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.

However…

$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?!

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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…

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

treehouse-2018-Jan

…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!

POV

Today, after picking up another pallet (4′ x 8’4″), we have enough material to start foundation and wall construction on the greenhouse portion of the backyard meditation/writer’s studio…

But first we’re drying them out under canopy cover during a series of heavy rain this week…

We’ll seal them with a wood preservative on a warm, sunny day.

Meanwhile, we take one last look at our chosen construction site beneath the treehouse…

…and decide we like our old abandoned site better…

…because the perspective, the point of view, still speaks to us the most!

The lay of the land changes our layout plans but we’ll only show you why amd how after construction has begun.

In the yard, early spring continues, including the gurgling sounds of a full frog pond…

Until next time, grow wise but don’t grow up!

Working through the rain

On occasion, we stop physically moving — motorcycle riding, backyard building, aquarium cleaning, blood delivering — to observe not only the other living sets of states of energy around us whilst they interact with the drops of bacteria-laden rain falling around us, but also ourselves.

For at least or around seven years, we cultivated a new set of friends centred on the art/exercise of dancing.

We began with a few free ballroom dance lessons and progressed from there, getting to know our fellow novices as well as our instructors, thereby meeting them socially away from the dance floor.

These friendships grew,
even when we didn’t want them to,
knowing as we do
our inner selves we’ve carefully hidden from view.

We haven’t fully analysed, dissected and catalogued the interaction we easily understand as the emotional state of falling in love so it behooves us to compare the call of the Carolina wren outside to our conversations, note writing, text sending and flirting that led us to fall in love with our fellow dancers.

In other words, it was only natural.

We immediately fell in love with Guin for no reason we can readily provide.  To be sure, she fits within a category of Familiar that includes sister, mother and wife (our life companion we’ve known since 1974), the singular examples of labels that make for simplicity and frugality in our decision-making.

Guin seem to fill another role — that of ourselves in the binary gender opposite.

Also, we wondered if it was a type of matter/antimatter interaction.

Something about Guin led us to let our inner selves out into the open and, by doing so, drying up an old wellspring of writing material, for if one can live the life we felt compelled to write about, why take the time to write about it when living it was so much more emotionally challenging, thrilling, fascinating and fulfilling?

We know that life is generally cyclical.

Certainly, the bare deciduous trees outside soaking up rain falling in an unusually warm ambient temperature range this time of year testifies to both normal cycles and abnormal changes within cycles.

After seven plus/minus years of learning new dance moves — cyclical body changes one performs solo, in pairs or in groups — we felt the cyclical nature of body movement begin to wear us out, both physically and emotionally.

Yet, extricating ourselves from interwoven cyclical relationships we’d nurtured with people of various beliefs about relationship norms that made the dancing community what seemed like a basic part of the rest of our lives…well, it has taken longer than we thought possible, certainly longer than we wanted.

We don’t easily say “no” to friends, colleagues or customers.

We are people pleasers, never sure where our next meal is coming from, not knowing where we’ll spend the night, despite having established a successful financial portfolio with our life partner.

We know our time on this planet as this set of states of energy is temporary and oh so very brief.

We have worked to make ourselves as forgotten as possible whilst alive, a mantra we chanted to ourselves as early as our kindergarten years, quite possibly when we walked through the family cemetery over broken gravestones or explored old cabins rotting in the woods, definitely when we saw dead animals on paved roads, laughing quietly to ourselves at the comparison of asphalt as a type of reprocessed dinosaur bodies slowly absorbing a recently-dead animal, none of whom we knew, making us aware that we’re all forgotten over time.

For two or more years, we’ve wanted to tell Guin goodbye but couldn’t, always pulled back into her world in February, the month of love, our biological clock still ticking, part of us saying that perhaps giving up what we’d spent a lifetime building — a childless but financially successful marriage — could be thrown away on the small chance that Guin or someone she’d introduce us to would conceive and grow a child with us, making us not completely forgotten.

We are, after all, an integral part of this universe and our natural body urges persist no matter how much we say we can be above and/or outside the cycles of nature.

We’ve explored our thought patterns ad infinitum (if not ad nauseum) and determined we have a predetermined set of thoughts which do not change, although we’ve tried to change them to our detriment sometimes.

