When we moved to Dayton, we thought we’d be here for a year, maybe two, tops. We found a lovely apartment, camped out in it for three weeks until our furniture arrived from England, and proceeded to decorate and arrange it so it felt like home.
Along the way, we grew another occupant. The wee one is definitely still fairly wee, but even at 20 months, he’s able to command a surprisingly large army of stuff, an ever-expanding roster of equipment and toys which are threatening to upstage all of our careful decorating. Walk into our living room these days and instead of being impressed by our décor’s tasteful reds, beiges and black, you’re liable to be blinded by the bright, primary color palette of all the toys strewn about.
It’s time to find someplace which fits all three of us, so we’ve been looking for a house to rent. Moving should be easy. On a daily basis, I can find online roughly 70 homes with three or more bedrooms advertised for rent in the Dayton area. Yet, we’re not finding what we want. You see, hubby and I are spoiled when it comes to our accommodations. Not necessarily on the inside of the homes and apartments we’ve shared, but certainly on the outside. We like to do a little something called walking. Not aimless, amiable, out-for-a-stroll walking, but heading-to-somewhere-useful walking. To grocery stores. To restaurants. To libraries. To shops. To parks. In the six years since we’ve been married, we’ve managed to live only in homes where we could walk to at least a few proper places. Ninety percent of the reason why we landed in this apartment was because of the nearby stores and restaurants.
Apparently, though, most people don’t mind getting in their cars every time they want to go someplace. The vast majority of neighborhoods in Dayton, and really, Ohio, and let’s face it, the US, are designed to be navigated by car. It’s a shame. We miss out on conversations with neighbors, the familiarity you gain with an area when you’ve travelled it on foot, and, yes, the health benefits of moving our bodies through space on our own power. It’s so easy to shut ourselves up in our little boxes with wheels and get there, wherever, quicker. And that’s fine, sometimes. But I’d like to know that my own two feet are an option for me when I open up my own front door.
So, our search continues. It is focused, and thus far, fruitless. The few homes that have passed our walking litmus test have either been too small, too expensive or, cruelly, unavailable. In the meanwhile, we’ll continue to live in our cozy apartment space. At least, for now, if the toys pile up too high, I can always grab the wee one, open up our front door, and start walking.