I don’t mean the final frontier. I don’t mean between the lines. I don’t mean the area within one’s personal (or as my son calls it- panic -) bubble. I mean the kind of space that happens when you hear news you more or less expected but didn’t. The kind of news the hearing of which so overwhelms you with what must subsequently happen that your mind totally blanks.

My real estate agent called. Two weeks ago the first 3 houses I had liked went under contract minutes before my offer was made. A little over a week ago one of those houses came back on the market and I made an offer, again. Apparently it was timely because a counter offer came back the next day. So my real estate lady and I discussed a counter to their counter and made the offer. Not sure really what I expected, if anything at all but when the phone rang and my real estate lady, in her unflappable, non-aplomb lilting voice said, “They accepted your counter” I probably should have squealed with delight, or skipped through the house, at least pumped a fist in the air. Not a bit of it. All at once the entirety of: packing, movers, address changes, accountant and tax office notifications, inspections, marketing my own home, renting a van to move plants, fragile and important items –and then some– came bursting into my head. I think I mumbled something of a thank you when she told me she’d be forwarding the paperwork for me to sign and then we signed off.

Then I sat, pen in hand with my mind as empty as the pad of paper before me, to make lists. In the last 10-12 years I have moved house 5 times. You’d think this would be old hat. Evidently not. Because each time was for a reason other than my preference– a job, or to be close to home. This move is completely and entirely of my own choosing– the place, the house, the time. I am beside myself with it.

I hope I snap out of this soon. Evidently my close date is the first week of December.

Ecclesiastes 3; Lamentations 4:19-21

Costume or facade

Halloween always fascinates me. Sure, I remember living out fantasies when I was a little girl– being a clown or a cowgirl or Bugs Bunny (do I need to put the (r) after that??). My brother being a cowboy or … well I can’t remember anymore what he went as. It was the excitement of being brave enough to go to the door of a perfect stranger and knock on it, expecting tons of butter fats and sugars which we got. For me it was not so much the candy (though I had a few cavities to prove I enjoyed it), as it was the hiding behind a mask, no one knew it was “that little girl who walks the cute Westie every day after school). My first experience with anonymity I suppose, within the confines of a parent-approved activity. Now I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know absolutely every neighbor, or there is a neighborhood-sanctioned party for the little imps. But my neighborhood is relatively safe. Every year there is a steady parade of costumes to my door. And my neighbors hang ghouls and ghost-shaped sheets from their trees and put up real-looking tombstones. I know that every year there is a contest for the best illuminating Christmas decorations. I guess it’s the same for Halloween. Some yards are very elaborate, like whole cemeteries with a few abandoned souls trying to crawl up out of the ground.

What I don’t get are the dog costumes. For all of you who love these little things I am sure the elastics in those or the snaps or buttons or however they are affixed is such that it is non-binding and the dog can get out if s/he wants to. But really, those dogs in the ninja get-ups or the tutus or the fake devil ears? Some of them look pretty miserable while others actually seem to get a kick out of it. Especially chihuahuas. They look like they are thriving on the attention.

I tried to put a birthday party hat on my Lily last year and she looked like someone put a cone on her head. We skipped it this year when we celebrated our birthdays. I think the not wearing the hats greatly enhanced the taste of our red velvet cream cheese-filled cupcake and ice cream.

Allergies and colds

Every spring and fall, and usually through winter some as well something sprinkles into the air to inflame and inflate my sinuses. Pine pollen, flower dust, dust mites, leaf mold, ragweed… there are any number of culprits. Yet my last visit to an allergist turned up no allergies to anything. No foods, dust, molds, pollens, fungi, or pet danders. So what are these allergies from??

The clearing of the vaguely sore throat, occasional coughs, stuffy nose, Hall’s soothing vitamin c drops (sugarfree) all become part of my normal daily routine. Sometimes even head aches or fever, but those are rare. And if I lose my voice altogether Lily my faithful puppy appendage looks at me turning her head this way or that, trying to figure out whose voice that is coming out of my head.

Even though it sounds like (and sometimes feels like, even with the chills and achiness but no fever) a cold it isn’t, I keep being told. Nothing contagious they say. Confounding and uncomfortable, yes. Infectious or dangerous, no.

No matter where else I live, whatever grows there does not pose this problem. Coming back to where I was born is guaranteed to produce this symphony of squeamish sounds. Life is full of little trade-offs and I guess this is one of mine. Weighing the pluses and minuses always proves out favoring my staying here despite the stockpile of Puffs tissues, honey and herbal concoctions and benadryl. But to me it is worth it. Which I guess is all that matters.

Malachi 4:2; 1 Corinthians 12:9

No place like home… if you can find it

So my 2 weeks’ sojourn into the housing market was nipped in the bud of an offer on a house when my dog pulled a muscle. She is frequently impatient with my occasional dalliances on our walks, or choice of direction and springs into the air to try to wrest the leash-handle from my hand. This time she twisted in a very wrong way, yelped, and could no longer do the 16-step staircase walk up to our little beach rental. So we returned to my current house-in-residence, while en route my realtor phoned to tell me the house I had liked very much and was working up an offer for had had an offer made that very morning. I am not one to get into a bidding war, so we agreed to let things cool a bit, my dog heal, and resume at a later time. Consequently I lost the 2nd weeks’ rent for the little beach place, and my dog’s vet said she does not think Lily did any serious damage, gave her pain pill and anti-imflammatory prescriptions with instructions to cut the pain pills in half if they were too much.

One day’s dosage: Lily staring at me, catatonic. Second day I cut the pain pills in half as directed and Lily appears to be none the worse for pain and her alert self so we stuck with this regimen.

We return to her vet this week for a re-check. Not sure at which point I might make a new foray into the burgeoning housing market. I like this little town because it has a nice, slow pace, is small enough to be close to everything yet large enough to have options and it is a seaport. What with everything going on in this country, no, the world, these days somehow being near to the ocean has a clean and safe feel to it.