Back from Virginia Beach and the hard but important times there...
...and back into the thick of what-to-do-ness here in Pittsburgh.
We decided to start Ellie in the Mount Lebanon Montessori School. It is very close to the house we didn't get (sigh), and the commute from here takes ages (argh!), but she's happy to be there. She needed to get back to school. There was no way around it. She was asking nearly every day, playing school at every opportunity, and really, how do you deny a kid who wants to go to school? You don't. So off she went. The last day of the school year is at the end of this month anyway, so even though the commute is awful, it's manageable. And she's happy. That's the most important thing!
As for housing, well...that simply isn't progressing at all. We now truly understand why that other couple trumped us for the Mount Lebanon house to ensure they got it. It was by far and away the best possible thing on the rental market: 4 bedrooms, 2 car garage, big backyard and a gourmet kitchen in a fabulous area...we won't find its equal. Lucky them! Most of the time, I manage not to sulk about it. I'm still not certain I want to live over there. We are not happy car people. We prefer walking and cycling, and Hubby's commute to work in good weather with minimal traffic would still be quite long.
Again and again, we come back to Sewickley. The little (mostly unsuitable) house we saw there is still available (telling you everyone else finds it mostly unsuitable too), but the truth is it isn't bad. It is in a lovely area with a nice yard, lots of kids in the neighbourhood, and in walking distance to everything but school (and for that, there's a bus). I'm honestly not sure we'll manage to fit our furniture in there (I'm fairly certain we won't be able to), but (sigh) we had hoped to downsize over our time here, though not necessarily straight out of the container. We could rent a storage unit to get started, I suppose. We're going to see it again on Friday. I'm very good at making things work when I've made up my mind to do so, so we'll see if I can make up my mind about that one this week. There are so many lovely houses on the market for sale, but we aren't ready for that leap right now. I contacted several to ask about renting instead, but so far, no.
Coming from a different angle...
This morning, Stephanie and I chatted with a very nice older couple in Starbucks about travel and whatnot. When they asked if we lived here, I mentioned that we were trying to be but couldn't find a rental. The woman's eyes lit up and she wondered aloud if we might not be interested in their house. They hadn't decided what to do about it yet, as their older sons mention wanting it but haven't committed, but they have an "extra" house in Sewickley Village (where we want to be). She was so nice about it all, giving me lots of information about it, but her husband seemed very hesitant. Apparently, this is the first time the thought of renting it out had come up. I gave them my contact information and tried not to press too hard. She gave me hers too. Maybe that will work out?
One last possibility is an agent who returned my call just now. I had emailed her about a sale property, asking if they'd rent. She said they wouldn't, but she'd be happy to call some others and get back to me, as well as show us again the house we've already seen. I liked her enthusiasm on the phone, so we'll get that working for us too.
In the meantime, Stephanie and I are enjoying some laid-back hang-out time together while Ellie is at school. The afternoon commute is the hardest (Stephanie gets cranky and wants to sleep, which I have to prevent or nighttime will be disastrous), but other than that, the days are good. Today is only day three, but Ellie does seem to enjoy it quite a bit. She is ready to go each morning. The school has a uniform/dress code, and she is happy to get down to business, donning the proper clothing and preparing for the day. She has already been assigned to feed the class pet (a turtle) each day, and she is very proud of the responsibility.