So, I was in Virginia working, and Clover was on vacation in Florida. There was something very wrong with that equation!
I found a wonderful real estate agent with the patience of a saint. Betty sent me e-mails of listings, took me from one end of Arlington to Fairfax to Loudon Counties to everywhere in between to show me properties, and I would go to open houses on the weekends, too. Betty would call me and say, “I found a townhouse, its perfect, has a great yard,” and off I would go to look at it. I was about to give up the search for good, leave Clover with my parents and start looking for another overseas job instead of staying in the D.C. area. All the time that I am procrastinating, the real estate prices keep climbing. I am not sure exactly how many places I looked at, but Betty said it was close to 100. I think it was closer to 200! And, boy were some of them real stinkers. Literally. (Note to self: write an entry about real-estate shopping in NoVa.)
I finally found a townhouse that I liked, at the right price, and with a fairly easy commute. Woohoo! I made an offer, got the house, and called my folks to tell them that I bought Clover a house. One of the things that I noticed when I was at the townhouse for the inspection was the next door neighbors’ yappy chihuahua. At the time, I thought the dog was just being loud because there were three people in and out of the house, a guy on the roof, but in the fog of almost being a new home owner, I discounted the yapper too quickly. Little did I know how much that little 6 pound menace was going to affect us once we were completely moved in. (Note to self: write an entry about “The Menace” next door and how the little bastard drove us both to the edge of insanity.)
After closing on the property, I stayed in the apartment for another 6 weeks while I had the house completely redone by adding hardwoods and new carpet, painting the whole place from top to bottom, and replacing the appliances. So, by the time I moved into the townhouse it had been almost a year since leaving Dublin. My parents made the trek north to Virginia with Clover firmly ensconced in the back seat of their Buick squeezed in between a cooler, a couple of suitcases, and a sewing machine. My parents arrived in Virginia the day after a huge snowstorm, and for an old guy that hadn’t driven in snow in over 30 years, my dad maneuvered I-95 like a pro. (Note to self: write an entry about how much I hate Sears [the appliances].)
The moving company arrived the next day with about 120 boxes of stuff that I surely couldn’t live without. My nephew Jason who was living in the area at the time helped my dad hang window shades and drapery rods. My parents were sleeping in my room, Jason was on the floor in one of the guest rooms, and I was sleeping in the living room on the sleeper sofa. Or, I should say, not sleeping because of The Damned Menace who barked non-stop day and night as a result of being locked out in the yard all of the time. Some people should not have pets.