I have been wanting to write an update blog about how things are going here in Washington. About all the places we love and the striking differences we see in this state that we actually love. But since we moved here and I started work at the museum we have been so busy that my extra time I did have I spent doing other things, like thinking about how I should keep writing and instead reading Stephen King books like my life depended on it. Then the absolute unthinkable happened. A plague hit the Western seaboard less than hour north of our new home. The news of this new virus came on the heels of what was probably going to be our most successful year at the museum. We were seriously rocking and rolling y’all. I finally had just hired and started training a full team that was going to get prepared for a full Spring break and busy Summer. But- best laid plans and all that. Today is our 54th day of Quarantine.
When we moved here we had to do it sight unseen. Choosing a home was sort of difficult as we really had no idea what the area was like. We picked out a few places and then basically compared the crime reports of the areas and what was around them on the map. The townhome we finally chose is a part of an apartment complex- there are 2 story townhomes and regular apartments in this complex. It is located behind a small middle school and a preschool/daycare, in the middle of a nice sub-division. On a normal day it is slow and very quiet around here. The most excitement happens when the kids at the day care get to come outside for recess and they all scream at the top of their lungs while running laps around the playground. I don’t blame them. I also want to scream and run in circles sometimes, and so do their teachers as we have observed them doing it. Overall, we are 97% happy with our choice. This only went down 3% after Covid-19, as we now have a bigger and better picture of our neighbors. Let me tell you about all the fun that comes with being quarantined in an apartment complex.
Let me start with the good things: We can not hear our neighbors through the wall, and we have both floors so we dont have anyone taking up clogging above us and we don’t have to feel bad about the squeaky floor we have and tell Wyatt to stop jumping around. We have a lovely little porch that looks into some woods that we try to sit out on whenever the weather allows. Our energy bill is the lowest I’ve ever seen in my life since we have no air conditioner to run. I never thought we would enjoy not having an AC but it totally works here. Most houses do not have AC here!
Now- here we are. Quarantining like total champs, because let’s face it, we have been training for this! We lived in an RV for a year and half traveling around. If anyone knows how to spend all their time together- it’s us. But I’m sure it’s hard for some. Like perhaps the family we share our second floor wall with. They are a young couple with a baby that just started walking. The wife is super sweet – in fact so sweet she scared the absolute sh*# out of us late one night by opening our front door to put our car keys in our house because we left them in the door! Of course she knocked first, but we were so darn scared after watching a scary movie that we freaked and freaked even more when we came down the stairs and the door started to open! We screamed, Rodney may have karate kicked the door, it was not our best moment. But it solidified our relationship as a strict nod and hello after that. Anyway- the husband has a mustang. He spends a lot of time with it. Like, a lot of time. He washes it and waxes it and takes the wheels off and puts them back on every few days. You think I am over exaggerating, I wish that were true. I know a fair amount about cars, but I have no clue as to why you would constantly take your wheels off and on. Yesterday he was painting under his wheel wells (this is a very new mustang that does not in any way need a paint job). He has replaced his bumpers and his rims. We are certain his wife is not car savvy as he must tell her these things are completely necessary and he spends a good eight hours in the parking spot next to ours, right in front of our front door with all kinds of tools that make loud noises. So fun. The UPS man who is in our complex often, as we are all shopaholics here, is turning into his BFF. When he arrives to bring us all our online orders they spend some time together revving up the unnecessarily loud engine and chatting about it. More fun!
Next to his parking spot is a very large and very loud Dodge truck from Georgia. Loud truck and loud mustang guy are also friends. So sometimes they like to rev up their respective engines in the parking lot and chat about it. So much fun we can hardly stand it! Loud truck guy leaves at 5 am every morning for work. I do not know what he does, but it is essential..? It is also essential for him to start his truck with the loudest roar and tear out of the parking lot and down the road – so loud that you can hear him for a good 5 minutes after he has left. Not kidding. It wakes me up every morning with a jump. Are we having fun yet? Oh yes! Our loud car neighbor can also be heard from miles away. He likes to start up his car very loudly too, especially in the middle of the night. Where it wakes you up with a jump! I keep telling myself he is leaving to go to the grocery store because their baby needs something. Or maybe he works nights? We have no idea. But we are now experts at identifying large loud engines.
The patio next to ours belongs to the loud truck guy. He also has a smoker that can probably handle about 75-100lbs of meat. It’s very necessary at an apartment complex to have one of these, especially when you live alone. Especially when they are outlawed by the state for apartment complexes. This is the only time when not having an AC is actually really bad. Because if he decides to use his smoker the smoke naturally flows directly into our bedroom window filling our entire second floor with smoke. All the fun right there. So we keep our windows closed on BBQ days. I mean, I totally get it. I come from a family of pit masters. If you’re going to BBQ you should do it right. But probably not from an apartment. Its a bummer for all involved.
So theres loud truck guy, loud mustang guy and now we have the dog poop bag bandit. Who I recently discovered was a female. We go on lots of walks around the neighborhood. Lots. of. Walks. And in the perimeter of the complex and along the walk by the athletic fields across the street, we constantly find abandoned poop in plastic bags. I am not sure why you would go through the trouble of actually picking up your dogs large poops and then just leaving them in a bag along the sidewalk. Why? Why? Who does that? Well just a few days ago I was riding my stationary bike looking out the window and talking to my mom on the phone. You know, because I realize I am probably eating too much during this time but I am not really that commited. And lo and behold here comes a couple with a medium size very fluffy white dog walking down the sidewalk. The man had the dog and the lady had a big bag of poop. She looked toward our place, stopped, looked all around and then tossed the bag next to the tree by the sidewalk! I was shocked I finally saw her! I tried to get my phone to switch over to photo mode but I couldn’t in time and got a bad picture of just her back. I jumped off the bike and yelled out the second floor window, “Pick up your poop!!!” They did not come back to pick it up. And now my parents are concerned that I am yelling out windows at people. I am determined to catch her. Our complex offers rewards of $25 to anyone with proof of people not obeying the pick up your dog poop rules. I will spend this $25 on candy to eat while I ride my stationary bike and look out my window. 🙂
That is basically the extent of the shenanigans in our neighborhood. We see lots of kids playing and older kids riding bikes over to each others houses and going on walks through the woods – they seem to be enjoying their quarantine time. In our home, we have spent a lot of time creating new games to play. We have a sort of homemade game olympics going on – Skee pong which is like skee ball but with ping pong balls, toss the hat on the stair banister, cup ball, roll the ping pong balls down the stairs and try to land them in cups, and toss ping pong balls through a paper circle hanging in the air. Wyatt is current champion. It may become a yearly tradition. We plan to create a trophy to pass down each year we play.
All in all we are fine. We are making this time work best for us. It gets boring sometimes and sometimes it is trying with Wyatt, who is actually doing well with all this, but some days he’s not far off from going completely wild. We all can’t wait to get back to normal. I hope you all out there are staying safe and healthy. Cheers!