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Learning to Go with the Flow

We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

The last six months have been quite a challenge.  We had the opportunity to purchase a membership in a co-op apartment building in center city Philadelphia.  Living in that neighborhood was something we had dreamed about for years.  We quickly listed our home in the suburbs and started purging our furniture, gardening equipment, and general clutter of 25+ years.

We interviewed some contractors to do upgrades in the Philadelphia apartment, hired the one best loved by others in the building, then waited for his schedule to open up so he could begin.  We had a long summer of showing our home but getting no serious buyers.  Then in the fall things picked up again and we finally got a buyer.  Three cheers! … but not so fast.

Our scheduled upgrades to the new apartment had a major slow down as our contractor found that Philadelphia building permit laws had just changed and requirements were much more complicated than anticipated.  We waited for the building permit, waited for electrical permit, waited for plumbing permit – all dependent on each other and all with long wait times.  Bureaucracy!

Still, we wait.  The floors are done.  You can see they covered them with paper to protect them during the renovation.  The kitchen cabinets are partially installed. There is still no working bathroom or kitchen.

In the mean time we decided to make the most of possibly being between homes and scheduled several trips. We enjoyed our time in Greece, England, Oregon and Washington.  This past week we finally moved our furniture into the apartment, even though it was not finished.  We closed on the sale of our home in the suburbs to a sweet young couple.

My neighbor took this picture of her dog watching the movers as they unloaded their belongings into our former home.

In our apartment, all the furniture except the piano and a few large pieces are crammed into the large bedroom which will eventually be my sewing studio.  It is challenging to try to find anything with boxes and furniture piled up to the ceiling

We are staying at an Airbnb three blocks from our building and also will be staying at the home of a nearby friend this next week while she is away.

Yesterday, we declared a day of celebration.  We went out to Love restaurant for lunch and took an afternoon nap to rest from all the moving stress.

Then in the evening we went out to hear the Philadelphia orchestra and Westminster Symphonic Choir perform J. S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor.  What a profound and celebratory work!

As we continue to wait we remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have a home.  We’ve learned to deal with stress and how to live in a state of limbo while still being civil and kind to each other.

Again, amid all the frustration of things moving along at a snails pace, we are lucky to have this home and to have kind friends who open their homes to us.  The people in this building are incredibly friendly and helpful. We’re enjoying the opportunity to explore life in this vibrant and fabulous neighborhood.

Lastly, I took the opportunity to have some head shots taken at by Bonnie McCaffery – Photography at Quilt Festival in November.  She did a fantastic job.  I finally received them this week and I posted two photos on Instagram and Facebook to see which one people liked the most. The photo below is the winner.  Hope you like it.

I hope it will not be long before I can find the time to post more videos about quilting and sewing.  In the meantime feel free to look at my free videos on YouTube (Rachel Derstine) or from the above main menu.  You may also check out my posts on Pinterest at Artful Quilting and Sewing.  If you have not yet done so, please join our Free Facebook Group.  We’d love to have you join.

Learning the art of patiently waiting…

Rachel Derstine


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