When travelling in Alaska, a park ranger told us that the native tribes used practical place names. For instance, the direct translation of the name of one area was “Place Where it Floods in Spring.” The tribe always knew, then, they shouldn’t camp there in the spring because that is where it flooded when the snow melted. As I find myself looking for a new place to live, I can’t help but appreciate this system. How nice it would have been had that last duplex I looked at been called “White Trashville” rather than “Oak Wood,” I would have saved some gas driving to go look at it.
I don’t have to move. I live in a perfectly nice place. I am hoping, however, that I can find someplace better…maybe someplace a little bigger…maybe someplace without upstairs neighbors…maybe someplace where I can have covered parking…maybe someplace with two windows so I can get a cross-breeze.
It’s amazing the little things that contribute to our sense of happiness. I remember, a few years ago, looking for a new apartment that had its own washer/dryer connection. Oh the wonderment I felt at being able to wash my laundry in my own abode. No more laundromats for me! Such was the basis of my joy at the time. Now, it’s the lure of a second bedroom that causes me to explore the wilds of “Doorway to the Garage is in the Carpeted Master Bedroom” and “View of Auto Parts Store.”
I am the modern American nomad. I can’t afford the house I want, but I might be able to rent someplace a little bit nicer than I have now, so I must look. I must hoard the empty paper boxes at work, I must critically eye my belongings’ lug-worthiness, I must risk one more odd-smelling bathroom. There’s a chance I might fine, “Perfectly Nice Place to Rent While You Save Up For What You Really Want.”