Monday, April 23, 2012

Home Stretch

It was once said that no one ever washed a rental car – a commentary on ownership which has crossed my mind more than a few times of late.  It was a bit over four years ago that I ventured forth from the basement lair (some might say man cave but that would not be an accurate depiction) and rented an apartment.  Some belongings from the old house, a few trips to Ikea and a one year lease.  Even the year lease seemed long for what was surely a brief experiment, a way station on that circuitous path back home.  Before I knew it the landlord wanted to know my plans; another one year lease – the rates were good for the two years, but that took me to a faraway date, very far away.

Well the second year also passed and now with recession surrounding us all, the two year renewal was financially attractive.  A long commitment but at some point the cheap gene kicks in and if after two years I am still here, another two is seeming much shorter.  Lo and behold, the next two years passed and with them the dream of going back to what once was.  And the renewal notice again appeared.
After four years in my picturesque but rather inconvenient town, it was time to take a look around – there are other rentals.  But the housing crash and recession linger so with prices down, mortgage rates at historic lows, by any estimation this is a good time to buy.  And buy I did, a modest – cozy as the brokers say – place; better configuration for my kids, and closer to everything.  A little painting, some minor construction and bring on the moving vans.

Once there it became apparent to me in different ways – internally and also interactions with Phil and Carrie – that something had changed.  Life was no longer measured in one year lease terms, the concept of a way station on my way home no longer held water.  This car would be washed; it was mine with a mindset of staying a decade.  My relationship with Carrie particularly suffered – not in any way directly to do with the new home – my fingers have done it again with the word “home”.  I had moved from my apartment, from the way station on the journey to my new home.

The move was four months ago and it is easy to blame another brutal tax season for the delay in writing these words, but it was much more.  It was the unsettled landscape but yesterday the tremors and aftershocks faded.  I had the kids for a multi-night sleepover, Carrie had a little needed time for her and when I returned with them, Carrie and I sat at the table and talked – not of big things but of little ones and it was as friends.  How much the tension weighed on me was not apparent until some of it lifted and maybe now we can both move a bit forward without false illusions. 

The return train left the station a long time back but it has taken me a long time to accept. It's time.