Archive for the ‘Counting Blessings’ Category

My House

November 11, 2010

Three months ago the last of my doctors finally turned me loose. Workman’s Comp finally settled on the amount of a schedule award for loss of sight in one eye. So the bulk of the bureaucracies associated with being injured in Iraq have come to a satisfactory conclusion. I’m feeling free and new.

Time to buy a house of my own!

Most people live where they work. I can live anywhere now, without worrying about finding a job to support myself. I intend to work – besides the psychic energy readings that I provide people, I intend to start my own custom funerary urn business. But that work doesn’t dictate where I can live. I’m able to do phone readings and set up a clay studio anywhere I choose.

In the past thirty years I’ve lived many places: Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, eastern Oregon, western Oregon, Wyoming, Florida, Maryland, and Iraq … I’ve camped for a month or more at a time in Arizona and New Mexico, Mississippi and Louisiana. Each of these places has its own unique beauty and spirit of place that tempts me to return. Minnesota has abundant water and a lovely, bucolic landscape. South Dakota has the rugged Badlands, the beautiful canyons of the Black Hills, and wide prairie spaces. Montana will always feel like my heart home, there where the prairie meets the Absarokas and Gallatins, clear rivers and spring creeks tumbling out of the canyons. Eastern Oregon has the best friends on earth. Western Oregon has the quiet serenity of forests and the rich and rocky coasts. Wyoming is a lost land of secret beauties, red dunes and private mountains, immense rocks and the widest skies. Florida has empty sugar sand beaches and lazy rivers; Maryland rolling green hills with stately old stone houses tucked between.

In trying to decide where to live, I went around in circles with the temptations of each. And with the drawbacks of each. Minnesota has epic winters, long and cold, and is perhaps too close to family. South Dakota and Montana have long winters as well, and the real estate prices haven’t dropped as far as they have in some other places. Much as I love my friends in eastern Oregon, the foggy winters are a horror to me. Western Oregon winter clouds make me want to point a gun at my head by February. Florida and Maryland are fatally over-crowded to my western mind. Mississippi and Louisiana are muggy bug breeders.

Figuring out how to assign measurable weights to these positive and negative qualities, as well as other more practical criteria, became a burden to me over the past two years as I worked toward the decision of where to live. I made lists of pros and cons, and spreadsheets with geographical qualities weighted appropriate to my interests and desires. I spent hours on realtor.com and trulia.com and spent afternoons on the phone boring friends with my circular fretting. I added states I’d never lived in, then crossed them back off the list. One week I settled on Rapid City and the next I knew that was simply wrong and I should concentrate on Nebraska or Oklahoma. Two days later I was convinced that I should live in Minnesota. Friends and family hunted houses in their areas of the country, urging me to move near them. I felt like a fine mist scattered across the continent.

If you could live anywhere, where would you choose? How would you choose? How would you weight qualities like weather, arts and cultural outlets, sports, politics, taxes, friends, family, topography, water, and demographics? It took me two years of head spins to begin to sort these things out for myself.

Making matters worse, I’d never owned a house before. As The First House, the decision felt huge and dire. What if I bought a house and six months later hated living in that town or area? I wouldn’t be able to just give 30 days notice to the landlord, pack my truck and move on. This house ownership business would require a leap up in the level of commitment that I was accustomed to taking on. I longed to look into the future offered by each place, then choose knowing I’d chosen safely, wisely and well. Perhaps my spirit, my soul, was doing just that, but none of that information was coming through in meditation, dreams or other forms of communication…

In the end I simply became sick of thinking, of trying to reason my way to an answer. Action felt necessary. I packed my truck and hit the road, hoping that by visiting some of these places I’d either find the perfect house for me, or eliminate some of the choices. Desperately watching for signs from my higher self or the All That Is, I nervously tiptoed around the country trying to feel my way to a decision, catching many eddies and hiking up quite a few side canyons. 

 It took two months and over 8,000 miles of driving, but it worked.

My new home is in Arizona.

I should close on the house before Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t it carry some strange symmetry if I closed on November 24, 2010 … three years, to the day, after being blown up in Iraq.

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Counting My Blessings In No Particular Order – 5

November 5, 2010

 

  1. art deco
  2. felted wool
  3. anticipation
  4. camping on Lake Michigan
  5. The Grand Canyon
  6. Texas Canyon
  7. oreos
  8. bank balances that keep going up
  9. pale green
  10. moonlight
  11. the number 7
  12. narrowboats in England
  13. intricate mosaics
  14. velvety black
  15. matte glazes
  16. fire dancers
  17. huge animal sculptures atop buildings in small towns
  18. finger puppets
  19. pit fires
  20. gentle loveliness

Counting My Blessings In No Particular Order 4

August 13, 2010
  1. Meteor showers
  2. The sound of rain on leaves
  3. A good book
  4. All the Sue’s that I know
  5. Pigs
  6. Tree frogs singing at night
  7. Cobblestone streets
  8. Cathedrals
  9. Bonfires
  10. Singing with friends
  11. Puppies and the word “puppies” which is fun to say
  12. Three year old children
  13. Elegant shapes
  14. Unconscious graceful movements
  15. Small acts of kindness done for strangers
  16. Baseball games
  17. Potato chips! (ruffles!)
  18. iPod
  19. Jack o’lanterns
  20. York, England

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Counting My Blessings In No Particular Order 04

March 6, 2010

(OK, this is really things that I adore – which I consider blessings)

  1. Well worn jeans
  2. Crisp autumn mornings in Minnesota
  3. Well worn steel toe boots
  4. Skating fast on clean ice
  5. Transparent lake ice
  6. Late summer evening sunlight
  7. White button down shirts
  8. The scent of water
  9. Cinnamon
  10. Finely knit angora and cashmere sweaters
  11. The smell of gasoline
  12. Train whistles in the night
  13. Sweeping really dirty floors
  14. Well made hand tools: pliers, screwdrivers, mixing spoons, shovels, saws, pencil sharpeners, wooden baseball bats …
  15. The sound of lake ice cracking with cold
  16. The sweaty scent of a swamp on hot days
  17. Fossils, fossils, fossils
  18. Small stone carvings
  19. Walking barefoot, barefoot, barefoot
  20. String Quartets

Counting My Blessings In No Particular Order … Installment 03

February 10, 2010

 

  1. NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
  2. Blueberry pancakes
  3. Thunderstorms on the prairie
  4. Strangers who are kind in small and valuable ways
  5. Gardens on top of buildings
  6. Ostrich eggs. They’re so big!
  7. Hamburgers on the grill
  8. Central heating!
  9. Mysterious things
  10. Aqua
  11. Fireflies
  12. Foraminifera
  13. Falling stars
  14. Hot sunshine
  15. My aunts
  16. Stone beads
  17. Alizaron crimson
  18. Art
  19. Imagination
  20. Sunrise