Ever wonder what it would be like to live at an aiport? Me neither. But now I know.
This is how it happened:
When the door of opportunity in Virginia was closed, Pete and I decided to peek into some other doors. In particular, we were looking for doors that didn't belong to smallish one bedroom loft apartments with no closet space. So I called a landlord through a connection and started dreaming about a little two bedroom duplex in Grand Rapids.
Then Pete said, "Would you consider living at the airport?"
I said, "No."
Then the deal maker: "It's free rent."
I snapped my finger in that "gosh darn" fashion, because of course I should consider anything with free rent, even if it is an airport in smalltownville.
We walked through two flight offices, a little cubby room dubbed "the cave," a "parts room," an empty room with various large outlets, and a bathroom with a toilet and stall shower. These rooms were all my blank canvas, Pete explained, for (respectively): an office, a bedroom, a walk in closet, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom.
"But there's no oven, sink, fridge, or countertops!"
"I could maybe deal with this shower for five months, tops."
"Joy, you're going to be a missionary."
"I could fix it up however I want?"
"However you want. Except, no weird colors on the walls. Eventually intern guys will be living here."
So we went out to lunch and ran some calculations. Within a few days we had a fridge, countertops and oven for a total of $100... at which point I considered possible careers in craigslisting. A little later, Pete's family came and helped me put paint on the walls. Two weeks after that, Bethany drove up because I told her I needed help sewing. What I really needed was my best friend and a little sanity. She provided both.
"It's cute, hun. It's going to be really fun. You will totally survive."
"Beth? Did you see the shower stall?"
"It's cute, hun. It's going to be really fun. You will totally survive. Let's get to work."
And after weeks of work and a sad goodbye to apartment 302, we moved in.
Last night Pete and I finished dinner, played some cards, then settled into the living room for The Office. I turned off the overhead lights and opted for our two floor lamps, which is when Pete said, "Hey! You did it! This is a living room!" I surveyed the work of my hands, and agreed. The "oyster shell" walls glowed warmly, the bookcase was filled with colorful spines, and my favorite craig's list find--an eleven foot couch--stretched out before us. It was home. We finished our hot chocolate and our episode, and then Pete said, "Let's go to bed."
So we stepped out of our living room, passed three airplanes on our left, and walked up the stairs to our bedroom.
Home is wherever I live with Pete. And right now, home is rent-free.
(Pictures to come.)