Actually, not at all.
It’s been five months since we bought the house, four months since we moved in, and excepting the unexpected $1,000 expense to fix a leak in the living room ceiling coming from the upstairs bathroom, homeownership in the ‘burbs has been quite the enjoyable experience.
Despite the somewhat disappointed tone of my last post, Bloomfield has been a great choice for us for all of the important reasons: we’re very happy with Watsessing Elementary School; my commute into the City isn’t too bad; and our neighbors on both sides are very cool people.
I worked from home yesterday so I could go to the kids’ Halloween Parade and class parties, and also be done early so I could go door-to-door trick-or-treating with them for the first time. (Me with them; my wife had taken them out last year right after school.) Following the recommendations of several people, we cut through Watsessing Park to hit Glen Ridge where many of the houses were elaborately decorated, and people were taking advantage of the comfortably cool weather by sitting outside to hand out candy and goodies.
Moving from the Bronx, where most Halloweens found us trekking down to the Museum of Natural History for their indoors Halloween celebrations, I was very impressed by the amount of people who were out with their kids, most dressed up but some, mostly older barely-teenagers, in plainclothes using school bags to collect candy. The energy was very positive and lived up to the suburban stereotype.
Eventually, we drifted back into Bloomfield and found far fewer houses participating in the fun, some with “No More Candy” signs taped to their doors, but even more simply dark and uninviting. The kids racked up the goodies and we’ll be parceling them out for a couple of weeks before quietly dumping the leftovers.
Once we returned home, around 7:30pm, we got a few visits of our own that mostly depleted the stash we’d set aside for them, before settling down happily, looking forward to enjoying the Big Two Holidays in our new home, new community, and in some ways, new life.
PS: My wife and I are both officially NJ residents now (again), licensed to drive and registered to vote! I was especially pleased by the number of Obama/Biden signs I saw last night. To-date, I’ve only come across two McCain/Palin signs in our neighborhood.