I've been in my new digs since Saturday. Parishioners ask if I'm all moved in; not really.
We're having an open house in a few days, to allow parishioners to see how the priests' house* looks. It's a big change, because before, it was offices on the first floor, and the priests' bedrooms on the second -- a not-good arrangement. Plus, three of the four bedrooms upstairs needed attention; and we created a bedroom on the first floor, for the parochial vicar, so he wouldn't have to climb stairs. That involved building a full bath where a hallway had been.
Well, pretty much all the interior work is finished; a few doors need to be shaved and re-hung, that's about it.
But because we're having that open house, we did not move all my things; because, had we done so, we'd have stacks of boxes around, forcing me either to hide them, or to unpack everything. As it is, I really would like to have my books on the shelves, and my pictures hanging on the walls, and we may get some of that done before the open house--but if not, at least everything looks very presentable.
This location is not actually a lot quieter than the other; the priests' house sits at the corner of two busy streets, and with windows open this time of year, street noises come right inside. But it quiets down earlier than my other location -- there, I lived across the street from a bar, and so things didn't quiet down on that street till after 2 am.
What's nice is that finally -- at least, God willing -- this is a fairly permanent move. When I arrived at St. Boniface almost two years ago, and moved into its priest house, I did not expect to stay. I knew then I'd be taking over St. Mary, probably a year later, and then the question of where I'd live would be settled. (Everything that unfolded was clearly in the offing; it was simply a question of deciding which location would be office, which priests' house, and making that decision with the involvement of the two parishes. So it's almost two years later, and all that is finally coming to fruition.)
So...when I moved here two years ago, I didn't completely unpack, and the house I lived in didn't get a lot of attention. St. Boniface knew it was going to sell that house; and our judgment has been, don't put money into it--the neighborhood makes it dubious we'll recoup that investment.
The other day, I figured it out: during the last 10 years, I've moved an average of once every year:
April 1997: sold my house in Herndon, Virginia, moved to Arlington, Virginia for three months (as I wrapped up my job there, and prepared to enter the seminary).
August 1997: moved to Cincinnati.
Summer, 1998: moved to new rooms in the seminary.
Summer, 1999: moved to Fort Wayne for a summer internship project.
Summer, 1999: moved to Piqua for parish internship.
Summer, 2000: moved to Troy, Ohio, for three months for summer job.
Fall, 2000: moved back to seminary.
June, 2003: moved to first assigment, St. Albert Parish, Kettering, Ohio.
June, 2005: moved to St. Boniface Parish, Piqua, Ohio.
April, 2007: moved to priest house for both parishes, next to St. Mary Church, Piqua, Ohio.
I'm looking forward to not moving for awhile!
* Why don't I use the proper term rectory? I've noticed that many parishioners use the word ambiguously, sometimes meaning, where the priest lives, sometimes meaning, the office. What they really mean is, the house that sits next to the church; and at one parish, that's the office, at the other, the priests' house. So, to avoid confusion, I'm avoiding the word.