At breakfast last Sunday, where we covered a wide range of topics in a very noisy place (one of our topics was this modern notion by restaurateurs that noise is cool), I was asked at some point — or maybe it was a statement — about missing my old house. With thought, I have decided I do not, in fact, miss my old house where I lived for 27/28 years.
I am, as I detailed the other day, still having trouble with moving, this feeling of dislocation and frustration that what fit before does not now, but in terms of wishing I was still on Irwin Street, that only crops up in one place, and that is my commute.
Going back to driving everywhere is the one change in my lifestyle I really lament. The disorganization can eventually be fixed, and once I realized that (by writing it out loud to you all), I have been taking tiny steps to help that. Shoes are now neatly aligned in the bottom of my closet, for instance, which is as of yesterday semi-accessible and half-organized.
I still don’t know how to shove more stuff here, even though Lynn has finished putting together four little shelves and my work continues on my bookcase, which remains a pile of planed — and now sanded — lumber. I’ll have to figure out how to sell or give stuff away, although so far my efforts, even at giveaway, have generally failed.
Habitat for Humanity, for instance, never followed up on the offer of free flooring and decking; in fact, their young, idealistic contractor rather spurned the notion that they would want anything not locally and sustainably sourced. Apparently Habitat of the Gunnison Valley is now going to fell its own trees and dig up its own clay, and they (or at least he) don’t want any stinking sustainably harvested hardwood, even if it came from a place like Green Building Supply, whose entire warehouse is exclusively solar-powered. Good luck with that, I guess, and for us there is perhaps the Restore run by Montrose’s Habitat for Humanity.
But in terms of wishing I lived elsewhere, I don’t. Lynn and I chose exactly what we wanted for this house, everything from the layout to the finishes, and while our contractor — interestingly, right after he finished with our project — may have decided that he is going to tell future customers they can choose from A,B or C but no longer A through Z and beyond, Lynn enjoyed the process and I survived it, and we got what we wanted.
Outside of possibly wishing for an additional garage bay now and then, I can’t find anything to be sad about regarding our new house. (Well, electrical issues, which have been sort of quiescent the last week or two.) Other than it’s not particularly walkable to anywhere I want to go, a problem I have not solved my way out of yet.
I did realize yesterday on my way home for lunch that the bike path is now showing a fair amount of pavement, meaning there’s no reason I can’t get back on my bike in the afternoons. Except on the days I’m in a hurry for this, or need to get that, or . . . it’s much, much easier to come up with excuses from here.
This is not aided by the part where biking so far has seemed like a huge effort and not anything fun, riding alongside roaring traffic that I see on a routine basis doing stupid-ass things. Like the moron driver who almost hit me head-on two days ago because she zipped around a slow-moving grader without so much as a thought to oncoming traffic. Did my presence slow her down? Not one whit. Those are the sort of people who really scare me.
I keep saying I would use the walking paths were they ever to be connected to the Van Tuyl trail system, but maybe I say that because so far there’s no danger of that becoming reality. There’s about 200 feet of private property stopping a connectivity from north of us all the way to the Whitewater Park just west of town, and no one with access to this private property has shown any interest in an easement.
Some Day, maybe, this will happen, and then it will be put up or shut up for me. It would be a lovely, peaceful way to get to work, but it would also add significant time and probably another mile to my commute.
But here’s what it would do: it would completely eliminate my longing for my old commute, because that would become part of the new commute. The Van Tuyl trails dump out very near Irwin Street, so after riding along the trails, I could then duplicate my old commute pretty much step for step, or wheel turn for wheel turn. But that isn’t happening anytime soon.
In the meantime, though, while I fondly remember my time on Irwin, and miss seeing several of my neighbors (although not the college boys and not even much the neighbors on the other side, who could be a noisy restaurant all by themselves), I really don’t have any regrets or sadnesses about leaving it behind.
It was a good place to be, but so is this.