Itchy feet


Rich has been the road warrior this week and I’m off of yoga, biking, gardening or even cat stretching for another few days, although I’m starting to test my limits. If only I didn’t have this vision of stitches popping out and flipping onto the carpet like bits of black lint. They’re supposed to be the kind that dissolve and absorb but I don’t see how that’s going to happen with the ones that are right on the surface. I wish I could get a good visual on what’s going on back there; maybe I’ll go to Macy’s with my binoculars and try to find a changing room with one of those three-way mirrors. That’s a horrifying thought- not examining the stitches, but going to Macys. To look in a mirror. Or for any reason.

I’m trying not to be preoccupied with this nagging itch on my back but every time I stop focusing on that I think about buying land in the mountains. This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about buying real estate out of sheer boredom. The search for Wit’s End, the lake cottage to beat all lake cottages, began when Abby got her driver’s license and watching the Canadian Womens Curling Championship wore thin. (Actually, that was pretty interesting right through the semi-finals. I could relate to all that sweeping and yelling.) At the time the economy was weak, the stock market dropping and I thought my savings for retirement could do better. I searched long and hard for the just right place and made an offer on Wit’s End two days before the Trade Center was blown to bits. I moved in towards the end of October and that was the best fall ever, enjoying bonfires on the lake with the ladies of book club. I was sorry to sell Wit’s End when we moved here but it no longer made sense in our lives and I was lucky to come out about even because the market in Michigan, especially for cottages, is as miserable as it has ever been. But it was five years of pure getaway heaven and that was priceless.

The Florida bungalow, which now has the Wit’s End sign on the porch, was another one of those “let’s see, what shall I do now?” sort of deals. Rich made the mistake of taking me along to Florida on a business trip and although his meetings were in Orlando, he thought we might enjoy some time on St. Pete beach (gak). He was away for one night working and since I couldn’t really hang for that long at the Holiday Inn tiki bar I took the bus downtown and bought a house. Originally that was just an investment too, because, afterall, who would want to spend any amount of time in Florida? I wish I was there right now.

When I alluded to finding a place where I could get back into gardening and growing more of our food, I was absolutely serious. I have this fantasy that there’s a beautiful, affordable five acre parcel with my name on it somewhere in Western North Carolina. It has mountain views, a creek, trees AND pasture. The challenge of gardening on rock can’t be any greater than Michigan clay, right? I could waltz into Asheville once a week and meet Anne Fitten for coffee or I could drive west just a tad and chat with Kimberly. The fantasy includes Rich because for the next five years I would just go there when he’s on the road, getting the place ready for us- starting fruit trees, clearing some patches here and there, maybe watching the progress on a cypress log home. Then, after the Olympics are firmly in place for Chicago, he’ll be happy to work less and fish more. He has lots of connections in that area, too, so he would be free to consult if he got bored. We would go happily back and forth between Florida and the mountains, according to the weather. This place I envision will cost exactly what I have squirreled away from the sale of Wit’s End because real estate is cheap right now. I know because I have about 40 listings bookmarked and all I need to do is book a flight and I have a free ticket sitting right here in front of me from a bump earlier in the year… You see how my mind works.

Last year when I suggested to Abby that she might want to cut back on fulltime work AND school she said that she didn’t do well if she had empty time on her hands. That’s true enough; all of the instances where she has gotten into trouble (for want of a better word) have been tied to free time. Right now, her dad is down visiting her and that aggravates me just on general principal. It’s not right that he’s enjoying the pleasure of her company if I’m not.

The other child is hard at work with regular gigs and doing well. He called yesterday and left a message, saying, “Hey, mom! I just called to say hi and see how you’re doing. I love you. Talk to you soon.” I saved it on my cell phone. Not long ago that kind of call was hard to imagine because if the kids called it meant they needed something. I’d look at the incoming number and think, “Now what?” certain that one or the other a) needed money, b) wanted the AAA number because a car broke down, or c) lost a passport or birth certificate. I always wondered how both children could suffer the illusion that I could just produce endless copies of identity papers. Now, I miss all the times they relied on me to hook them up; you can bet they didn’t call their dad for birth certificates.

