August 8, 2011 by Leah
For the three of you who are unaware of this, Aaron received some paperwork on Friday with the “proposed report date” of August 28th. Like, he needs to report to his new office in Walla Walla on that day. (Although, the 28th is a Sunday, so he probably won’t have to go to work until the 29th.) Which means we are moving at some point within the next three weeks. The only downside to this quick timeline is that we (Duke included) will be arriving in Walla Walla with dirty teeth since none of us can get in for a cleaning before we leave.
Aaron has a phone meeting with the move counselor today to discuss how we are going to get there. We were initially thinking of taking a house-hunting trip, but between the short time frame and reviewing what benefits the government offers that we might want to take advantage of (like taking a lump sum buyout for the move so we can then live in a tent and use the cash towards a down payment), I don’t think that’s going to happen.
These employer-sponsored moves are kind of weird, in that, while we don’t actually have to do the hard part of moving (packing and schlepping boxes), there is still a lot of stress involved. Last time, Aaron was already living in Long Beach while I spent two days in our apartment with strange men, alternately trying to do due diligence and “supervise” and hiding in the bedroom because the whole situation was awkward.
The current plan is that Aaron will fly up and I will drive up with Duke and any liquids or explosives we can’t possibly do without. So, it will be me, the dog, Aaron’s collection of Russian booze that we never drink, my sourdough starter (I had a heck of a time reactivating the dried stuff my mom sent when we moved), possibly the homemade limoncello, a gallon of coconut oil, all my California olive oils, and some fireworks and bullets. I am tentatively planning to drive up the coast and then inland along the Columbia river, and to stop at campgrounds. It would be reminiscent of my great Alaskan road trip (on which I met Aaron!), would be easier than hotels with Duke, and should be gorgeous and actually fun. (Unlike a freeway-and-motel sort of experience.)
We’re not sure where we will live at the beginning while we are looking for a house. Some kind of short-term rental that allows pets would allow us to keep costs down. Even the aforementioned tent would be okay, although Duke wouldn’t like it.
Since I really don’t have anything to do except clear out clutter and clean (and who would want to do those things?), I’ve started attending more yoga classes and spending far too much time on the internet, researching moving, Walla Walla, homebuying, etc. This morning I’ve been comparing Walla Walla with Long Beach on city-data.com (which doesn’t look like a legitimate website but apparently is).
Here are some fun tidbits… (Walla Walla/Long Beach)
Police officers per 1000 residents: 1.47/2.06
Murders in 2009: 0/40
Unemployment in March 2011: 8.9%/13.4%
Mean travel time to work: 13.5 minutes/28.7 minutes
January 2011 Cost of Living Index: 86/134.3 (US Average is 100)
Elevation: 1000 ft/29 ft
Registered sex offenders: 0 (April 2010)/ 708 (September 2010)
Percentage of residents living in poverty in 2009: 23.8%/19.3%
Here’s a good one: Institutionalized population in Walla Walla? “Significantly above state average.” (I assume that’s because Walla Walla houses the largest state prison in Washington. If that’s the case, though, how could there possibly be no registered sex offenders? The sex offender registry for my apartment in Anchorage was off the charts because of the homeless shelters and prison that were just up the street. Hmm.)
Oops, gotta go to yoga.