I have been making trips to Connecticut now for about 17 years. It is arguably the most picturesque place I’ve ever been. As a matter of fact, the whole state looks like a picture postcard. The trees, the rolling hills, the lakes and ponds, the quaint little towns with their park-like squares surrounded by white steepled churches and family-run shops, and acres upon acres of unsullied farmlands, all create a sense of calm, abundance, and the charm of earlier times.
Ever since Art and I have been visiting Connecticut together, we have dreamt of having a home there. At one point, we even considered moving there altogether, but we realized that, for many reasons, we needed to be based in California. Still, we thought, wouldn’t it be nice to be bicoastal? We imagined ourselves living, say, three months out of the year in Connecticut so that we could enjoy the peace and quiet there and be close to his parents and siblings.
Of course, having two homes which just happen to be located in the two most expensive regions of the country, has mostly remained a pipe-dream. We would look at all the lovely little cottages, some on the lake, some in town, and would think we could almost
do it, but not quite. Just a little too much of a stretch, financially. Furthermore, we questioned whether we could realistically be able to travel between our two homes and still keep our Internet business running.
Recently, we sold our business. This appears to have solved, or mostly solved, both impediments. We now have reason to hope we have the financial means and the freedom to make our dream a reality. So the last time we were back in Connecticut last month, we looked around. We found a small, but cozy condo within a couple of miles of Art’s parents and we made an offer on it.
Of course, being who I am, I have already mentally moved in to the condo. I am busily arranging mental furniture, filling a corner hutch with blue and white pottery dishes, making a note to buy some inexpensive blue stemware I saw at Target last week – and praying that our loan goes through.
Art, on the other hand, sees the whole venture as hypothetical at this point. His attitude is, “If we get it, great. If we don’t, fine”. I find it exasperating that he can’t join me in my enthusiasm. He finds it exasperating that I can’t hold my nesting instincts in check.
But ultimately, of course, I have to admit that he’s right. Art and I have found throughout our life together that all of our big decisions were substantially helped along by circumstances beyond our control.
In 1994, we had long been discussing the possibility of leaving Los Angeles. We were fed up at the time with the traffic, the crime, the recent wave of racial tension brought on by the Rodney King incident, the fires, floods and mudslides shown every evening on the news. I remember that on New Year’s Day morning, we toasted in the new year and wondered aloud what it might bring. Sixteen days later, we had our answer. The Northridge quake woke us up out of a sound sleep and put the last nail in the coffin. I told Art that when the next one came, I didn’t want to be there. The quake took our vague discomfort and shook it into extreme urgency – at least for me. I figured we were getting out just before the locust arrived! So within a month we were on a plane bound for Nashville, Tennessee, and by April, 1994, we were moving into our new home in Music City.
Six years later, we were feeling that we had been in Nashville long enough, and we were contemplating our next move. That was when we were seriously considering a move to the East Coast to be close to Art’s family. That’s when I came down with cancer. After my surgery, it was clear to Art that we had to move back to California to be close to my family. I was so grateful. And fortunately for us, our attempts to sell our house in California when we moved to Nashville had been totally unsuccessful and we were forced to rent out our house while we were living in Tennessee. Had we been able to sell our house here, we would have been priced out of the market. So when the time came, we gave our renters notice and they moved out, allowing us to reclaim our home.
What we have learned over and over is that we don’t have to worry about the big stuff. Some higher power (God, Buddha, the Universe, Allah, who knows?) makes sure that everything works out perfectly. We are always guided in the right direction – or as the Rolling Stones so aptly put it, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes. . . You get what you need”.
So – if we get the loan for the condo in Connecticut, wonderful. If we don’t, wonderful. It’s good to be a little bit zen, now and zen.