Sub/urban poetry

Time to fold up this tent and move into my/our deepest meditation zone

for I/we see we have exited our middle-life years

of high-anxiety, rush-rush-rush, fear we’ll die without accomplishing anything.

No more worries about being forgotten

which drove us to write our own origin stories, books and blogs.

We enter our later-life years, not yet our late-life or end-of-life years,

where we begin to harvest the fruits of our labours and investments in retirement,

disconnected from the younger generations,

leaving them to their own social anxieties.

Our path is individualistic in thought

even when it follows well-trodden social change in recent decades that led before us,

tromping on,

bulldozing over,

crushing flat uneven territory little touched by previous thousands of our species’ evolving generations.

We return to the sanitized suburbs of our youth,

securely cocooned,

locked in place like a jigsaw puzzle piece.

We hope you forget about us,

looking to others for inspiration and

distraction from daily drudgery.

We will remember your kindness

in the many “like” presses you made on our blog entries through the years,

your occasional comments much appreciated.

Our journey was prescribed for us at birth.

We have oft resisted but rarely strayed far from our clearly-defined destination.

We are domesticated, if not sophisticated animals,

comfortable in our gilded cages.

Thank you for your time and attention.

G’day, mates!


Inflationary expectations

We bought our starter home in 1987 for $91,900, choosing to stay in it as long as possible, making minimum wear-and-tear repairs for 30+ years.

Zillow now says our home is worth about $155,000.


$91,900 in 1987 →$201,428.46 in 2018

Thank goodness, we wisely managed a stock, mutual fund and bond portfolio as our primary source of retirement funds, not our house, whose price hasn’t kept up with inflation!

What’s the treehouse worth?!

Buying used

Our first and only house, our starter home, if you will, we bought new.

The house we look at now is younger than ours by 20 years but needs a little TLC…

So, how much of the needed TLC repair work do we negotiate in offering a lower buying price?

The new place definitely offers a different view out the front than our current one…

…but the view out the back is similar…

Artistically, what does my gut tell me?

Why is the first thing that pops into my thoughts a Bob Hope film?

Excited to be back on big backyard business

Five pallets treated, three to go…

Meanwhile, the frogs keep busy getting warm…

…and, being childless, little concerned about global warming/climate change (not our future offsprings’ survival to worry about), we stop dreaming about going the offgrid tiny house route, planning for something similar to this, instead…

Sunday morning meditation

Today, we give pause to ourselves as states of energy in motion and focus on the preconceived notion of set as self.

For many years I pondered who I am, who I was and who I was going to be/become.

Seemed difficult at times in those moments of self-reflection, self-condemnation, self-doubt.

Self-destruction ruled many a thought for years.

But we, our many iterations of self in the moment, outlived ourselves, iteration upon iteration accumulating junk in our cells, our skin losing its elasticity, our organs aging appropriately given the input and stimuli we/I subjected them to.

Which brings the currently running iteration of my self to this moment, an impossible to capture snapshot in time, the air passing into and out of our lungs, the gaseous exchange in our blood feeding all the many parts as we drink tea, turning our stomach on and slightly altering our brain processes as we attempt to meditate unencumbered by outside influences.

We (or I) continue on our (my) journey unto death, a path we once thought was taken alone but years of accumulated observations we call wisdom have taught us that nothing is alone in the universe, all of us connected to the atoms bouncing around, the wavelengths intersecting, the gamma rays and cosmic waves passing through and around us without end.

So it is I sit here now, in familiar surroundings that change imperceptibly, the same piles of abandoned art projects reflecting visible wavelengths to our optic nerves, wondering not who I am but what I will do next.

I am the set of states of energy that I am, no worries about purposes or causes or origins or endings.

I rejoice in my temporary status as a labeled being recognisable by others like me and other living beings which react to me, from the cats in the house to the mosquitoes in the backyard.

What will I do next?

Today, the choices are limited by my imagination.  I will continue to build the backyard writer’s cottage (at my wife’s urging), spending some portion of the day brushing wood preservative onto pieces of pallet wood which I will use as the lower walls of the writer’s cottage, later fitting them together like jigsaw pieces into the foundation flooring up on a rock shelf in the woods.

