Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reflecting on Who I Am

I am grappling with my new life and all its components. Yesterday I had a meeting in my old neighborhood and afterward I tried to locate new owners of our house because they got some of our mail (because, of course, the P.O. can't seem to forward it all). I didn't find the owners but it was weird ringing my old door bell, standing on the porch and checking out whether wasps had rebuilt the nest we'd eliminated right before we sold it. Then I made the trip downtown from the old house which I've made so often this summer. True, it's not that different from the trip from my in-laws house a few blocks away to our new abode. I made that trip the day before because I had to do something for my mother-in-law. We made the trip back and forth so many times, trying to clean out the old house, live in the new one, move stuff.

Today I went to the old house again, got the mail and visited with the new owners in their house. It is odd it not being my house especially with some of our old furniture still there.

I suppose I'm settled in the condo, but sometimes it feels surreal being there. I don't plan to leave downtown until Tuesday. Unless we decide to do something I haven't thought of as yet. That's weird.

Who am I? Where do I live?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stopping to Reflect

Time for reflection has been largely missing until the last week or so, but finally there has been time to slowly and calmly ponder things. I've even had time to go through a few old photos and receipts and try (and fail) to catch up on my newspaper reading. I've been nervous the last two days while lighting was installed. That's almost done, though, and the condo is peaceful and calm. Over my shoulder, FFP is typing either a column or an e-mail and making a phone call. My desk is neat as a pin. I've done my daily checking of financial stuff. I have a couple of hours before a dinner date and can read or watch TV. Or, you know, blog.

There has been much going on in the world while we worried our little corner of it. The Olympics and that little dust-up between Russia and Georgia. Now the U.S. Open of Tennis and the Democratic Convention. I've satisfied myself with random bits of the programming, mostly consumed off the DVR. I'd be trying to clean up something or follow a workman around or fret over where I'd hidden something and I'd walk by the TV and see a bit of synchronized swimming or whatever, watch and marvel and go on. They repeated Michael Phelps' feats (and that of his relay teammates) endlessly so you couldn't miss those. I'm going to keep up with the U.S. Open similarly. I caught a few shots today between the times the electricians cut off power to the living room.

It's feeling comfortable here (although I really wish my comfy office chair would come in). I have stuff to catch up on that I've let go while trying to move out, move in, fix up, change address, etc. A teeth cleaning, a car maintenance and a haircut come to mind. Always something more to do. The Austin social season is cooking up also and events are starting to edge onto the calendar from September to May. I'd like to plan some trips.

But, hey, right now I think I'll catch a little tennis and finish reading the Sunday newspaper.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Half Life of Objects

Shot this photo today on West Sixth while taking a long, languorous walk with FFP, my friend Suru and her dog. This store had some interesting objects like this alphabet doll. Some objects d'art and 'stuff' and books made the trip downtown with us, some things we left behind or gave away. Interestingly, my friend SuRu captured a few things from the house that we were leaving behind but which met the aesthetic of her place one floor up. It's neat to see those things working up there that we would have otherwise abandoned.

We think the things we brought, the things we are adding in from shops and the things we plan to acquire will look good. It's amazing to think of all you own, have owned, will own. I once tried to make a list of things I owned. I reviewed this recently, thinking about where that particular list of stuff went. Now that I've reduced a lot of the stuff, I'm taking the time to go back through and sort it and organize it. I'm sure that I've totally forgotten some things or where they went.

It's OK, though. Stuff comes, stuff goes. We come along and then we, too, are gone, taking some of the meaning from our collected stuff.

Perhaps I often sound too materialistic here. But, really, all this angst about possessions is my attempt to rob them of their power. Really.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Big Sigh

I should be relieved. I'm out of the house. Of course, I still don't have the lights, shades or TVs I ordered and the glass desk for the office still hasn't been delivered and I don't have the chair I ordered for the office. (Forrest and I contend for the one we managed to get while we wait for it.) But I should be relieved. Somehow, though, I felt happier and less dislocated when we were camping, living in the living room, sleeping on the foldout bed and eating off a card table, sharing a laptop and with a lot of our stuff hostage in a house we weren't living in. Really, honestly, this is nice. Just enough stuff. Well within reach. When we have the new lights and all and that office chair, it will be, if not perfect, really nice. Why the let down? Just the usual 'after crisis' let down, I guess.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Well, That's That, Isn't It?

There I am, snapping a shop window on Second as if I live in the neighborhood. Of course, I've lived here, more or less, since June 2. But now I don't have another home to go to for showers, TV, the occasional sleep and sorting, sifting, tossing, cleaning, tossing, freting. Most of the 'stuff' that survived is tucked into this place, the 43 square foot storage unit in the parking garage or at our parents' houses. And a lot of it still needs a bit of sifting. And organizing. We haven't completely lost anything (that I know of) except for a remote to a DVD/VCR that I bet shows up if I go through everything. Which I will. One day. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to get this place finished with all the lights, AV and shades we want installed. And buy a few more things (or get them delivered). And then WHAT? You tell me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I snapped this reflection of my outline against a mural being painted in a space that I guess is going to be a design studio last night. After a hard day of moving, we were walking to have a good meal and a glass of wine. We are exhausted with the effort to move every last thing we want to keep from the big house by Thursday night. The new owners say we can take our time, but things work out better in a sale if you make a clean break of it. We are now working our way through rooms, only leaving things we are giving to the new owners, tools that we are using (tape, scissors, packing, boxes, bags, etc.) and things we need to give special attention to. I am feeling more like the black outline of myself than the colorful swirl of the mural. But that will change. Soon I'll have one home and although I'll be surrounded by boxes of books and artifacts that haven't found a place, they will be books I love, books that survived sifting and sorting up to ten times to make the move and artifacts that escaped, over and over, a trip to a charity sale. All will be well. But must survive the week.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I Wish I Had TIme to Tell You

I wish I had time to tell you all the feelings of this move. I wanted to vacate the house by the end of August. The buyer wanted in two weeks earlier. Well, who are we to quibble? We would have probably left a number of things to the last minute in any case. That's why they call it the last minute.

We have started to give away very nice things that we bought for the house or people gave us. Some have a different aesthetic than our new place. Some won't fit. The charities are starting to get something besides moldy books and slightly worn and out-of-date clothes. Actually we've been giving away pretty good stuff all along, but you wouldn't believe the stuff we are giving away or leaving behind for the new owners now that our feet are to the fire, the guns to our heads and all those clich├ęs that sound odd in the plural.

When it's over maybe I'll have more words. And pictures.