Yes, we said we were going to go on Adventures, but I think we realized that we didn't quite have the money to spend months gallivanting about the Mediterranean, and that living in one spot with a library would be more conducive to work.
There was that, our lease ending in December, the cost of living here, and...well, we're not really happy in Berkeley (although it has its advantages), and we both really like living a little below the Mason-Dixon line, for many reasons. There is Justin's family and a lot of our friends, who live within driving distance of Charlottesville. There is the fact that it's also within driving distance of places in this big and beautiful country I have not yet seen but seem as enchanting in my daydreams as a souq in Tunisia, in their own way: Asheville, the Great Smoky Mountains, the cities of the deep south. And there is the charm of Charlottesville itself, where I have friends, my school, my church; where Justin and I can hold hands while strolling on the Downtown Mall on a Friday evening and listen to the cicadas from our balcony. (Okay, there aren't any cicadas in December, but summer in all its verdant lushness will return.)
The apartment we've settled on, which Heidi looked at for us, surpasses our expectations, which are low after living in the Bay Area: two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a large kitchen, a balcony (yes, I'm liking the balcony), twice the space we have here. Room for the cats to roam. All for less than we pay here. It is farther away from Grounds than I used to live, but that's okay, because our lives won't revolve around school as much as mine did before. It is close to the grownup things, like the grocery store and the church where we were married and may one day, depending on how everything works out, baptize our children.
I'm not looking foward to moving across the country for the third time in five years. (Nor will the cats, when they find out about this.) And if Justin gets it in his head to go to Stanford Law School, I might have to find a uniquely southern way to commit suicide. But I think the center of gravity in our lives is pulling us back to that part of the country, and this time I hope we make it our home.