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.