The experience building and completing this cottage I will apply to the next building I construct in the backyard of our new home, a pallet wood garden shed, assuming all goes well and we get the house and property we’ve laid our eyes on.

Tomorrow, I meet a home inspector who I hope is as impartial as can be hoped (favouring neither the seller nor the buyer) to give my wife and me a true assessment of the house we think we’ll move into next.

Tomorrow, I will not be the person I am today or the person I will be in a few seconds.

I do not exist except as a concept but a concept that most people can readily react to as all of us are taught to react to each other as if our selves from moment to moment are continuously the same if not contiguous.

I mentally look at the rooms of our house and see the decrease in their usefulness as we accepted furniture and personal belongings of our dead relatives:

  • two back bedrooms filled with family furniture pieces that have narrow pathways to walk around the rooms,
  • the back bathroom in which we use the shower daily and feed the younger cat kitten food,
  • the sunroom mostly filled with my wife’s handmade card crafting supplies and tools,
  • the dining room filled with display cabinets and handmade card crafting material,
  • the living room with its baby grand piano and antique pump organ, media entertainment center, handmade card crafting material, wall artwork stacked on the floor, sofa and chair, and stacks of hardwood flooring we’ve never installed in the house,
  • the master bedroom with clothes chests, shoes all over the place, walk-in closet filled with clothes and shoes,
  • master bathroom (truly just a w.c.) with nonfunctioning shower,
  • kitchen with every counter covered with stuff,
  • breakfast room that serves as my wife’s second closet,
  • pantry filled with foodstuff,
  • laundry room half-filled with stacks of hardwood flooring we’ve never installed in the house, with a chest freezer, clothes washer and dryer,
  • garage that holds one car and one motorcycle, otherwise filled with tools and inherited furniture/tools not good/strong enough for daily use, a workbench covered with my incomplete projects, and, finally,
  • two outside storage bins, one next to the garage for a whole-house petrol-powered generator, the other under the front deck filled with seasonal decorations and floor tiles we’ve never installed in the house.

The point being that if we continued down the thought path of decluttering our current house, we’d have the room we needed, the only exception being my wife’s wish for a single-level home with parking spaces for her friends to come over and work on their handmade card projects together, many of them older and unable to easily walk up a flight of stairs to get to our front door, let alone park on the street and walk up the driveway to get to the sidewalk and flight of stairs at our house.


No matter what, I keep writing, starting many projects, finishing a few.  It is the story of my life, a good story, solid, quiet, a few thrills along the way, hardly earthshaking, not globally historic, fun, relaxing and approaching the last years of my life, satisfied.

Time to move

After living 30+ years in the same domicile, which requires walking up/down a short flight of stairs from the garage to the main level, we’ve decided we require a one-level home in which we can age in place as long as possible.

We’ve compared notes, our life companion and ourselves, and agreed that although we want a maintenance-free place in which to die (assisted living facility? hospice? hospital?), we wish to live in a place of our own for the next few years/decades.

This, of course, disrupts our plans for building a backyard writer’s cottage in the woods.

Honestly, though, it’s not a bad thing.

For some reason, we’ve always hesitated tearing apart a wooded backyard, seeing that the main house, with a study/workshop/laboratory, sunroom and garage should have sufficed for our writing and mad scientist tinkering.

Therefore, we’re going to take the leftover wood from our old backyard deck we disassembled in 2001…


…using most of it to construct the pirate-themed treehouse…


…and build an art exhibit of some kind, we’re not sure what, where the rebar is mounted in the rock outcropping up in the woods, adding a few of the the cedar logs we harvested.  Hopefully, it will inspire the new owners to take it to the next level of artistic expression for themselves.  Regardless, they will be free to do as they please.

Meanwhile, we keep playing with the electronic development boards and getting rid of junk in the house in preparation for moving, all whilst working the midnight shift, saving lives every day with preparation and delivery of the vital fluids we call blood products, thanks to volunteer blood donors and laboratory blood processors.

Our new life, 2018 and onward, free of social media influences, free of social dancing pressures (including social drinking), is more free and fun than ever, quietly getting to know our spouse/wife/life partner/companion all over again.

Now that we know the recycled material we’ve collected will be used to build a sunny garden of our dreams, complete with orchid/tree fern greenhouse and pallet wood gardening shed, it’s time to ride our motorcycle again!