  (There was even a Mac already sitting on the counter, which boded well even though we’d have to bring our own.)

As we left that house, tooling down the nicely paved curving road back into town, which met another nicely paved road perfect for cycling upon, we mused that it was going to be hard to beat that place.

It was.

We went on to look at a dozen other rental houses in the same price range, and saw the wreckage left behind by student renters (so many UNC jerseys on the wall in one place that I had the overwhelming desire to say something about Blue Devils) and young families with small children.

By the end of the next day we were calling Kevin, the property manager for the beautiful house on the pond, and nearly begging him not to let anyone else rent the place until we could get him our security deposit and first month’s rent.

The picture above is the porch Gus, George and Jack will be enjoying while we build A House Named Fred.