Wednesday, December 22, 2004

No Children

I now know the moment I decided not to have children. It was last night at the precise moment I told my father that I can't afford a house. I could see the look in his eye, the look of a parent who, as most parents, would like to have their children do better than themselves. I know my grandparents were able to do that for my parents, and I'm sure my parents did the same for me during my childhood. But now I'm an adult, and the times have changed. The economy has changed. And I could detect a little disappointment in my father's eyes, and I knew I wouldn't want to look at my child that way, struggling with them while they're young, and watching them do perhaps worse than I have as the population grows and housing and life get more complicated. So, as of last night I decided - no children. I guess I should discuss this with my wife, but of course these feelings are always subject to change.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Lately, I feel like I've been spending a lot of my time waiting for things. Waiting for my job to end, waiting for things at my job to get beyond a certain point so I have work to do, waiting to get up in the morning, waiting in traffic, waiting to see my friends, waiting to say goodbye, waiting to move back east, waiting to find a home, waiting to find a new job, waiting for a phone call, waiting for a tv show, waiting for the price of moving our stuff to be as low as we had hoped, waiting at the grocery store, waiting for the holidays to get here, waiting for the holidays to pass, waiting for things to get better, waiting for the next life, waiting for a hug, waiting for this to end, waiting, waiting, waiting...

I'm tired of waiting. And I bet you're tired of hearing me complain. If I were you, I even know what your advice would be. Take action, create opportunities, don't wait for things to happen. Yet I feel frozen and paralyzed by the overwhelming stress and emotion of it all. And so I sit, and wait. And wait.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Chestnuts Roasting on an (Almost) Open Fire

What does that phrase mean, anyway? I've lived my whole life without knowing that chestnuts, like many nuts, are things you can actually eat. My wife was in for the weekend, and we made our usual yearly trek to Oak Glen for apples. I love the food they have up there. Unfortunately, most if it is snacky and bad for you. And, when it's all you eat in a weekend, there is a good chance you can put on 5 pounds in 2 days... er, not that I did or anything... Anyway, we popped into our favorite place, Mom's Country Orchards, owned by the Laws. Grandson Peter was working the counter. Today he was roasting chestnuts on the old (turn of the century?) stove they have in their shop. He showed us how they pop when they're done, and how to break them open. And they were warm and buttery and wonderful. The lyric "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" now has fresh, new meaning for me... just in time for Hanukkah!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The House That Got Away

Tracy and I found the "perfect" house. Of course, it's 3000 miles away and I've only seen pictures. But the size, beauty, and location were all a great fit. Our realtor said she had been talking to the seller and it was still available. What she didn't say is they'd only been playing telephone tag... for several days. The house sold today, for over asking price. And asking price was really pushing our limits. The problem is Tracy hasn't seen a house she's liked even remotely as much, for either more or less money. It is really discouraging, because of the distance, our financial situation, and the fact that Tracy won't even consider a town house. I think, unfortunately, that we have to accept we are not so well off, and we should consider that we do in fact need a "starter home." But I'm not alone in these decisions. And so, we continue to look. And the pressure and the strain and the stress of the job, the distance, the move, the car(s), and the house hunting take their toll. Meanwhile, in the back of our heads, is the thought that this house went for over asking price with 4 bids in a very off-season house-selling month. Things are only supposed to get worse, and we fear if we don't have a house by February, that we may very well be priced out of Maryland as well as Los Angeles, and we might have to face the fact that we'll never be home-owners. What a country!