Archive for the ‘Spin’ Category

New House Blues

So we are getting a new house (fingerscrossed), and we close in <three weeks. I am alternately very excited about our new house (especially the swimming pool) and also feeling resentful and stressed at it. Is that weird?

I just loved our last house. Loved, loved, loved it. For whatever reason, it just kind of fit me. It pleased me and I felt natural in it.

Our new house is pushing some buttons in me:

For awhile I was all “It’s too big! We are being greedy consumerists!”

Then I was all, “Who do I think I am? I don’t get to have a house with extra space and a pool.”

Then I was, “Am I going to turn into a Stepford Wife with matching non-IKEA furniture and a tennis bracelet?”

And of course I worry, “Does a  clean and updated house mean that I have to be clean and updated? Or can I still be a messy weirdo?”

My poor husband really doesn’t get it, he grew up in a clean updated house with clean updated parents. I come from a long line of messy weirdos. And Z is all “Pool! Pool! Pool! Pool! Pool!”

I do realize that the house is really NOT that fancy. It is not a mansion or even a McMansion. I also realize that I probably left therapy too soon if four bedrooms, some wainscoting, and powerflush toilets can trigger both my inferiority complex and my fear of being turned into a robot wife.

Anyway, here are some pictures of our really not very fancy and non-Stepfording (I hope) house.

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Giddy Life

Philadelphia is pretty much the best city ever. That’s right. I said it.

It’s full up with history, I mean you can’t throw a cat without hitting some major historical site. I know, I’ve tried. There is amazing architecture, fields of battle, cobblestone streets, and lots and lots of stories.

It is a real city, 5th biggest in the US. And the city is concentrated, not all sprawled out like L.A.. It’s got a pretty respectable skyline, very good public transportation and some world class museums.

There is SO much diversity here. There are lots of Jews and Muslims and Christians and atheists and blacks and whites and Asians and gays and lesbians and straights and blended families. It really is a rainbow here, in a much more concentrated and integrated way than I have ever experienced before. I guess it is because I am living in a big city now.

There are kung-fu lessons, and capoeira, a Hare Krishna center, meditation sanctuaries, every different kind of singing group or dance classes or beer brewing, cheese making, cemetery book clubs, Steampunk balls, Ren Faires, and improv groups. It seems like pretty much anything you could want to do or get into is here.

But really, the coolest thing is that running through this vibrant city is a huge wilderness park with a creek/river and running paths, bike trails, fishing, caves, old stone buildings and a covered bridge. And, it is right down the street from me. I love being in nature so much, it just makes me really happy every time we venture into the Wissahickon.

So, we have the city and we have the woods, and just outside of the city are suburbs with ALL the shopping and chain restaurants, like IKEA, Trader Joes, P.F. Changs, Dave and Busters, LEGO store etc..

But, there are still areas, right around the corner, that look very rural, with rolling hills and lots of trees and some ancient stone farmhouse. And just around the corner from that will be a gothic mansion. Then, drive a bit farther, just a bit, and you’re back in the city. It really is an ideally situated city, at least for me anyway.

And I guess that is the thing, Philadelphia maybe wouldn’t appeal to everyone. Some people might not like the city, or old buildings or east coast weather, but I am just totally enamored. Several times a week, at least, I find my heart expanding in my chest with wonder and gratitude. I am really that happy to be here. (And I don’t really care if I am gushing, because, at this point in my life I have realized that I should go ahead and step into happiness when it comes my way. I know it may not last, hell, I know that even life doesn’t last. So, when good times come my way, especially because they may not last, why not just step right into that sunshine and go with the giddy? Life is gonna do whatever life is gonna do, may as well enjoy it when you can.)

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Getting uncomfortable

There are a few things I am not loving about Philly. Probably the No.1 thing is that it is SO humid! And I grew up in South Florida, so I know from humid.

Our “new” house doesn’t have central air, which is typical for these old houses in the city. We have one wall unit for each floor and fans. But there are some places, like the stairs up to the 3rd floor, that I will emerge from just covered in sweat.

It is pretty gross feeling. I changed my shirt 4 times yesterday, each time trying to find something lighter and more breathable that would also soak up that ooky sheen of dampness that covers my body if I go more than 15 ft from a room with an air conditioner.

So, my house is one thing, but I now live in an old city where most of the buildings are gorgeous and 100+ years old, and they do not have central air. That includes Zoe’s music school and the public library. Last night we saw a movie at the library and it was HOT! In the library!!

You know me though, I usually try to find a way to spin things for the better. While bemoaning the need to wipe sweat from my upper lip while I searched for a Neil Gaiman book at the Free Library, I realized that this is what Ben Franklin must have felt like when he helped to establish The Library Company in 1731. “Look at me! Sweating just like Ben Franklin!”

And back in those days people were wearing layers (oh god, layers!) of clothing, and stockings and jackets and wigs. So, being disgusting and sweaty is very historical! It’s like my very own time machine back to the days of our founding fathers. I think it is really helped me get to know them better, to “get inside their skin’ as they say. Yes, I’m feel very authentic.

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