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The Great Migration

I announced it wistfully in early February. Tomorrow (or today by the time you read this) it finally comes to pass. Apologies for delaying the beginning of my Amidah Project, but I’ve been preoccupied with planning our move to Edgewater. Or, rather, surviving it. They say Murphy’s Law is never truer than when you’re moving. Let me say in defense of Murphy’s Law, an aphorism hasn’t yet been written to adequately describe the past five weeks.

As you can see from the above photo (click it to make it larger), the move seems straightforward enough. A simple northward trek up the lakefront from downtown to Edgewater. We’ll be renting a condo in a lakeside high-rise on the block of our synagogue. You’ll be more interested to know we’ll be living 74 house numbers away from Dr. Hartley’s high-rise from the opening credits of the Bob Newhart show (oddly enough, immediately on the other side of our synagogue.)

The building (which shall remain nameless until we finally manage to move in) came very strongly recommended by several friends from shul who live there. (“You’ll love it. Trust me.” “It’s a perfect fit for you two.” “Call this leasing agent right now. I’m not taking no for an answer.”) When we visited to look at apartments, the interior and amenities made Marina City look like, well, frankly the dump that it is.

When we applied for the unit in late January, we knew we’d need to overcome the hurdle of our life- and recession-dented credit. We spent a week waiting for our credit to be vetted by the admissions committee.  That week turned into three weeks as delays began to appear and mount in the leasing process. We thought it was us and our credit.

Three weeks came and went and we sailed through admissions, but still no moving date. We temporarily held back our final month of rent at Marina City (with our landlord’s approval) in case our leasing application unexpectedly fell through. We researched movers–but couldn’t actually reserve them. We made lots of calls to lots of people in our old and potentially new buildings. And then we waited.

We began to feel absolutely helpless, and increasingly became as stressed out at work and home as we’ve ever been. Have I also mentioned we both had the flu through most of this process?

When the bombshell hit–which I can’t detail here but follow my eyes (cough*inarrearswiththeboard*cough)–about issues out of our control and having nothing to do with us that were delaying our approved move–and our application for Ryan to park in our new building–from moving forward, we were too far into the process financially and time-wise to do more than yell, shrug, and try very hard to put our trust in Adonai.

Once other people’s issues–that should have been disclosed to us up front–were finally settled, we were within five days of the end of February. Marina City took pity on us and gave us a daylong move-out slot for the last day of the month to make sure whatever move-in slot we got at the new building, we’d be able to match the two times together. We had already gone ahead and booked movers, so finally we were slightly ahead of the game.

Until our movers (All My Sons) lost our reservation and refused to rebook us. Which seemed like a major inconvenience until our new mailbox key ended up on a plane to Costa Rica.

Yes, really.

Facebook and Twitter friends gave us suggestions for new movers. We went with the Israeli-owned The Professionals–more for the stellar reviews on Yelp than the Israeli part. Though I did tell the owner that, despite my last name, I was Jewish while I was desperately begging for a last-minute morning reservation two days in advance of our move. It seemed like it wasn’t meant to be.

And then this morning, we got that last-minute early reservation, after all. Thank God for daily miracles. For the very first time, we now look forward to our move in a few hours’ time with a sense of security. All we have to do is finish packing up the rest of our apartment by morning.

I’ll save the emergency root canal I need to replace the tooth I lost eating a hard Subway sandwich tonight for next week.

Yes, really. Murphy, where are you when I need you?

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Mike Doyle

I’m an #OpenlyAutistic gay, Hispanic, urbanist, Disney World fan, New York native, politically independent, Jewish blogger in Chicago. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I write words and raise money for nonprofits. I’ve written this blog since 2005. And counting...

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