Return of the Couch

It is Tuesday, June 21st as I write this. The year of our lord 2022. A heatwave is ravaging the land of Iowa.

Yes, I just wrote Iowa. I’m in Iowa. I live in Iowa. Iowa City, Iowa. I’m an Iowan now. Go Hawkeyes. Go corn.

The last time I wrote a blog I was a Pennsylvanian. Kind reader, this already feels like a lifetime ago. And yet it was only a week or so.

We’re here. We made it. I live in Iowa now.


If you’ve never moved across the country, well, I don’t advise it. I especially don’t advise it if you have two young children. I especially especially don’t advise it if you have two cats.

Don’t ever use the word especially two times in a row. That’s an English disaster. You’re welcome for the free advice. It’s coming from an associate professor of English Education at The University of Iowa. As of the middle of August. For now? I’m unemployed for about a month. Thank God for COBRA. And I’m not referring to G.I. Joe. Although knowing certainly is half the battle.

This move was a doozy. And yet it was much simpler than I expected it to be. I’ll spare you the details. But here’s a quick and dirty recap:

The drive from Pennsylvania to Iowa was a breeze. We left on a Sunday morning. Traffic was light. Did Theo pee in his carrier before we got out of Centre County? Sure, but we wrapped his cage in a towel, buried it in the backseat, and all was well. The cats hardly made a sound. Was I pulled over about thirty miles out of State College? For speeding on I-80? Of course, but the officer only gave me a warning. I slowed down and we were still in Illinois by dinner time. Spent the night with the cats in a Hampton Inn. Because they allowed cats. Did a guy in the pool have a swastika tattooed on his back? I can’t pretend that he didn’t. But other than that, the hotel was clean. It was fine. We pulled into Iowa City the next afternoon. Katie’s parents met us here. Family is only a stone’s throw away.

We closed on the house the next day. Quick and easy. We live in an idyllic neighborhood on the east side of Iowa. Near campus. Near downtown.

I’ve got a plumber coming to look at two of the three toilets. And one of the three showers. And the water heater. And the tree in the backyard looks to be in pretty rough shape. And I’ve spent thousands of dollars at Target. Send aid. Send prayers. Don’t send anymore heat.

No need to kvetch so much, Sam. The air conditioning is cool and we’re a stone’s throw from everything in Iowa City. From Hickory Hill Park, too. I’ve taken two runs back there already. The deer here are fearless. A more Pennsylvanian man would’ve bagged his limit by now. But I’m still more of a Midwesterner than anything else. Lucky deer.

Our furniture arrived without any hiccups. Nothing broken. Mostly on time. We’ve already finished unpacking the boxes. They are stacked in the front yard. The movers are scheduled to come get them in the morning.

I’ve mowed the lawn. In 90 degree heat. Sweat my weight twice over. I mounted a TV. The cable people come in the morning. I’m working on an Iowa driver’s license and plates. I’ve got 14 boxes of books to lug to campus.

There’s a trampoline in the backyard. Katie did most of the hard work setting it up. So did I. There was lots of hard work to share. But Solomon can bounce to his heart’s content now.

It was expensive. It was exhausting. It’s far from over. But we’ve made the move. And we’ve started the process of settling. Settling in Iowa.


There will be much to write about in the coming months. Everything here is new. We’re starting over again. Starting from scratch. But the job is good. The home is comfortable. And we are settling into the work of settling in. At 42, that’s going to be some work. Going to take some time. I suppose this is true of 8 year-olds and 6 year-old as well. It’ll take the boys some time to get adjusted. But we’re at it now.

I miss Pennsylvania. I miss what I left behind. I’m also happy to be here. Exhausted, but happy.

Who knows what will happen next?

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