February 17, 2020

The new digs

And just like that, life turns on a dime and all of a sudden you realize that you’ve just complicated your life and added another stressor. I’ll be moving in late April/early May. Relax, I’m not quitting my job or leaving town. My plan for some time has been to downsize into a condo I can stay in until I’m 80 with minimal supports. I was going to do this next year or the year after, but the right unit became available, interest rates are good and Forest Park is hot right now so I should be able to get a good price for my current house. Therefore, Arlington Crest, here I come. My offer has been accepted and we’re heading into that fabulous time of arranging mortgages and inspections and all those other escrow things. Fortunately, having just done this four years ago, I’m feeling relatively calm about the whole process. The only thing that’s scaring me is the actual physical business of moving and all that entails.

The condo, is about two thirds the size of the house so not everything can go so I have to start thinking about what goes and what gets rehomed. Once I know what I’m keeping, I’ll let my young local bohemian friends in need of decent furniture know and they can come get things. I’ve been cleaning things out some since Tommy died but I have a lot still to do and a symphony concert, an opera, and a play to ready while doing this all. I may be looking for volunteers to help me with what remains so if you’ve ever really wanted to help me go through closets and filing cabinets, now is your chance.

Am I sad to be leaving this house? Not really. To me, it’s always been Tommy’s house. He picked it out and we set it up to suit him and the kinds of things he liked to do. I’ve always felt like a bit of a squatter in it, especially since his death. My husbands have always been the ones who called the shots on domesticity so it’s been well over three decades since I lived in a space that was purely mine or about me and I’m kind of looking forward to that. The condo has a view, a private terrace, two bedrooms, a study, and a fairly up to date kitchen that I’m likely not to use. It has a handicapped accessible master bath, high ceilings, and new floors. I feel good about the decision. But it will need to be painted. I am not a Richard Tubbs taupe kind of guy.

The last move I made by myself was in the mid 1980s when I moved into the apartment I lived in during medical school with a rotating series of roommates. It was a large apartment. The small building in which it was located obviously had no idea what to do with the basement so they just made the whole thing into one unit. As it was dug into the side of a hill, it was kind of dark but that never bothered me. It was walking distance to the med school, had decent parking, and was big enough for me to spread out however I wanted. When I moved out of it in 1988, my friend Mark Sandberg and I moved me down to Sacramento in a U-Haul. Mark was an incredibly talented musician whom I had gotten to know during my med school days. My last hurrah in Seattle theater was a production of Sondheim’s You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow at the Cabaret de Paris at Rainier Square downtown. I directed, he music directed. Sondheim was kind enough to give us permission to rearrange some of the material and do a few extra numbers. He even set us a copy of his manuscript to Country House from the London production of Follies which had recently opened to use (so as far as I know, we had the American premiere of that song). Mark was a brittle juvenile Type I diabetic. He suffered a stroke in his 20s not long after I moved to California which robbed him of his ability to play the piano. I only saw him once more, that next spring when Steve made his first visit with me to Seattle. Shortly after that, another stroke took his life.

Steve was around for all the various Sacramento moves. (First apartment to second apartment, second apartment to condo, condo to house) and, of course for the big one from California to Alabama. Tommy was around for the quasi-move when we redid the old house and for the major one when we came down the hill. Now I don’t have anyone to plan with and fight with and procrastinate with and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I have the resources now to hire people to pack and unpack, and this is, if life goes according to plan, the last move I will make until my nieces pack me off to the home in my dotage but it still seems like a bit of an overwhelming undertaking without a companion at my side. I suppose I could go out and find one next week but needing someone to help move does not strike me as the way to begin a lasting relationship.

I have been tired and cranky and not doing much of anything for the last week. I think it’s post show syndrome. The amount of psychic energy expended doing Cabaret for three weeks drained the well and it’s just going to take a little bit of time to fill it up again. It’s put me behind on various projects although I did manage to pull together everything for the taxes this past weekend. I better get a nice fat refund to pay for moving expenses.

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