We have never fully figured out if our predilection for sexual monogamy is innate or learned for there is in us an unmistakable attraction to others besides our life partner but our thoughts are most comfortable when we say we are monogamous; many within the dance community are polyamorous, exchanging sexual partners as frequently and as easily as they change dance partners; thus, bringing forth a child within that environment was always going to be difficult for me to handle.

Friends of ours who grew up in an enviroment that countered their internal set of beliefs and made the transition to a community that supported them internally and externally have extolled the wisdom that we should get outside our comfort zone, referring mainly to their childhood subculture/community as the comfort zone that really wasn’t.

Because we are people pleasers and chameleons, we can give people the impression we are like them, reflecting their best characteristics back to them as PMA (positive mental attitude) practitioners.

For seven years, we have built a strong PMA feedback loop with sensitive members of the dance community, seeing they needed emotional support more than most, hearing their devastating life stories in need of reparation and structuring, far outside anything we’d call a comfort zone.

In turn, we sacrified ourselves, at first gaining the thrill of newness, savouring the creativity of an artistic community that supported our attempt of artistic expression in the way we lived, including the desire to write fiction.

In time, we suffered, the relationship with our life partner nearly torn apart — last summer, we tested the waters of divorce and found them wanting.

Thank goodness, our feet are firmly rooted in the reality of our true selves, not easily ripped out and replanted elsewhere, our comfort zone well established.

So, for us, the last seven years were interesting, giving us the opportunity to explore our beliefs, affirming and dispelling the illusion of inner selves, confirming that we are actually happy, depression being a reaction against threats to ourselves that were never really threats to begin with.

There is no reason to continue playing with fire in regards to hanging out with and getting emotionally close with members of the dance community who comfortably enjoy polyamorous relationships.

Will we miss Guin and all the others?

Sure we will.

But we expect them to forget about us pretty easily since they make friends quickly.

As for us, we are back to working on our longterm goals of walking a quiet meditative path onto our deaths, including the short lives of unicellular microorganisms taking place moment by moment within us and the ultimate end of our recognisable set of states of energy within the next few years or decades.

Whether our life or our life partner’s ends first is a mystery.  Either way, one of us will go on living quietly, finding ways to fill our time with our creative hobbies, being nice as we can be given our core personality traits, whether innate or learned.

A moment like this, writing in the sunroom, is what we work for in planning and building the meditative writer’s studio in the backyard with no fixed timeline.  This moment is all that matters, where we spend the next one never certain.

Bottom line: We feel much more relaxed now that we’ve purged seven years of frustratingly trying to squeeze our square set of beliefs into the expanding circle of Guin’s.  Guin gave us the feeling that we could be someone else, someone who lives hundreds of earthyears in the future, as long as we ignored our natural selves and pretended we were someone we are not.  Turns out we are who we are, not who we think we could be.  We happily live in this moment, not the roller coaster manic/depressive future.  Guin and others like her, including many of our coworkers, may be the future — we wish them well.  We always knew this quiet moment alone with a set of writer’s tools was all we had but were afraid to share it with others, including any random blog readers, because we were raised to believe we’re supposed to be aiming for a bright conspicuous consumption fully interactive community future, overtaking Mars with our expansion plans, moving from planet to planet and solar system to solar system, consuming resources with aplomb.  We are tired of consuming without end.  We are tired of managing multiple online personalities in the guise of social media profiles. We have given them up and returned fully to this blog.  In so doing, we live rather frugally within our means as much as we can, letting others manage our wealth to keep us comfortably frugal to the end of our lives.

In other words, finally saying goodbye to Guin this week hurts a little bit but we’ll get over it.

Spoiled. Rotten.

The cedar posts we wanted to use for the base of the writer’s studio have rotted. Therefore we decided to purchase pressure-treated beams:

  • six 2×8 ten-foot length
  • One 4×4 eight-foot length

Total: $79.06

Picked up two free pallets last night, will use more as we find them, as wall boards, shelves and/or flooring.

Still to buy this week:

Two 2×8 twelve-foot length beams

Freedom to build what we want spoils us!