I’m going back to perusing the online FSBO listings for Western North Carolina now and then I’m going to wander down to the conservatory and zoo. Or, I might check flights. Rich comes home tonight and I guess it’s none too soon.

14 responses to “Itchy feet

  1. I’ll come back and read your post in more detail later. I’m busy getting ready to leave.

    That is the same video that I linked to. I tried to embed it, but I guess i’m technologically challenged, or i just don’t know how to put YouTube on my blog. She is so funny.

    She was a Baptist pastor’s wife. She always makes a joke about that…her husband now is her manager. She has a great parody to the underwire, “You Raise Me Up.” She always says, “you’ll never listen to that song the same way again.”

    I will be getting home on the 3rd or 4th, so I can start seeing doctors on the 5th. Ain’t life grand! I’ll miss you again, but one of these days.

    Thinking about North Carolina makes me remember the good family vacations we had in Maggie Valley.

  2. I LOVE THAT VIDEO!!! I’ve seen it before and still love it. Makes me want to stand and clap, too.

    I’ve used all those sentences, you know. Especially when the boy is butt head and I tell him it’s his father’s side of the family he gets THAT from.

    WIth the husband’s 60th b’day approaching in January, we have begun to try to agree on where we might want to spend our later years. It gets irritating and I remember I’m 7 years his junior and I don’t have to make any big decisions yet. And the boy goes off to college (please, God) next year.

    Ah, life.

    Please don’t rip out your stitches.

  3. I love Asheville. I will come and visit you there. Especially when the urban insurrection takes place and we have to start traveling around in Mad Max cars.

  4. NC is close. Do it. I’ll ride with Mary.

    Thanks for the giggle this morning. I sent it to everyone I know and they thank you as well.


  5. I, being insufferable, do not find this comedienne funny. Of course, I’m from the school of benign neglect. That, and the fact that I believe children live by example rather than a continual barrage of instructions. Many mothers (not you and your fine readers, of course) need to stop the insanity of multitasking, hovering, correcting and preventing their children’s mistakes, and putting their precious lambs’ whims before the needs and desires of their beloved husband/lovers.

    I love you and wish your itchy feet would walk even farther west. The PNW fall weather is grand tonight, complete with a blue moon to adorn a certain high school football game. Our Malcolm is an honorary captain tonight and we are very proud of his accomplishments, of which we have played only a tiny part.

    No yoga? Just shoot me!


  6. HE’S ALIVE!!!

    I lucked out (in oh, so many ways) and after the deed is done (if you’re not doing anything Jan 5, 2008…. ) and spring arrives, late as it is in the mountains, I have several gardens to tend to. Look at the pic here:

    gardens just about 25 yards to the right of the pond. MBS wants a geodesic dome for a greenhouse (which we’ll need at over 7,000 feet).

    Get those fingernails dirty!

  7. “this video is no longer available”.

    That’s what I get for showing up late to the party.

    North Carolina is beautiful.

  8. Dang–no video? I would love a get away place. It could be in the mountains, although I would prefer the beach. I love being at the beach, even the cold WA ones.

  9. NC? You’re really thinking about buying in NC? Hooray! I am not THAT far from Asheville, you know.
    Keep us posted on your progress.

    Abby is much like my daughter, whose “downtime” is about 5 mins in the shower.

    Love the video – saw it before and thought how true it is and how funny she is.

  10. Oh, how I wish I had known the insufferable Bonnie back in the days when my children were young.

  11. The video disappeared all on it’s own (and not because that insufferable Spartan-probably even more so today- had anything to say about it). Perhaps the original post to YouTube was without permission. In any case, there were many times I lapsed into benign neglect and I’m still not certain which was more helpful to them in their upbringing, the steady drumbeat of shoulds and shouldn’ts or the snores of an overtired single mom. I think single mom’s tend to ramp up the parenting a bit, just to cover all the bases.
    In any case, Michigan won, Michigan State lost and that’s all that really counts.

  12. May I borrow a match?

  13. Yes, WNC has your name written all over it! Just come visit, kay?

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