We have returned from the Land of the Donkey to our home on Mulford Cove. It was a strange and educational six months living on the south side of town. But it has been amazingly good to be home up here. This place had just become crazy, with all the people who had lived here. Something like twenty roommates went through this place in three years, some not so great, most of them really great, some amazing. But all of them left stuff. We had just accumulated so much stuff. And too much of it was covered with cat hair.

We honestly thought we were moving down to Donkeyland for a long time. I got the title of my car at that address, and I registered to vote there. We were pretty set up. But it didn’t work out, and it didn’t work out literally at the last moment. We had moved everything out of this place, we were in the process of cleaning the walls. Everything was in a garage in South Austin, packed up in boxes, or given away. The giveaway pile in front of the house was pretty epic, though a lot of stuff was unfortunately destroyed by rain. Bad luck there. Well, good luck for the state of Texas and the world of nature, bad luck for household appliances that I was giving away.

But then, at the eleventh hour, the hour that we got to only because the property manager was too busy to do the walkthrough earlier, we decided to move back. And it has been amazing.

We had lived here for three years. That’s three years to think of what to do with the place, and then chance presented us with a blank slate. We immediately started fixing problems that had been bugging us for a long time. We moved our bedroom downstairs and our living room upstairs. We bought curtains and got some new furniture and fixed the leak in the air conditioner and generally made things much, much nicer for ourselves. Bam, instant improvement.

We’re still looking for roommates, but it’s been wonderful to have the place all to ourselves for two weeks. Things had been getting weird before we left in April, and I’ll never know why we dragged out leaving the place until September except that we knew, deep down, that things weren’t right down in South Austin. In fairness, Gewel knew a long time before I did. I let my desire to live down there blind me to the realities of the situation, but once I saw that the house needed thousands of dollars of repairs in order to be sanitary and safe and that there was no way I’d be compensated for putting that time and money in, well, to hell with it.

And, by accidental foresight created by laziness, this place was here to hop back to! And we get to do it all over again from scratch — how often does that happen? How often do you get to clean your whole house down to the walls and then move back in again? What an interesting experience. What a great way to make a house more liveable.