February 1, 2014

New Year, New Home

Well, the 2013 holiday season (post-Thanksgiving) came and went, and while I'd started a Christmas Day post, I only got as far as the first word..."I".  Now, more than a month later, and after several interrupted attempts in January, I'm finally back to give it another go on February 1, so belated Happy New Year (plus 31 days)!

To be fair, I had something of a legitimate excuse for my absence -- I moved.  Again.  Seems like it is something I've done several times during the past few years - actually I have moved twice since 2010 - so while I've learned never to say "never" and certainly nothing is forever (sigh), this move was a deliberate one to a very neat place that I looked long and hard to find. 

The latest move was driven, in part, by my changing job situation and location, so once the job location was settled, I set about to find a place that would meet my fairly short but very firm list of needs.  The past few years have been ones of some compromise involving the location of my residence, and being the "mom" of several beloved if somewhat aged felines that have been with me since the day their little furry selves were born at my former farm in the country, they were the number one non-negotiable.  Where I go, they go.

Fortunately, after several months of scouring the market (which, fortunately, is something I also do as part of my job, so fairly easy to manage), I found the perfect place.  Another requirement was that it be very near my workplace.  That's not something that was important to me in the past, when I actually preferred to be in the country and just far enough from the office (25 miles) that it wasn't too nearby, but was easy to get to via the nearby interstate highway network.

But times change, preferences change, and I've reached a point where, even though I've always loved driving and travel, my days of commuting more than a few minutes are done.  Gas is no longer as cheap as it was back when I had that easy, 30-minute commute, so the goal at this point was to find a place that met my needs in a pleasant location that was convenient to work and to all the other amenities I need regularly (grocery, bank, cleaners, gas station, and a little discretionary shopping and dining).  In other words, a place in suburbia.  Hard to believe, since I abhorred that notion of suburban living for at least 30 years, but age and life have a funny way of reminding you that it's time to adjust the residential priorities. So I did.

Now I'm five minutes from my office and the aforementioned amenities are even closer...yet just enough removed from my home that they're not "in my face" - just a short ride away.  I truly never believed I'd say this, being the city-born girl who is a country girl at heart, but love it!  Sure, I miss the rural landscape right outside my door, but it's only a 15 to 20 minute ride away, so not far at all.  All I really need at this point is a private little patch of grass, some trees, a few pots of flowers, my bird feeder and the ability to watch the neighborhood squirrels figure out where to find nuts, berries and my bird seed.  It's okay...I'm happy to share with all of Mother Nature's creatures, and they provide endless hours of entertainment for the kitties on the other side of the sliding glass door. No, I don't see wild turkey or deer out my kitchen window any longer - sigh - but when I do see them in my travels in the country, I appreciate them even more.

I only arrived at my new suburban abode on New Year's Day, so I have only just begun to get settled, and it will take a while before I have a sense of the rhythm of this place, but I'll be back as often as I can to share the latest evolution here at the abode as I gradually transform this plain box it into what I hope will be home for me and the kitties more than just a few years.  We'll see how it goes!