speeding up? treading water?

I have much to write about (a rare occurrence) but little time (my constant refrain). I also continue to feel conflicted regarding how much to disclose on this blog as I have no idea who may be reading it. This makes it tough to be completely open about many aspects of our lives, and without such openness, I frankly don’t know whether it makes much sense to maintain this blog. I do keep coming back to this space, though, and it is on my mind much more often than the few times a year that I actually get to sit down and write, so perhaps there is some reason to keep it going after all, even if I don’t yet know what it is.

These days I have the odd feeling that our life is stuck in an endless loop while at the same time hurtling along at breakneck speed. On the one hand, P. is still struggling with his health and going through another rough spot right now. He has tried yet another treatment, seemingly without success. (The course of treatment is not over yet and we might still see some results but I doubt it.) He has upped one of his long-time meds from a fairly low dose all the way to the maximum, also apparently without much of an impact. All of this makes for some really tough days for both of us, and for recurring episodes of deep sadness and even despair. Thank God for my caregiver group, for my job, which I find challenging to keep up with but which helps keep me sane, somewhat organized, and connected to a larger world, and for small joys like our dog (all 10 lbs of her), emerging flowers, and the springtime hills that look like they are draped in green velvet.

On the other hand, there is some very exciting movement. After a long break in our house search, a property has come on the market that we are really interested in, more so than any other property that we have ever looked at that fits our budget. (There was a house that seemed nearly perfect, much more so than this one, that we viewed last June, but that was back when we thought my parents might be able to help with the purchase. Now that this is not an option, we’ve had to lower our price range pretty significantly.) There are a lot of things we like about this house. There are also a lot of things that we are concerned about. A home inspection can help address some of these concerns, but there are others, and we need to figure out whether we can live with them, and how.

Perhaps the most important concern, aside from those that the inspection would clarify, is that the only kind of internet connection available at this location is satellite. This is apparently expensive, unreliable, and slow, and comes with a limited monthly data allowance; once this is used up, you still have internet, but it is even slower. It is unlikely that this kind of internet connection will allow me to continue working from home. Plus, we worry that the lack of internet, combined with the lack of cell phone reception, will make the house a lot less attractive to prospective tenants – and we need those tenants to be able to afford our mortgage. We’d need to get a roommate for the master bedroom, which is more spacious and has its own private entrance, as well as for the standalone bunkhouse – once we got it hooked up to water and septic, that is (and that’s a whole ‘nother story). We don’t use smartphones, but nearly everyone does these days, so not having either internet or cell service would be a huge disadvantage for a typical renter. As I joked in an email to a friend last night, perhaps we could advertise the place as a writer’s retreat or a perfect spot for meditation! Seriously, though, paying a mortgage that is nearly twice our current rent, plus paying at least a couple hundred dollars more than we currently do each month for internet, landline, and utilities would be a huge strain that we could pull off, but just barely. So, yes, roommates/renters would be essential.

As if the house search and buying process was not enough, we are also making plans to leave for most of the summer. I believe I wrote previously, probably last fall, about needing to escape to a cooler climate during the summer months (too lazy to check whether I actually wrote about it; plus I dislike re-reading my own writing).  After considering rentals and realizing they are too expensive, the current plan is to volunteer on a farm (or two) in Alaska. Even though the WWOOF-USA website has a wonderfully built search tool that makes it easy to match up WWOOFers and farmers based on a range of criteria, it is still a time-consuming process, with emails and phone calls now being exchanged almost daily.  Currently it is P.’s turn to talk to one of the farmers, and he is dragging his feet desperately… I understand that phone calls are difficult for him, and that it is hard for him to get into the right mindset to talk to someone, especially a prospective host. However, it was his idea to go to Alaska for the summer in the first place, and his health is the reason we are doing this whole thing, so this phone call really needs to happen. 

And then on top of all this we have a friend and her three-year-old son coming to visit all the way from the East Coast in early June. It will be wonderful to see them; I just hope that we are not in the middle of a move or, worse, between homes, when they arrive. Plus, P. has been talking about wanting to go up to Alaska early and just having our friend stay in our home by herself, which I feel would be awkward and not really fair to her. And, there are minor and not-so-minor repair projects to complete in our current rental; these definitely need to be done before we move, whenever that may be, but ideally we wanted to get them done before leaving for the summer, even if we do come back to this same house in September. Some of these projects need to be completed before our friend comes to visit, like replacing the cracked window pane in the bedroom where she would be staying.

So, a lot to think about and to do… no, make that A LOT to think about and to do. A WHOLE FREAKING LOT. All while P. struggles terribly and I struggle along with him. Wish us luck and patience – A LOT of luck and patience!

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