My Jacksonville to Seattle Odyssey—Part 8–Home Sweet Home!

In truth I’ve been in Seattle for a week now. When I first arrived I felt kind of claustrophobic after driving through big sky country, so my first thought was, “Oh, God. I’m not liking this.” But then I got my city legs back, so to speak.

I have to say that I love this place. The rolling hills and the lush greenery and the stunning vistas at unexpected moments… it all takes my breath away. I also like the laid back attitude and the liberal sentiments. People take the environment and diversity pretty freakin’ seriously around here. I feel like when I left the conservative South I took off a pair of shoes that had been two sizes too small.

Another thing that impresses me is that when you ask people for help, they go above and beyond anything you have a right to expect. I couldn’t find something in a Lowes Home Improvement Store, and the clerk didn’t know where it was either, so she logged out of her computer, logged into the regular internet, researched it, got a product number, logged back into the Lowes system, checked the inventory, discovered they had 7 in stock, then led me personally all the way to the other side of the store to get it. And so far this kind of service isn’t the exception, it’s the rule, everywhere I go.

And holy cow, the water that’s coming out of the tap actually tastes good! In Jacksonville, you buy all your drinking water. I can’t believe this.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a down side. The traffic is horrendous. It can take 45 minutes to go 5 miles on Interstate 5, no matter the time of day. And I’m dreading the grey and the rain.

And sometimes I feel like a foreigner. I don’t know my way around at all. Not even slightly. Some of their traffic patterns confuse the hell out of me. It was 5 days before I had the courage to take a right on a red light, because I wasn’t sure if it was legal up here. (It is.) But you can’t legally talk on your cell while driving, and my cell phone is so ancient that they don’t make hands free devices for it, so don’t call me. Not even maybe.

And they sure do talk funny up here. I was in the grocery store and one of the signs at the end of the aisle said “Soda Pop.” Seriously? Is it 1950? I had a bit of a giggle.

And as for the house that I rented sight unseen, well… The dogs adore the yard, and I adore the neighborhood. But the bathroom is a mess. The toilet is right up against the wall, so your shoulder is jammed against it whenever you’re using the facilities. And the shower head comes out of the wall at chest height. And the shower curtain rod is so high that the curtain hovers way above the edge of the tub, so it is pretty much a waste of time trying to avoid getting the floor wet. Half the plugs don’t work, and the exhaust fan over the stove won’t STOP working. The ceiling in the master bedroom is only 6 feet 4 inches high, so you kind of feel squished. But it’s a roof over my head, and I’m so sick of moving I may ask to be buried in the back yard.

And I may not have a choice on that score, because I still don’t have a clue how I’m going to pay for this relocation. I won’t get my first paycheck for about a month, and the debts are mounting. Just registering the car cost me 270 dollars. And a bunch of my stuff got ruined in the move. My favorite chair. My antique armoir. My printer. A whole lot of clothes and bed sheets were destroyed by a burst container of bleach. My mattress is covered in grease.

Another thing I didn’t factor into my expense calculations was that I had to buy a bunch of clothes. I don’t own long sleeved anything, for example, or rain gear, or coats, or water resistant shoes. I spent a lot of time at Goodwill, but believe it or not, it still adds up. It’s going to take me a long, long time before I stop waking up in a cold sweat, wondering how the bills will get paid.

But I have to say, in spite of all the stress, and even though I often feel like a fish out of water, I’m excited to be here. I can’t wait to get out and explore. There’s so much I want to see and do! And when I do (and see) I’ll be sure and take you with me!

My new seattle home

Home Sweet Home.


Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

14 thoughts on “My Jacksonville to Seattle Odyssey—Part 8–Home Sweet Home!”

  1. HOORAY! Not bad, not bad at all. Take advantage of those neighborly folks, to find all the interesting nooks and crannies around town. Goodwill is okay, but Church stores are even better and cheaper. You will eventually find shortcuts on the road I’m sure. But it is a big city, with so much to offer, especially for someone as eager to explore as you. Enjoy your scavenger hunt. Hope the job, is the best part, it will make the trouble spots that much easier to manage. House not bad at all. Imagine looking at a Snowy morning out that picture window.

  2. I have the same kind of toilet!
    Investigate the bus system, for sure–it will take you to all the bridges, at least during daytime.
    Best of luck…

  3. The house can be lived in. There must be a way to lower the shower curtain? As for driving in snow. just use good old common sense and slow down and you will be fine. I live in snow lol I’m closer to you now, in Alberta Canada. Soon you’ll make the house yours and be getting around like a pro. Take advantage of the friendly people and ask of about good deals. Also, I agree with the lady above, churches usually are cheaper than goodwill. Ask around about that too. Just think, you did it! You should be so proud!

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