Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Change of Scenery

We always bring along whatever emotional baggage we have to our new homes, but a lessening of stress allows us to open up that baggage and possibly start to remove of a few of the lesser appreciated items like low self-esteem, and lack of parental love. I don’t know why I keep hanging on to those with every move. It’s tough enough moving a couple of thousand books, but bringing along all of my sacks of woe makes for an even more difficult move. Like a starving refugee on the run, I need to learn to drop my belongings by the roadside and not look back. That being said, I moved about twenty boxes of books over the weekend.

Humans love to measure everything, and forget that every measurement is influenced by the one doing the measuring. Much of life is immeasurable, besides being subjective. Love. Pain. Stress. How do we measure stress? I can’t even manage it never mind measure it. I have lived here on 15th Ave NE for five years and the stress I endured here, will be noticeable by its absence at our new abode. Here the bus stop is across the street. Every full moon, some drunkard entertains us with songs, barks and other nonsensical shouts. We were always getting alerts about neighborhood break-ins. Our place was broken into once, but I suspect that the would-be burglars heard my stepson Collin downstairs and beat feet, leaving a mess in the kitchen, where they crawled through the window over the kitchen sink.

The first time I drastically changed my surroundings I was seventeen. I ran away and joined the air force. After six weeks of basic training in San Antonio, Texas, and six months of technical training in Rantoul, Illinois, I then spent four years in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I can tell you, I was ready for a change of surroundings after that stint in the winter wasteland. At the time I yearned to go west, where I had friends in Oregon. I had made a trip out there on leave, and I wanted to go back. Instead, I returned home with my proverbial tail between my legs. After living with mom and dad for a few years, I got married to my first wife, Betty Lou. She and I changed living spaces a few times, once moving in with her alcoholic parents, and once living above a sexually perverted priest.

After a few years of marriage, and the stress and strain of living with and near parents and in-laws, my first wife and I decided to move west. We were unsure whether we’d end up in Oregon or Washington, but our ultimate goal was Alaska. I still haven’t been to Alaska. I hope my first wife has made it up there, fulfilling half our dream anyway. I met the woman, who would be my second wife, and mother to our son Justin in Seattle. After being together for a while, we decided it might be better to move back to the east coast and closer to our families. We first landed in Maine, and then settled in the Berkshires of Massachusetts for about five years. It didn’t take us long to realize that our move was misguided and we returned to Seattle, which we now considered home.

Seattle is still better suited to me than my childhood environs, but it’s changing and not for the better. I’m still very happy to be back in the land of evergreens and smoking greens. Rain is plentiful; marijuana is legal; and there are still a few independent theaters and bookstores left, including the one where I’m employed. I was never meant for the cut-throat, rush-rush pace of the east coast. I was never meant for city life, but Seattle was my compromise. A city with quaint neighborhoods and just a stoner’s throw from mountains and the ocean. I now know that I will always feel at home on the left coast.

Location. Location. Location.

The house we found to rent is a brick house. It’s well put together, everybody knows. It’s mighty, mighty and it’s in a much quieter neighborhood, with lots of dogs and their walkers. The firewood is stacked and that’s a fact. It’s surrounded by evergreens, which provides some natural privacy, and the yard is fenced, so we’ve already started to shop for a family dog. Location is not everything, but having some quiet space to let my thoughts roam is vital, and I expect I’ll be able to transform the garage into some semblance of an office/man cave/getaway. My walk to work might be a tad longer, but longer walks means a longer life.

Lip sych much?

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