As I mentioned before, I have been remiss in the posting of entries because I have been moving. Not only moving, but also trying to secure refinancing to renovate my old house before selling or renting it. Not to mention a whole bunch of other stuff.
Yay! So much fun!!
Okay, not really.
But, I would say about 90% of the items from my old place has been moved into the new one. Since we didn’t need to sell my house to buy our current abode, we have been able to transition gradually, but when I say US I mean mainly ME because I’m the one with the flexible schedule. John has been great as in transporting all the big furniture and getting things over to the dump and also securing the contractor to fix the house. If I had to do that as well, I think all the details would have bowled me over and driven me completely crazy. To be honest, I feel like that right now, even without the extra responsibilities. Like this:
I have been moving all the little stuff, like books, clothes, kitchen utensils, pictures, shoes, office and office supplies, etc. etc. to the point that my lower back now hates me and I want to weep every time I traipse back to Baltimore to pack more belongings, five to six bags and boxes at a time.
However, things have calmed down somewhat recently to the point that I’ve been exploring my new Ellicott City/Woodstock neighborhood a bit and observing all the “wildlife” and nature around me, trying to identify birds and trees and plants. I am pretty ignorant of such things, having always lived mainly in urban areas except for my time in boarding school. When I was there, I loved the large expanse of trees and farmland and being able to gaze out on acres and acres of stone houses and barns and romping around in fields and dreaming of one day potentially living in a lighthouse. I felt as if I could finally breathe and that I was free.
So I am growing to like the area around me. Even though our new place isn’t out on a whatever-acre plot and is in a townhouse community, the areas around us are open and you can see the sunlight through the leaves of the surrounding trees as they slightly undulate in the wind. It’s nice and I’m starting to kind of like it.
However, I am feeling the impact of the differences between Baltimore City and Howard County suburbia. As in, strangers here smile and wave at you. For no reason at all. Suddenly, I feel like I’m a New York City native that has been transported to, say, Milwaukee or Minneapolis where people are polite to the point that I give them the side-eye and consider them suspiciously and wonder what they want from me.
And everything is…perfect in our community. Grass is cut and trimmed, sidewalks and streets clean with no weeds growing out of the cracks between the pavers, no dog poop and scary mutant rats, no crowds of twenty-somethings rollicking by right after last-call from the local bars.
Also, we live right by a golf course. This is a view from one of our windows:
So when I’m home, either puttering around or working, I see – ALL DAY – a bunch of golf carts driven by passengers with immaculate collared shirts and khakis chatting about who knows what. They trot onto the hole and stretch and line up their shots and then slap each other on the backs and guffaw while enjoying the high life.
Okay, they’re not all like that. But that’s what I envision in my mind whenever I see them. And, guess what? I’m living amongst them! This boggles my mind, that I caved in or sold out and that I’m now an actual suburbanite with tee times and contemplating whether or not to belong to the local country club.
Don’t get me wrong, my family actually did all those things when I was growing up (not the suburbia part, but all the rest, including high tea with scones and formal functions for which I had to wear velvet dresses during winter and cotton ones with lace during summer, which I hated), but I fought to get away from it all so now it’s rather unsettling that I’m back in the midst of it.
But I’m not a kid anymore, nor a teen or even a young adult so I have been contemplating a lot of philosophical questions, such as perhaps it’s time for me to let go of a lot of my phobias and prejudices. I tend to hold tight onto things, for a lot longer than I need to; I am nostalgic and stubborn to the point that sometimes I get in my own way. Sometimes I throw up my own barriers. And I think this is one of those times as I have been enjoying my new life, my home, the surrounding trees and flowers, and (sometimes) the oddly cheerfulness of our neighbors.