Sorry for the lack of updates but, as you might guess, moving into a new house in a new town takes a bit of one’s time. The last month has been a busy one on the mountain. We have been unpacking, setting up new accounts, working on small house projects, planning for our first party, etc.
The unpacking and acclimating stuff has gone pretty smoothly, other than the confusion of trying to explain to the post master that mail addressed to our street address should be delivered to our home, and mail addressed to our post office box should be left in the PO box. Apparently this is a foreign concept, and is supposed to explain why some of our mail was returned rather than being delivered to either our house or our PO box. Eventually we convinced the PM that there was a logic to our request.
The small house projects have been just that, small. Sarah made a sign for the end of the driveway to help people find the house. I took karmic hits by murdering wasps in preparation of our housewarming cookout. We thought we had avoided this unpleasantness when we removed a half dozen unoccupied nests a few weeks ago, but suddenly the front porch was filled with the buggers …errrr…. buzzers sunning themselves and chasing the dogs when they were in the yard. With a planned cookout, it was decided we needed to address the issue, and so each morning over a few days while it was still cool out (and the wasps were inactive), I found myself crawling under the porch and climbing on the roof hunting for wasp nests.
Of course, when the day of the party arrived, it was raining. While we were luckily still able to grill, neither we nor our guests spent any time outside. The wasp murdering spree was still somewhat necessary as they were threatening to Haley and Mickey, but I still wish it could have gone down differently. We are surrounded by woods; why our stinging neighbors couldn’t find a nice tree to raise their broods is beyond me.
As for the party, we had a light turnout, but had fun nonetheless. Jessamyn and Greg brought over some yummy Vermont cheeses a professional cheese-buying friend of theirs had given them. Heather brought her friend Adrienne and a jug of Rock Art Brown Bear Ale, and I drove to Montpelier to pick up our mate Mike since he doesn’t have a car.
Picking up Mike was also an excuse to drive the new car. Last month we took the Subaru to our mechanic for what we thought was going to be a tune-up, only to be informed that the car has all sorts of issues. We respect Chip’s opinion, and he suggested we consider trading the car in now before we blew a head gasket. The other option was to help him put his daughter through college and have a lot of necessary work done. We had other reasons to consider selling the Subaru, including needing four-wheel drive and not just all-wheel drive, but Chip’s diagnosis accelerated the process. So we headed on down to Shearer Honda in Rutland and a week or so later came home with a Honda CR-V that gets better mileage than the old Subaru, and has many more safety features.
Everything else is going well. I am doing some web consulting for our town’s website, and Sarah has a job interview at Vermont Law School next week. Now that it is warming up a bit, our next projects are to build a fenced area where the dogs can run, sign up for a CSA membership at Four Springs Farm, and get ready for various visitors including Sarah’s dad in May. If you’d like to visit too, let us know.
Part of the reason I came back to the Washington, DC area 10 years ago was to be closer to my father. Neither of us was getting any younger, and for the most part he was alone. It didn’t hurt my rationalisations that I hated Los Angeles—and after mudslides, fires, Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, race riots, and a close-up view of one of the biggest earthquakes recorded in southern California history, who wouldn’t? Whatever the reason, I felt a need for change and decided to return to DC to try something else.
I have been thinking about all of this lately because after the death of my dad last year I realised that there wasn’t much left tying me to the area. At least nothing that would make dealing with rude people, crowded streets and subways, horrible traffic, smog, expensive housing, and the high cost of living worth it. Or maybe it took the death of my father (or my mother for that matter) to make me realise that life really is too short—for all we know, there really is only one ride on this big blue marble—and that one should treat life as a giant buffet and not like a MRE.
Don’t get me wrong. I love so many of the people I know in this area. In addition to meeting my wonderful and extremely supportive wife, Sarah, I have met some of the truest and dearest friends I could ever hope to know. DC has always been home. But now that my dad is gone, and the house I grew up in is inhabited by strangers, why not see someplace else?
With that in mind, this past weekend, Sarah and I officially put our house up for sale. We plan to move to Vermont by the end of the summer, and start our search for land on which to build our new home… and try something new.
Though she was only 25, she had already begun to manifest the first symptoms of Old Lady Bedside.
Planning a wedding is complicated, even for a very small (read six guests, no attendants) ceremony. There’s the location, the officiant, the clothes, the season of year. Not to mention taking care of the guests: transportation and lodging, getting them to and from the ceremony and reception sites, family politics, etc, ad nauseum. And tonight, we were tackling a different monster altogether: the text of the ceremony itself.
Working on the vows and blessings got us thinking of the first part of the ceremony. Before anyone says a peep, you ‘ve got to get yourself, your betrothed, the minister, and your guests to the right spot and into some sort of comfortable arrangement so that the ceremony can proceed in an orderly and dignified way. Suddenly, the order of who stands where and how the hell I’m supposed to even get from point A to point B seems like a monumental task. I think: “You mean I’m going to have to walk 10 steps all by myself and remember whether to go right or left!?!”
So to ease the stress that these simple decisions were causing me, he suggested we diagram the whole thing. By the time we had the processional all figured out, we had a piece of paper that looked like a page from Vince Lombardi’s playbook. X’s, O’s, lines, arrows, but damned if we didn’t have it all figured out when we were done. Oh sure, you think I’m exaggerating the complexity of this one aspect of the ceremony planning, but I dare you to sit down and write your own. You’d be amazed at how quickly the simple act of assembling a small group can become a complex maneuver of social engineering.