street, knock out rose, flower, city, fall

The street outside our apartment in Rockville Town Square.

People keep asking me if I’ve settled in to the new place yet. I’m not sure how to answer that. What does it take to feel settled in? I’m not sure I ever felt that way in Philadelphia, and I was there two years. We never unpacked all the boxes, but more than that, it just never felt very homey to either one of us. The city itself never felt quite… right. Don’t get me wrong, I think Philly has a lot of things to recommend it. Cheesesteaks for one. We met some great people there. But as we left to head back to Dallas I don’t think either one of us was sorry to see it in the rear-view mirror.

Now here we are, once again in transition. New city, new job, new book about to launch, new expectations of what “homey” should feel like. Once upon a time I would have told you the only way my husband and I would be happy would be in our own, single family, house. Here we are in Rockville, MD, in a two bedroom apartment in the middle of a city square. It’s as far removed from single family as you can get.

But it’s homey.

The boxes still loom over my shoulder. By our count, we have about 60 to go. (Some are book boxes, so they’re small and of course just need to pop onto the shelves.) The place is a transitional mess of packing paper, take out remnants, and misc. items-we-don’t-know-what-to-do-with. The walls are bare, the floor is a mess and I desperately need to vacuum  My desk is covered with items I’m trying to sort, and I keep losing track of my clothes.

But it’s homey.

When I walk in, it feels right somehow. When I head out to walk around the square or workout at the gym or get something for lunch, it makes me smile. So when someone asks me “do you like it there?” I can answer, quite honestly, yes. Yes, I do.

Does that mean I don’t like Dallas anymore? No. I love Dallas. I have friends there, and my family is there. I can like more than one place, right?

So do I feel settled in? Yes, actually I do. Boxes and all.