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Office Setup
  • Writer's pictureLori Nanan


Almost exactly one week ago to the hour, I landed in Maryland. The first step towards a new life in Baltimore. My husband, my dog and I set up shop for 2 nights in a hotel and hot on our heels was my brother and his 2 cats.

This was a big move. The logistics were insane. How people move across country with more than themselves boggles my mind. 3 adult humans, 1 dog and 2 cats felt like a feat worthy of an award, so people who do it with tiny humans- I tip my hat to you. Each step felt like a box we could click off. Everyone is on the road ✅. Everyone has made it to the hotel ✅. Dog is not shaking or barking ✅. Cats have not hidden under the bed for what will surely be forever ✅. It was a lot and that was just step one. Or five, if you consider the getting ready to list, having an open house, negotiating offers, settling on price and date, the packing of everything one holds dear and the discarding of that which one does not. Moving is no joke. And yet, here we all are. In the heat of July, we managed to pull our little family together and create a new home.

In the beginning, I was opposed to leaving New Hope. I loved our pretty little town. But, given my dead father and narcissistic mother, my brother's well-being has fallen to me. And it wasn't happening there. It was also too expensive to find someplace that met our needs. So we explored Madison WI and Ann Arbor MI for a bit before I stated that I could not be a Midwest girl. And much like it happened 21 years ago, Baltimore worked its way into my psyche. I just had to convince Paul and Jason. Thankfully it didn't take much and with the help of a friend who was a client years ago when I lived in the Canton neighborhood, we embarked on this insane journey of finding a home in a new place, in a crazy market and in what can only be considered a Hail Mary, found the perfect home for us.

Our situation is unique. A mother-in-law layout would be best. But those are typically found in suburbs and I am not a suburb girl. My brother would have loved it, but Paul and I would have missed all the "amenities" we have been used to living in a town. Enter: Mt Washington. A neighborhood at the northernmost point of the city, with easy access to both suburban convenience and city activities. And then add icing to the cake. A house that has a primary level with plenty of space, is updated enough that I don't feel the need to change everything and a basement with a fully finished area and storage for days. We each got what we wanted. At literally the 11th hour. It was so stressful and yet, there was something in me that knew we did this, we made it happen. Sounds crazy, but we each spoke our desires out loud and there they were. No stairs for Paul, separate living space for Jason and style for me (including the decorative vertical fencing that I'd been dreaming of).

As I set of on the next part of my life: graduate school and working in the cult recovery space, it feels so right to me to be doing it in a new location. I relish the opportunities my brother and I are getting to learn to do things more than a little bit differently than we learned growing up. I look forward to the new roster of restaurants (including oyster bars) Paul and I will get to check out. And I thrill at Hazel's ability to go with the flow. And I have no shame at the additional 10 mg of Prozac a day it's taken to get here. 😆

We did a hard thing. And I'm proud of us all. Plus, it's pretty and we're just getting started. 🌺

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