She Blogs!

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I write this post on a cold Sunday night, desparately wishing for a refill on my water. Of course, the only one here is me, and the chances of getting that refill anytime soon are looking pretty slim.

It’s funny. Why tonight? Why start writing again tonight?

Nothing happened today. Nothing out of the ordinary, at least. But that’s just it–lately, ordinary has not been par for the course. So maybe that’s why–I needed to write tonight because life is finally settling down and getting back to normal.

Ah, normal.

I haven’t felt like my life was “normal” since last June. That’s when I moved back home to Chicago into an affordable garden (i.e., basement) apartment. The plan was to lighten my workload so I could finish my dissertation in one semester. And bike. Lots of biking.

But living in a freezing cold basement is hard. A bad sinus infection in the fall knocked me out for weeks and I never fully recovered. A daily regimen of asthma medication and decongestants kept the ear infections at bay, but the lingering feeling of sick remained.

And it was so dark. Even during the brightest moments of the day, all of the lights had to be on just to see clearly. My well-loved plants went from big, green, and leafy to cold, brown sticks.

Once we acknowledged we would not last the winter, we quickly entered into a month-long battle royale with other Chicago residents to find an apartment. The process was grueling and we were completely unprepared. To say that finding a decent apartment was challenging is an understatement, and by the time we could even see a place there were multiple applications already submitted.

But, eventually, we found a great apartment. Although we are still surrounded by boxes and bags, I am finally gaining that sense of normalcy back that I haven’t had since May. Even my plants are coming back to life.

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So, here’s to more blogging again! I’ve had many ideas building during these months, so much more to come!

…well, actually, I cannot end this post without a huge shout out to broker Don C. Beard of Innovative Property Consultants / Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty (click here for his website).

One apartment–with a view of Lake Michigan–was shown to us by Don Beard. We were not the chosen ones for that apartment, but Don offered to help us find a place. Little did we know that he was going to be such a pleasure to work with, and such a great advocate during our search.

The next place we looked at was a condo building renting out some of the units. There were a handful of units to view, which all had similar layouts. This was a whirlwind arrangement–a Saturday afternoon where I contacted him that morning asking to see the place that day–that he made happen. One moment that stands out to me was when another broker arrived to show units to another woman, and it got hectic and I was completely overwhelmed. I’m not sure if Don noticed that, but he started walking through the whole apartment to thoroughly check it out while I stood in the living room. He rushed up to me, “This one doesn’t have a back porch like the other one!” and he took me to see it, “The other one’s better, you should go for that one!” He also made it a point to say that we shouldn’t rush, and that I could take my time looking around.

We chose the one with the back porch, which also had a promotion to get a free TV. And get this–Don texted me a few times to check in and make sure we were taken care of, settled in, and that I actually got that TV. So, if you are in the Chicago area and need help finding an apartment or house–please get in touch with Don. You won’t regret it.

 

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