The inability to imagine anything else

Tonight is my last night in the house for the summer and it’s been the longest stretch I’ve ever been here, a full 30 days. In June and July I had to go home about every two weeks for jury duty, dental appointments, and personal commitments. In August I tried hard to not need to go home for anything and it’s really paid off in feeling integrated with this space and really feeling a sense of being away. So much so, that I titled this post what I really feel right now. Try as I might, it’s hard to picture my regular life of living in Manhattan, working every day, and coming here on weekends. That’s been a great thing, for the most part, but I know it will make my adjustment more difficult. But there we are.

It’s been an amazing summer and I did manage to accomplish many of my goals. I cooked more than I have ever cooked before, and real, wholesome, interesting meals. I think I’ve also eaten better than I’ve eaten in years. I’m hoping I can keep that up during the school year but I am so exhausted at the end of the day, I’m not sure I’ll be able to. I did get downtown, and finally visited the Jewish Museum of Maryland, which is in the old Jewish neighborhood slightly east of downtown. I also went to Canton for the first time and I attended more baseball games in one season than I ever have. I think it was something like six or seven. The Orioles lost every game I attended except the one I left early because it was in a rain delay. And yet, they still have the 3rd best record in baseball, which should tell you something about my luck. More importantly, I did these things with many friends, both new ones and dear ones, and that’s one of my favorite things about summer: seeing people I don’t get a chance to see and meeting people who I only know online. It was wonderful.

I also got many things done around the house. I did get an estimate on the basement but decided to put that off till next year. I had a series of professionals come out to look at the side of the house where there are several bricks askew and some cracks. They think it’s nothing serious but the mason may yet discover something. He’s coming in September when I won’t be here. Either way, it’s going to cost me an arm and a leg. Houses tend to cost you many limbs.

Rather than putting up curtains in the back, I’ve decided to plant trees (it took me nearly two years to decide not to put in a parking pad or garage). I’m still getting estimates on that.

In decor, I did finally get a duvet cover for my bedroom, and even though it doesn’t work exactly with the chair that is there, it works with everything else and I really adore it. One day, maybe I’ll even take a picture. I also put a TV in the bedroom, which I hadn’t meant to do (that TV was supposed to go back to NY when I got the bigger one for the living room) but it’s worked out well. I did get accent rugs for the guest room and don’t think they are perfect, but one day you have visitors coming and something says “good enough” rather than “perfect” and you take it. I have my standard strategy in place where if I see something better later, I’ll just replace it.

I also was able to get the coffee table refinished. Well, not refinished, because that was like an $800 prospect, but repaired and spruced up. It just arrived today and that was a struggle. It has literally been in their hands for two months and I had to tell them I was going to be away for a couple of weeks after this to get them to deliver it. But it looks great and they told me it was one of the coolest pieces to come through their shop. Maybe they just didn’t want to let it go. But my $20 Ikea coffee table has been relegated to the basement so it can hold up the dehumidifier and the water can drip drip drip downwards into the sump pump. I had been emptying the tank about twice a day, which gets old, and is impossible when I’m not here. I just set this up, obviously, so I am really hoping nothing goes wrong while I’m gone. I considered setting up a camera down there, just for peace of mind, but there’s not much I could do to fix it if something did go awry. So I am just crossing a lot of fingers.

But I have set them up in other places. That’s because people have been dumping things on my property and I’d like to catch someone. So now I have one pointed at my back yard and the back part of the side yard, and one pointed at the front part of the side yard in addition to the front one I’ve had to see if my lawn needs mowing or my snow needs shoveling. There are still blind spots because of trees and window angles, but it’s better than nothing. And, it’s kind of hypnotizing to watch, especially when you hear something and don’t want to go look out the window to see what it is. It should be interesting when I’m not here, too.

Besides baseball and seeing friends and doing a grant and cooking, I also got to the weekly farmers market where this week I sadly told my favorite farmers and food purveyors that I wouldn’t be back till next year. It was great really getting to know them and be known by them. I did once get to the big farmers market downtown which is huge and an event but it is on early Sunday mornings and the parking is a nightmare which is why I only did it once. It’s right next to the diner from the movie Diner, which was cool (the diner was moved there after the movie) because I hadn’t known it and just recognized it.

And of course, I did read quite a bit and watch marathons on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Lastly, I had a short but wonderful vacation in New England. Normally, it would have also been a relief from the weather here, but after late July, it’s been an unusually cool summer season, with temps in the 70’s and low 80’s and low humidity. I haven’t turned on the air conditioning all month! It’s actually a bit sticky now but I don’t want to ruin my record on the very last day.

Which takes me back to the fact that I should be folding up the three loads of laundry I did today, packing, and cleaning up. See you next summer, Baltimore life!