"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Time Between



It's still Eastertide--there are 50 days of it--so technically I haven't missed out doing an Easter blog.

The woeful lack of blogging resulted from some rather intense activity associated with my primary project. I perhaps have mentioned that the Chap and I intend to move away from our beloved Lodge and take up residence in the Capital City. There are logistical reasons--proximity to his office and the locations of our volunteer activities--and a desire to be nearer friends and services. For 19 happy years we've lived out our dream of rural living beside our little lake. And though we love this house and our 21 acres of woods and the wildlife and birds so often featured here, we've had an increasing sense that our days in this environment are numbered.

I began the serious house-hunting 11 months ago, searched throughout the summer and autumn and all this winter. Overall, I wandered through 22 houses (that's my best count.) My doubt about finding anything suitable increased with every showing. Last October we found a house that seemed just about right--not ideal, but a good location and the size limitations were fixable. It was de-listed at the start of the year, then popped up again around my birthday. So we looked again. Despairing of finding anything better, we even made an offer. Price negotiations stalled.

Disappointed but determined, I suggested to the Chap that we look at the in-town house whose online listing had caught our attention. A week ago today we saw it. We had a curious sense of recognition, despite the fact that it's bigger than we wanted, offers multi-level living instead of the single storey we had decided upon, it's in a part of town we hadn't even considered but turned out to be ideal--he could walk to his office on nice days. It is partly historic and partly contemporary. It has perennial beds and shrubs, a mostly fenced-in yard that can easily be fully fenced to contain the dogs. And there's a stand of trees directly across the road as an antidote to culture shock.

We could see ourselves there. Our realtor could see us there.

We thought and we talked and on Sunday after church we visited the house again. I had begun to think of it as the "sunshine house" because each time we saw it the sun was streaming through the windows and skylights. This time we measured and we looked in closets and cupboards and made a meticulous assessment. Within an hour of leaving the place we made a purchase offer. The following day a price was agreed. The closing date is determined and the requisite home inspection is scheduled.

As ice goes out completely on the little lake--any minute now--I will record the event in my nature diary for the last time. I will remain here long enough to mark the return of the phoebes and orioles and hummingbirds and goldfinches (the robins have arrived already), and I shall witness the flowering of bulbs and even my roses before our ties to this property are severed. I veer between exultation and sadness when I think about what lies ahead. It will be a long goodbye to Lodge living.

And that's all right. Now that I know where I'm going, I don't need to rush being gone.


Carol Warham said...

Good luck with the move. It was a difficult decision to make I'm sure. I look forward to hearing all about your new home, having enjoyed hearing about the Lodge for so long.

Margaret Porter said...

Thanks, Carol. There will be much to write about the new location...and as ever, the Big Lake!

Thomas Hogglestock said...

I am glad you have the excitement of a new place to soften the disappointment of leaving the old one. Your descriptions and your geographical location have a May Sarton vibe. Makes me want to move to New England, plant bulbs, and sit at my typewriter all winter waiting for things to pop up in the spring. Of course I can do without her clinical depression...

Mary Reed McCall said...

I empathize with the sense of excitment and sadness mixed together, in undertaking this move for you. We are considering a move as well, for reasons related to children's education, and I think I would find leaving my flowers (roses, iris, giant alium, astilbes, peonies etc) that were all replants from my parents' home to be the most difficult thing about such a transition. Good luck to you in your new location. It sounds lovely!

Margaret Porter said...

Thanks, Mary! So nice to hear from you.
Yesterday I dug up 5 of my most treasured roses, one was rooted for me by my mother, and potted them up in preparation for the transfer. I shall probably take two other and will be dividing some perennials to take along, too. Roses are generally tough and not terribly deep rooted, so I recommend your trying to move them with you. Iris and astilbes can go, too! I hear peonies don't like being shifted, but you could try--if they endured it once, they might again.
I recognise that life has phases, and the close of one phase simply means the opening of another.
The hardest thing at the moment is accepting that I'm probably stuck in a non-writing phase till life is a bit more settled! But I might just have the brain space to convert another backlist title to digital....