To go back to a positive note, we reconnected with a software engineer who pretty much designed our software back when he was in his early 20s. He has been working with us the past month on fixing issues and we are embarking on a complete rewrite and update. He is more brilliant than ever and it is a joy to work with him again. Also fun since he travels all the time so we hear from him in Japan one week, and his home of Ecuador the next, then Europe. He has been very successful, but I think since our software was his baby when he first started out it is special to him.
That's so great when you circle back to an old relationship and renew it.
2020 was awful for us (as it was for most people): Death, house fire, depression, grief, isolation, loss, anxiety (much of it about the upcoming election). I'm really only now beginning to grasp how damaging it was to both Emmett and Matilda.
2021 started off with the other shoe dropping on Jan. 6th. I knew some shit would go down but even I was shocked by an actual coup attempt. Matilda was still doing school from home through the second half of the school year (and I am still wroth with SFUSD for that decision). The City was still pretty shut down, though it was beginning to come back.
Things began to turn that spring when Matilda was hired to work with Parks and Rec and vaccines began to roll out. I remember that glimmer of hope in June that the pandemic was going to be over once everybody was inoculated. (Ha!) That Fall Matilda got to go back to school again for the first time in 18 months. Things weren't back to normal but it was so much better.
In 2022 we finally cleared the money from JZ's father's estate and were in a position to buy a house in San Francisco. Something we had never imagined would be possible.
It was disorienting. In January of 2020 I was still selling my records for milk money when we were short. The entirety of Matilda's childhood had been scraping from paycheck to paycheck with no margin for error. Two years later we were actively house hunting.
It happened so quickly. Our fantastic real estate agent, Alex, pointed us at an open house on Monday in February. It was just about everything we had hoped for and more. We talked to our financial advisors on Tuesday to be sure we could make a bid. Saw the place again on Wednesday. Had the bid in by Friday and it was accepted on Saturday. Five weeks later we closed Escrow on March 8th, 2022.
We weren't scheduled to move in until June, but we had the Garden Apartment available to us and Emmett and his girlfriend, Kalena moved in by April. They'd been really hammered and depressed and in full Goblin mode up in Sonoma during the lockdown. So it was a huge hopeful reprieve for them to move into the City (which had seemed completely outside their reach before).
Then so much work prepping for the move, working with the outgoing owners, lining up movers and contractors. All while doing a delicate dance of trying to move Emmett, Kalena and Emmett's best friend, Joey, into our old apartment. Completely unsure if our old landlord would accept it.
The actual move started in the last week of May and really took almost four weeks to finesse. Every step was timed (had to wait for the tenants to move out before we refinished the hardwood floors, which had to be dry before we could move furniture in, etc.). It was completely and thoroughly exhausting even with hired movers for the big stuff we moved a ton of shit on our own and that's a lot of steps up and down. I averaged 50 flights a day and 20,000 steps during that month.
It was chaotic, and transitional and we lived among boxes and moved and re-arranged furniture and got used to the new appliances and at some point this became our home. (And Emmett, Kalena and Joey successfully settled in at our old place. With the rent control intact.)
Having money doesn't erase all your problems, but you will be unsurprised to hear that it solves a lot of them, and cushions the others. We've had losses and stressors this year too. Lost our sweet little Guinea Pig Marcie. A friend committed suicide.
But I have to say it's really gratifying to be in a position to help our friends. We were the beneficiaries of that aid in the past (frequently by Buffistae), and it feels good to give back.
It's been incredibly fun building the new home with Jacqueline. We've been remarkably in concert through a thousand big and little design decisions, and it really feels like a beautiful collaboration. I think the moment I saw our bedroom with the wallpaper up I really felt what we were doing.
From March of 2020 to September of 2021 I felt like I was desperately trying to keep everybody's heads above water. And now I feel like we have safely landed ashore.
I look forward to showing our new home to visiting Buffistas in the coming years!