Slow HQ has moved
And you thought you were rid of me!
Long time readers of this column may recall that my wife, Pam, and I have spent the past year and a half in limbo. We sold our house and rented another while designing and building a new home one linear mile away from the first.
As we approached the final stage the demands on my time grew. The house became a whirlwind of activity as painters, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and tile and floor installers put the final touches on their respective projects. And each of them wanted to know what I wanted. Several times a day.
Then there was the move itself, when others did all the heavy lifting and yet, somehow, teleported all their aches and pains onto me. We are now in the unpacking phase, where God saves his cruelest joke for last. No matter how much you put away, things seem to get progressively messier.
So today’s post will simply be a recap. A “let’s get caught up, shall we?” kind of thing. An exercise in putting my seat in the chair and getting down to business.
Before we start, though, there has been a curious upside to my Groundhog (Moving) Day experience. While I have abandoned slow living for even slower building and moving, many of you have discovered this little slice of heaven and signed up to receive my regularly scheduled weekly updates.
So to all you new-comers out there – welcome!
I’m flattered that you have decided to join the party. And you are probably wondering why I haven’t kept up my end of the bargain by serving up some hors-d’oeuvres.
Or perhaps you haven’t even noticed. Perhaps you are wondering why a blog about slow living should be on a “regular” schedule anyway. To you I say, “Cheers!” You are speaking my language.
I would ask the rest of you to join Pam on the other side of the table – that would be the side with the large crowd. These are the people who extol the virtues of getting things done.
These are the people who must be saved. They are why I write. Occasionally.
But I digress.
Slow HQ was perfectly happy in its former home. We had suffered through a two-year whole-house renovation and were enjoying the fruits of our labors. But for reasons both personal and financial it started to become increasingly burdensome.
So Pam and I decided to “downsize.”
We were going to take our gains and spend them on a smaller abode. In a less grand location.
The problem was that once you build a house – or in our case, rebuild – other houses pale by comparison. There were plenty of perfectly lovely homes on the market at perfectly reasonable prices.
Invariably, though, I wanted to redo the kitchen and the bathrooms. Or put on a new roof. Or upgrade the landscaping. And as soon as I jumped down that rabbit hole, the prices increased. Exponentially.
So I, firmly infested with the designing and building bug, looked for an empty lot to build a new house on. And I found one. One that Pam liked, too – which wasn’t an easy task.
And so it began.
The upside to building a house from scratch is that you can design it exactly to your liking. It has all the latest bells and whistles. Everything sparkles.
The downside to building a house from scratch is that you can design it exactly to your liking. It has all the latest bells and whistles. Everything sparkles.
It’s easy to get sucked into the excitement of creating something new. It’s extremely easy to add on, and extremely difficult to subtract.
All this can be summed up in a single word … ka-ching.
Early in the process I sent a photo of the shell of the house to friends and family. Our nephew’s response cut to the chase. “So much for downsizing,” he said.
Today, almost exactly a year after groundbreaking, we have moved into our new Slow HQ. It is currently decorated in a style that can best be described as shabby cardboard. The piles of boxes are diminishing, however. And someday in the not-too-distant future we may even hang a picture or two.
This has been my life for the past several months. It has been all-consuming. To a degree that I didn’t expect.
My focus shifted from slow living to slow building. As a result my writing has suffered. This blog has suffered.
I could apologize all day and all night, but to little effect. Because you don’t – and you shouldn’t – care.
What I will apologize for is this completely self-indulgent article. However, I needed to sit down and write. And this is the errant result.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is brilliant and 1 is it should never see the light of day, this is a 3 – at best.
If you have made it this far, you have more fortitude than I deserve. But I thank you.
The good news is that new surroundings bring a fresh perspective. I have a couple dozen story ideas that I’m very excited about. And they are forthcoming.
So thank you for your patience. To the newcomers, once again, welcome!
Presumably you are here because this whole slow living thing resonates with you. The need to bring balance to our lives. The importance of friends and family. Healthy moderation in all you do.
You will find that here. And I invite you to continue the journey with me.