The ceaseless moan of an excavator grinds through my house this morning as the foundation for a new house is going in catty-corner to my lot. I knew this day would come, when the lots behind me would finally fill with new houses, but it brings me no joy. I have lived in my house six years now, and due to the economic crash in the housing market I have had the luxury of pretending my tiny lot was much bigger. Not only will a new house be thirty feet off my patio, but my view of the horizon and the rising sun and moon will probably soon disappear, also.
I had naively hoped that this day might wait until spring and the end of winter, but my eyes and ears tell me otherwise. Although it’s been obnoxiously cold, I suspect the ground does not freeze quite as hard and as deeply as it might in more humid climes. That is the secret of living in the “front range” of Colorado.
The wind blows, the snow falls, but often it’s in the forties or fifties for days at a time. The sun, due to the altitude, is intense and warm even in January. Snow doesn’t move in in December and stay until March as it used to in New York. In upstate New York, Buffalo to be exact, it starts snowing in September and sometimes packs it in until May.
That means in Colorado that the actual number of days of a big snow storm moving in, and its last traces of passing finally melting, is quite short. Maybe a week or two. Thus the arrival of the big machines. The changes this may bring for me occur on many levels, some of them good.
I am not, however, one who welcomes change. I think perhaps the Universe is telling me my days of sanctuary and hiding in the peace of my three bedroom three bath ranch are ending. Simple decisions and choices begin with this actual space. Longer term choices mean I may have to find another home. Most important of all is the realization that in order to move I’ve got to move out into the world, too. I’ve put this off long enough, my heart tells me.
I can move my healing room downstairs into the big, sunny bedroom that sits vacant since my daughter moved out. It’s quiet down there, away from the groan of the machines and then the sounds of hammering and voices of new residents. Maybe my son or daughter could use the furniture if I don’t move it into the unfinished basement. I can at last move my easel and paints upstairs into a sunny room instead of listening to the roar of the furnace blower as it heats or cools as I try to paint by the basement window. I already have my laptop on my dining room table. Since I live alone already there is no one but my little dog to disturb me, except for the noise. The light is a good trade-off, but only sometimes.
So what am I to do? I haven’t sold my house before this because I bought my house five minutes before the housing market crashed. I might get close to what I paid for my sweet home, now, but there is a mortgage to pay off, and realtor and moving expenses. Could I find a house as nice as the one I live in now? Where is it I might want to live? Do I really need so much square footage? Is my world so small I couldn’t move ten or twenty miles away and keep my circle of friends, clients, and activities?
I’ve lived in exactly three houses in the twenty years Colorado has been home. Colorado is a huge state, but home has always been in a tiny dimension of it, despite three moves. My children are nearby. I have gone kicking and screaming into being an empty nester. Is it possible for me, for Mom, to move away? I don’t actually see my children that often, but it is reassuring to my heart and soul to know they are close. How far would I like to go?
I have a crazy idea brewing. I never went on a cross-country trip the way so many of my friends and contemporaries did when they finished college. Except for two very long and very far away trips decades apart, I’ve hardly moved around at all. I come from a gene pool that basically made it across the Atlantic, kissed the ground they landed on, and stayed put ever since.
What if I bought a small RV, something I could live in, and traveled around for a few months, or a year? Could I do that? Could I really just take my little dog and go anywhere? I’m no spring chicken anymore. Could I find someone to go with me? Would I want someone to go with me? I’ve spent six years alone now. I like who I have become.
I could go to an RV park and hang a sign outside my door, “Reiki sessions today,” it might say. Or “Drumming Circle at 5:00p.m.” Do I truly have the blood of an adventurer in my sphere of possibilities? Dare I find out?
I sit secure in my very own home and dream. All because a noisy machine showed up and started digging a big hole in the ground. Its brother machine, a bulldozer, is busy moving the newly dug earth into a big pile directly behind my fence.
Annoyance or gift?
Judging by the places my mind goes, I might have to say, “gift.”
There is a saying, “Bring the body and the mind will follow.” In my case it might be simpler than that. Move the stuff out of one room and into another. Sell or give away the things I don’t use. Let go of all the things I hold in my garage for others. Reassess.
Tomorrow is a new day.
My final words to myself? Get busy!