Friday, July 2, 2010

Road trip afterburn

I found out more about the houses we looked at the other day. Turns out Mike did some work on the older house, he remembered it. In particular, he remembers that the oil tank used to be outdoors by the back door. I now have a theory that the oil smell at the back door is from an oil spill when they moved the tank indoors. There must be oil in the ground there. The real estate agent says that the present owner admitted that she occasionally caught a "whiff" of oil at the back door. This was more than a whiff though, it just about knocked us off our feet.

I told the agent my emotional reaction to the houses we viewed and that I wondered if I should be paying attention to that or not. She said that every client she has ever had knew immediately when "this is it". Every house purchase she says is an emotional decision, not a logical one.

I've talked to a couple of friends about it and they think I should go with the feeling not the logic. Except Lin, who fell for the older house. Later that day she even went back to look at it with her husband. He pointed out a few things we missed on the exterior of the house, a bit of rot on the back porch, no window sills or flashing on the front windows. She doesn't like the house that I liked, she doesn't like its location. I told her maybe she should buy the older house, maybe it is the house for her. She says no. She wants me to buy it.

My fantasy is to find or build a small place in the woods. I guess I would like to build it myself. But the reality is I am 62, and I hate the building code and I have limited funds. And I have a bit of a time crunch. The reality is I can't have it all, I have to choose. Everyone I talk to keeps mentioning my age, You're a woman in her sixties, you need to think about what's best for your age. Part of me feels like that kind of thinking will put you in your grave a whole lot quicker.

I just finished reading The Wayfinders by Wade Davis, the Massey Lectures for 2010. Among other things he describes nomadic peoples and the pressures they face to settle down. Something about modernity does not like a nomad. And part of me is very much a nomad. Besides the cabin in the woods fantasy, I have another fantasy of being homeless, of not being tied down to any one location. Like those RVers who travel endlessly in their motor homes. A very unsustainable life style given the amount of fossil fuel involved, but nevertheless one with a certain appeal to me. I sometimes imagine travelling in a gypsy wagon, perhaps pulled by a couple of horses or mules. What a romantic I am!

I hate having to be practical in my old age, it seems like there is so little time left to live one's dreams, one really ought to just do it before it is too late. But then I think about the practicalities, like, what does one do with all one's stuff? Just dump it? Buy an expensive house to store it in and then have no money left to finance the nomadic life? Rent a storage locker? What's the point of having all that stuff if it just sits in a storage locker?


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