Each time I transition between our home and mom’s Island home, I think about the overall pros and cons of each place…
- Insulated from the day-to-day of mom’s ups and downs.
- Supreme focus on tasks.
- Pastoral beauty.
- Close community, including incredible neighbors, and friends from almost 40 years ago.
- Built-in exercise. There is not a day I don’t walk over 10,000 steps simply due to the nature of 10 acres.
- The nostalgia of being surrounded by the artifacts (that’s what they mostly are now) of my parents’ life. Working on honoring what these things represent to me and others, while I make choices (almost done) about what will go to my mom’s apartment.
- Only me to take care of (Hmmm, need to do better at that 😳).
- Island Time.
- Husband, children and grandchild!
- Predictable systems.
- Limited project(s) scope, though at times our project load can feel endless.
- Easy access to everything one can possibly need, for anything, at anytime.
- Super comfortable bed.
- Easy to heat.
- The meditative and peaceful nature of my garden and caring for it. Same goes for my studio, and its inspiring collection of art supplies and fabric.
- Making music with friends.
- Getting there… One is beholden to the every-changing, and seldom convenient, ferry schedule.
- Unpredictable, and bemusing systems.
- Where exactly is the septic tank?
- Why have all the lights in the dark room suddenly stopped working?
- Why does the oil stove sometimes work, and sometimes just make soot?
- 10 acres of grass and nothing to cut it will. Or better said, still depending on the incredible generosity of a neighbor who’s mowing it for no charge.
- All the stuff. My mother once groused to me that my dad had better get busy and get rid of shit ‘cause she didn’t want to have the ‘widow’s garage sale.’ While she and the Amazing Neighbor moved a lot of stuff out, there are still hundreds of thousands of things, maybe millions, when you start looking at every nail and screw. And mom doesn’t have to deal with it. I do.
- The winter water table makes the place a muddy swamp. Some mitigation will take place this summer in the form of a trench to guide the artesian spring runoff. Maybe even a smaller prototype of the acre-ish sized pond to be.
- Planned power outages. At least the power company tells you when.
- Same with internet, tho rarely
- The 20-ish years of deferred maintenance.
- Island Time.
- The need to integrate with the rest of the world, if I’m going to play well with others.
- Reentry burn when coming back form the Island. I feel like a four year-old who needs transition time, and then a nap when I return. That’s more about me than our home.
- Getting wrapped up in the ‘micro’ of life, whereas on the Island, everything is ‘marco.’ Macro is better.
- Being surrounding by unfinished personal projects I don’t prioritize due to momagement, and then feeling crappy about not finishing things that are suppose to bring me happiness in the act of doing. Yes, I know what to do about this challenge.