Friday, October 23, 2020

No Time Like the Present, the Salem Edition


Salem bound!

On October 2, Ed and I traveled to Salem, MA to see an apartment. We couldn't help ourselves. Earlier that week, I spoke to the realtor from Taché and she sent over a listing that checked off nearly every box on our apartment "wish list." It was the right location, right amount of rooms, has designated storage and laundry, and is the right price. After some deliberation, Ed and I agreed: what the hell are we waiting for? What's the difference between moving in the Spring and moving now? So, we booked a room and drove to Salem to look at it. Yes, in the middle of a pandemic. We wore masks and changed them regularly. We washed our hands constantly, used hand-sanitizer, and took an overabundance of caution.

Ed and I in Salem, MA. October 2020

One week later we packed the car with some supplies, our air mattress and sleeping bags, and a bunch of boxes .... and signed the lease for the place. We were able to spend the weekend in our new Salem apartment! Yes, you read that right: WE ARE MOVING TO SALEM RIGHT NOW!!! We aren't waiting for the Spring. We aren't spending a whole lot of time planning this. We decided, WHAT THE HELL! There's no time like the present.

Our living room
The apartment is really a two story townhouse that was built in 1945. There are two bedrooms and an additional room on the first floor that Ed will use as his office. There's an eat-in kitchen, a second floor deck, and a HUGE basement area with laundry facilities. The space in each room is a little wonky and we will need to make some sacrifices. For example, there's no room for my current dining room table and chairs. We simply can't take them with us! The living room might need some innovative organizing. And the kitchen! Boy, is it dark in there. It's going to need a power strip for additional plugs and some kind of lighting. There's definitely an IKEA trip in our near future.

The door in my office out to the deck. Bijou is going to LOVE this.

Our immediate neighbors are both chefs and work crazy hours. They don't ever seem to be home and are quiet ... so far. We are located on a busy street, but we're confident that we can drown out the noise with thermal, soundproofing curtains. We've been shopping around for curtains that we can use year round and that also block out the light. There's a lumber yard across the street that keeps its lights on all night. These curtains should do the trick. I mean, it's not NYC busy -- the traffic dies down pretty early and the nights seem to be really quiet. 

On the deck with our gloriously huge Sweet-gum tree behind me
We didn't think we'd be able to get three bedrooms in our price point and were happily surprised that this place has a bonus room. We now both have our own separate offices. My office is on the second floor and is the only access to the deck! WAHOO! I can move my morning coffee, work, and art making to the deck! HELL YEAH! And there's enough room to grow plants, so we'll have a mini-garden and lots of flowers next Summer. Of course, Bijou is going to LOVE the glass-paned door leading out to the deck. She's going to have fun watching the squirrels and birds hopping around on the deck.

Our views are typical for the area. Unlike Downtown and the surrounding area, Mack Park tends to have more space between the houses and much more backyard space. The houses tend to lean more towards the 19th to mid-20th centuries, including plenty of Colonial Revival Sears styles and Craftsman styles. There are a few older homes peppered here and there. We really like the area, so much so, that we'd consider buying a house there. Yes, that's the goal. 

Our First Meal in the New Place: pasta

We were able to have our first meals in our new place that weekend. As usual, we had pasta for our first dinner. The above photo shows just how small the eat-in area is! We're getting a small table that will fit four people comfortably. If and when we get to have folks over for dinner, we'll figure it out. I think we can get six in that space without much fuss. 


Yes, the townhouse is quirky and somewhat wonky. Yes, this move is going to be hard work and stressful. But you know what? We'll be moved in before Yule, maybe sooner, and we'll be ringing in the New Year in a place that we've wanted to move back to for 20 years. We'll finally be home were we belong. Hell, if I can look at these sights for the rest of my life, I'll be very happy.

It's time.
Let Pack-a-Polooza begin! WAHOO! This just feels so right on so many levels! Stay tuned.


  1. I am so excited that you found such a great home!!!

    1. Thanks, my friend! I can't wait to move in and nest. SQUEE! I really, really, really feel like we'll be able to nest here.

  2. Have fun! I hope it's great for you. It worried me that the first photo of Ed looked like a buzzcut, but that must have just been a fake-out, right, or is it true?

    I beg you to leave the cat indoors for her safety as well as the safety of the birds etc.--and they live on average seven more years as indoor cats, and my poor little squirrels here have all kinds of injuries from the one local cat that gets out and has not yet been eaten by other predators like all the rest sadly have been.

    1. Oh don't you worry! Ed's hair is as long as ever. He just has it pulled back because he was meeting the realtor and the landlords. We needed to make a good impression.

      My cats have never been outside cats. That's why Moo lived 15 years! It's not good for the wildlife and really dangerous for kitties. Bijou will be happily and excitedly watching the birds and squirrels from the safety of my office. It'll be nice to have the little noodle hanging out with me all day. :) I wonder what she'll think of the snow. I don't think she's ever seen a snowfall. I'm going to have my camera near me and the video setting at the ready! HEHEHE ... don't you worry, Donnalee, Bijou and the critters will be safe and sound.

  3. A VERY exciting development! Good luck with the move and may everything go smoothly!

    1. Thank you! There's a LOT more happening just in the last 24 hours. Apparently, we can't get a UHaul out of NYC because there aren't any for long distance moves. We're hiring movers and that means we might be up there a whole lot sooner than expected.

  4. Great to get a look at the place! Looks like a good neighbourhood! Big trees!