Yes, we are living on campus. Don’t worry, I think I am going to love it.
When my husband moved to Ann Arbor last fall, and I was still living in St. Louis, the university offered him a house on campus so that he wouldn’t have to purchase a home or rent an apartment during the interim. It’s a simple little place — three bedrooms, one bath, kitchen/dining on one end, living room on the other. They put fresh paint and carpet throughout and temporarily furnished it for him.
On our first visit, I walked through the place and thought to myself, “this could work.” Our daughter walked through the place and said out loud, “this is horrible.” It could be perspective.
In St. Louis we own a large two-story home with a finished basement. That’s three levels of house to clean! We loved it at the time that we purchased it, but I was healthy at that point — running several miles a day, working full-time, and full of energy. For the last two years, it has been a genuine challenge to maintain the house and the yard around it. In fact, before my husband was offered this position, we were actually looking for a small place that was all on one level.
You heard me right. We were looking for a place just like this! The university does all the maintenance, so my husband can focus on his job. They do the yard work. They clear the snow. We get to choose what we spend our energy on. When I arrived on Sunday, I found that my husband had planted a small garden, so we can pick fresh tomatoes! When the movers brought our things yesterday, we discovered that our adirondack chairs sit perfectly under the overhanging roof on the patio, so I can have my morning coffee outside with a view of this gorgeous campus.
We were worried that everything wouldn’t fit, or that the things we brought might not work in this new place. But we had surprise after surprise. Our bedroom furniture fits perfectly, even Grandma’s little chair. The guest bedroom houses all our daughters’ things while they are in transition. Our son’s futon fit in the office to provide a spot for overnight guests. I’ve got a reading corner complete with picture books for any children that may visit. And, best of all, my puzzle table found a home just outside the office.
My heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed, before I even asked him (Matthew 6). This simple home is going to be very easy for me to maintain, so I will have energy to spend on the things that matter. Meeting new friends, hanging out with my husband, and being still.