Saturday, June 1, 2013

Settling Down

Five years ago today I was looking for a place to live.  The house I’d lived in in Coral Gables — a nice little place on a side street with nice neighbors and seven miles from my office — was in foreclosure because the guy who bought the place from my original landlord never bothered to pay the mortgage.

With the help of my good friend Margaret, a realtor and a whiz at finding the right place for the right people, we found this house.  It’s much bigger than the old place, and it’s in a very nice, quiet neighborhood.  Out back is a waterway, part of the water management system here in south Florida, so I can say with some truthfulness that I have waterfront property in Florida.  It gets recreational use by canoers, kayakers, and people out for a quiet day of fishing or boating.  It’s ten miles further to the office than the old place, but I’d rather have the quality of life I have here, and the drive can be pleasant, especially in winter when the cool breeze and side streets invite a top-down drive home.

1. Front

This is what the place looked like on Sunday, June 1, 2008 when we pulled up.  I’d looked at a number of different places, but when I saw this one, I just knew it was the place.  That afternoon I signed the lease — being assured that the place was not in foreclosure — and the following Thursday I moved in.  Here I am, five years later.  The place looks pretty much the same except the bushes in the front have grown up — and been trimmed back.

By my count, I’ve lived at nineteen different addresses since I moved out of my parents’ place on the way to college in 1971… not including a couple of times where I boomeranged back to live with them.  At times I lived in several places even if I only lived in the town for a short time, like when I was in Minneapolis for grad school from 1975 to 1977.  The place where I did the most roaming was Colorado where I had five different domiciles between September 1982 and October 1990, and that’s not including the summers at camp where I shared a cabin with kids and ravenous mice.

This place is the longest I’ve stayed put since I was a kid, and certainly the longest I’ve been in a place of my own.  It took a while for me to settle in: I waited until November 2008 before I got around to hanging all the pictures — with the counsel and guidance of my parents over Thanksgiving — and it took a full three years to unpack all the boxes of books and get the guest room set up.

I like it here.  I like having a nice yard and patio, I like having the visits from the ibises and even the noisy peacocks, and I like the fact that I don’t have to think about finding another place to live.  Settling down is a comfort.

One bark on “Settling Down

  1. I too live in the sub-tropics and I get a lot of exotic birds here at the house. However, while I was reading your column, I got a knock at the front door from…get this the JEHOVAS WITNESS. They were not welcome here and I told them never to come back. I will probably have 4 flats on the Dodge in the morning.

Comments are closed.