I first stayed with my parents for a few weeks while I searched for an apartment I could afford. The Sunday newspaper had the apartment rental ads, and it came out on Saturday afternoon. One Saturday I bought the paper and saw that an apartment in an area I liked would be available for inspection at 9am Sunday morning. Knowing that affordable units were scarce, I drove to the unit and sat on the front steps with my daughter just before 9am. The actual unit is the door at the right center in the photo above. It was two storied with two bedrooms and bath up and a living room and kitchen down.
The place was filthy inside, but the manager assured me that it would be clean in two days. I rented it on the spot and it was mine once my check cleared. It would cost me over a half of my part time salary, but it would be ours. I would just have to figure out how to get by with the other half of my pay.
One great blessing of this unit was unknown to me at the time. Hot water was included in the rent, but I was to be responsible for heat. Miraculously enough, our apartment was over the hot water boiler for the whole complex. This meant our unit stayed toasty warm all winter and I had almost no heating expense. For some reason, it never was too hot in the summer either.
I missed the country, but I enjoyed the convenience of a small market around the corner and the company of other mothers and children nearby. The area was extremely walkable and we walked or I pushed a stroller contentedly to shops and restaurants. I breathed a sigh of relief. After a great deal of turmoil, our lives had settled down. We had found a new home and we were all right.