I feel like I gave short shrift to my local peeps in my previous post. I've gotten to know some wonderful folks thanks to my business, including Caroline, my most loyal customer; my cookie-making buddy Joe; and Sheila, (her husband) Jim, Kurt, and Jack at the rod and gun club. I'm also really going to miss my regular Tuesday-evening yoga class and the amazing group of guys I've become friends with as a result of it.
Tony and I are bummed about the prospect of no longer being able to buy Manny's meats or Metropolitan's seafood. And there'll be no more Market Pizza or Fired Up Flatbread pizza for me or outstanding vegan meals at Sprig & Vine for either of us. *sigh*
I also feel like I should write more about how difficult a decision this move was for me. I've always lived a pretty short driving distance from my family, and my closest friends all live in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania.
A few years after graduating from college, I considered moving to Portland, Oregon, because I'd fallen in love with that city after visiting it for a hiking trip organized by an environmental group. But I was quite frankly afraid to take that step on my own, without knowing a soul there. And that was understandable, especially given I had such wonderful people in my life in the Northeast.
But now I'm an old married guy, and I have to take into account another person's wants and needs. And having Tony by my side has also made me more willing and able to take chances and do things I really want to do. Like starting a frozen dessert business. And moving to a subtropical climate.
It really does seem like the right time to take that leap. The local housing market is in sellers mode. And 50 is looming for both Tony and me. So why TF not?
I feel like I did when I was in Park Slope and needed a change after five years of living in Bob and Jen's building. Moving away from them and their kids—even though it was only to another borough—felt like moving away from my second family. But my desire for change superseded the comfort and happiness I felt there.
Moving back to Delaware Township, where I lived from 2000 to 2002, has maybe also felt like a step backward, at least in time and perhaps in the momentum of life, too, if such a thing exists. As my regular readers may recall, our initial plan when leaving New York was to buy a home in Solebury Township, outside New Hope. We're glad that deal fell through for several reasons: The house was more expensive than our current one, and we would have had a mortgage. The commute into New York would have been much more difficult, because that little extra distance (about 12 miles) between the New Hope and Flemington park-and-ride locations adds at least a half hour—and as much as an hour!—to travel time, depending on how many stops are in between1. As I outlined in this blog post, we didn't trust the sellers of that home as far as we could throw them. And we also had concerns about the quarry that was quite close to the property.
So Tony and I bought our place in the village of Sand Brook, very close to where I had the organic farm and B&B with my ex Steve—and that proximity is no doubt a significant part of what made it feel like a step backward to me.
But we've enjoyed this house and the peace and quiet of this neighborhood. And our wonderful sunroom. And watching the birds that come to our feeders. And opening the sliding door so Missy can chase after squirrels. She's come this close *indicates really, really close with upright hands spaced only a little bit apart, so the palms are almost touching* to catching one a few times, but it's really mostly just exercise for her. Though I also believe she might think of it as her job, because we encourage her to do it.
I really liked being back in the Lambertville–New Hope area at first, and it very quickly felt like home again. But what was comforting and inviting then has become routine. And as I mentioned in the previous post, we're feeling a bit isolated and are tired of having to drive everywhere for everything. Our house has a walk score of 0. A generic location in Wilton Manors has a score of 73. We want to be able to get around largely on foot again and maybe use the car for only two or three longer trips a week.
I strained my back a week ago Friday at the gym and had to miss yoga on Tuesday. I went to my market last Sunday, but I was moving really carefully and, for the first time, was really eager for the two hours to pass so I could go home and rest.
I also felt really tired most late afternoons last week and would take naps lasting an hour or more. I talked to my Dad on Monday, and he said Jean had been really sick with something she'd presumably gotten from him that was more like a flu than the lingering cold he'd thought he was still getting over when he'd visited us. (He had warned me in a text message the day before he came that he'd been sick all week and had asked whether he should still come, and I'd told him of course he should. I didn't want him to miss out on The Everly Brothers Experience.) So I began to wonder if maybe I had a touch of the flu. My temperature was running a little low at times but was never above 98.6.
Accompanying the lethargy was a feeling of sadness. I think I was in a mourning period for this area, this house, this life we've been living. And feeling regret for not accomplishing as much with the house and yard as I'd have liked. There's still more garlic mustard and stiltgrass to beat into submission. And we didn't get to taste our own elderflowers/elderberries, gooseberries, and lingonberries. And we won't have long to enjoy our newly painted walls.
Rich drove down yesterday to help us paint in the basement, and Tony and I did some more work down there today. We're going to have the carpeting replaced, so we haven't bothered with drop cloths. I was initially skeptical of Tony's idea to paint the very-dated-looking paneling a pretty blue and the beams, posts, and walls white, but I think the basement is going to look great—and even larger thanks to the brightness—when we're done.
I've had more energy the past several days, so I think whatever was ailing me has passed.
Tomorrow's projected high and low temperatures in Fort Lauderdale, per AccuWeather, are 82 and 75. ☀️
1Also adding time is the requirement that buses have to use the more-robust Route 202 toll bridge to cross the river rather than going over the free bridge that directly connects Bridge Street in Lambertville to Bridge Street in New Hope.