Thursday, June 8th — ?
So this blog ended not with a bang but more of a whimper. Which, as anyone who rides on two wheels can assure you, is a bit of a relief. I stopped updating this when I started spending all my time in Phoenix looking for a new house. It’s now months later, and time to close up shop.
Have you ever tried to look for a house in a city you don’t know when your partner has time shifted 15 hours into the future and is available only by Chinese Government Approved WeChat? Because it’s a strange experience, in our case involving a patient and talented real-estate agent (“I’m going to be sad when you finally buy a house, you take me to see all the fun and crazy ones”), lots of photos and videos from walkthroughs, a Google Docs / Maps hacked together mashup featuring neighborhoods and potential houses, multiple title and law agencies attempting to get Christy to be able to sign key documents from China (all denied due to Republican created laws around notarization in Arizona), Christy flying to Beijing to sign away all her rights to the house, and the usual stress and excitement involved with finding a new residence.
So then we bought a house. The top photo was taken just after I was handed the keys.
I spent our first summer in Phoenix, a summer that started off with it getting so hot that planes couldn’t take off and I watched kids from a church down the street run outside to fry eggs on the street. We make strange choices. We do have a car, but it will be useful if still in Ohio when Christy gets back, so I made my usual Good Decision and spent the summer seeing if I could survive with just a scooter (answer: of course, but buying things like patio furniture or drywall is dicey). I learned how to dress when scootering two hours to Tucson in 115F heat (hint: seal yourself up, similar to when it’s very cold. It’s not fun but is doable). I hiked and explored and joined museums and worked on the house and was in an amazing friend’s amazing wedding and got my scooter repaired but honestly I slowed way, way down. Travel is a wonderful thing, and travel exhaustion is real. The longer I went, the more stretched I felt, and it’s been good to simply rest for a while in my own space without worry about waking up the landlord or packing everything up yet again.
I write this as temperatures are cooling off, fall is descending on the country, and Christy has already left Jingdezhen and is in Hong Kong en route to Japan en route to joining me here. I can’t wait to see her.
For the few of you who followed along: thank you and we hope you’ll come see us. There’s a guest room, a back yard full of “potential”, working air conditioning, lots of great museums, a city of murals, and great hiking (with SO MANY CHOLLA!) all around.
It’s been an amazing year.