Monday, May 10, 2010

Itching In Transit

That It Moves - Greg Laswell (mp3)
Patricia's Moving Picture - The Go! Team (mp3)

My wife and I agreed, in principal, that we would eventually move into a house with my mother. The first iteration of this discussion occurred about the same time both her grandmother and my father fell seriously ill. Neither would die for several years, but early on in their sicknesses, we agreed that we wanted to be there to take care of my mother when the time came.

There's this saying I find kind of annoying that goes, "We plan; God laughs."

Yeah, I get the saying, but I don't particularly cotton to it. Should we not plan? Should we not have expectation? If I truly obeyed my WWJD bracelet, I wouldn't have a job or a 401k. I probably wouldn't have a family, although that one can be debated. And I sure as shit wouldn't have needed four days to move our household possessions from one location to another.

Much like other major decisions in our lives -- marriage, job change, kids -- we've been pretty lucky in the draw. We wanted two kids close together, and got 'em. We wanted to live and work near at least one of our families, and got it. We both wanted to work in educational settings, and got it.

This plan to move in with my mother seems like another of those fortuitous moments when things work out almost better than we'd hoped. Our new home sits on two acres in a modest middle-class neighborhood. It's two floors and over 5,000 square feet, but it's hidden down in this gulch, and no one would ever think it was so big just casually driving by us. It even has this cool little (unfinished) cottage adjacent to us that will, for the time being, serve as an escape play room for the kids. It will probably inherit my sister's ping pong table. Eventually it could become, like, the penultimate place to host a poker game or a Super Bowl party. But that's many years and a good $10k away.

Mom has the entire bottom floor to herself. Twelve-foot ceilings. A lower-level deck (or back porch?). Two ginormous bedrooms and a two-car garage and a great room big enough to host an entire small-town Baptist revival. (I'm just going through all this description since many of y'all prolly won't get a chance to visit anytime soon...)

Our top floor ain't shabby, either. 4BR 3BA 2CGarage, and all the modern accouterments a foreclosed-before-completed property can provide.

Eventually, I'm sure I'll be happy with this move, with this house, with our long-awaited decision. But right now, here's the things occupying the most space in my mind:

(1) The amount of shit we packed and moved that, in all likelihood, we'll allow to sit and rot in our garage, never once wondering where _(insert whatever)_ is or where we put it.

(2) The degree of my uselessness in matters of home improvement or upkeep. Even if I thought myself capable of installing closets or affixing blinds, I own none of the tools needed to do these things properly, nor do I own the items needed to patch up all my mistakes. Worse, I wouldn't hardly know where to start. A level, maybe? A drill? (But what kind of drill?) You might as well put me in one of those Hurt Locker bomb suits and ask me to dismantle a big one, 'cuz my odds are just as good. Hell, I changed power cords on our dryer, and I was so thrilled you would've thought I just switched out engines on my El Camino.

(3) The MoneyPitoPhobia certainty that more is wrong with this new, never-lived-in house than we could know. Yesterday I closed the door to the garage, and a light fixture in the kitchen slammed into the sink. Upon waking from our first night here, I went to jump in the jet tub ('cuz the shower wasn't yet finished), and enjoyed the coldest friggin' bath I've had since middle school summer camp when my counselor made me drip dry because I wouldn't take a shower without wearing my swim trunks.

Is it my age, or the nature of my generation, or just me? That in a moment when I should really be excited about what we've done, about yet one more plan that worked out like we planned, I'm instead out dancing naked around a fire trying to make it rain?

I figured there was no point in writing anything shy of an extremely self-important, self-involved, narcissistic post after all that hullabaloo from last week.


Jason said...


I can agree with all of those three things that you mentioned. I really lament because I want to be better at #2 but I just have never really put the time in to get better at it.

Bob said...

Re: #1. We've still got a good bit of that stuff from when we moved 18 years ago, including stuff from my wife's move home from law school, still unpacked in various parts of the house.

Daisy said...

The whole subject of home improvement/repair makes me wish in all my years of fancy schooling I'd managed to squeeze in a shop or home economics class. I did recently fix my own toilet (thanks to guidance from the nice man inHome Depot and You Tube) and felt like I'd achieved time travel I was so proud of myself!

Billy said...

Jed & Daisy -- Re #2, it's right there alongside guitar and Spanish as things I keep telling myself I should focus spare time in order to become a better/happier/more complete human being... just as soon as this season of television of cool TV shows is over...

jed said...

Billy, um, i had not replied yet. anyway, you're tops in my book for blogging and moving at the same time.