Monday, January 19, 2009

location, location, location......

During warm weather I like to sit outside, feeding the birds, squirrels and chipmunks while I read. At this time of year I still try to attract birds and squirrels with seeds and peanuts, but viewing them through a window isn't quite the same. I'm addicted, though- I can't go through a day without seeing if I can draw wildlife onto my property. I wish I had a huge picture window to make the view more accessible, and if I thought I'd spend many years in this house, I'd be thinking about saving money to make that change.

But......I have a few complaints about my current house. Even though I have stopped talking about moving and have accepted staying here for the time being, I still don't feel as if I've found the place I'm supposed to be. (I know there are books written on this topic- "home" is an inside job, etc., but I am talking about a more superficial "home".)

Things are changing here. There used to be a vibrant senior rec center next to my house, and I had gotten to know many of its members. Last October the city tore down that rec center, and of course, that changed everything. Now I live at the end of a dead end street (the senior center had been placed at the end).

The energy has diminished- now, only an occasional dog owner drives to the end of the street to release his/her dogs into the park outside of my house. The lack of leash laws in this city has been a source of much controversy, and I have given up fighting. The dog owners clearly believe that their dogs' freedom is more important than the safety of other dogs and people in this city park. Three years ago, my dog was killed in this park by another dog, and my son was bitten by an offleash dog. An elderly man with whom I had shared many conversations used to walk in the park regularly, and one day he was terrified out of his wits by a dog attack which I witnessed through my window. He never returned.

Another change- my next door neighbor is dying of bone cancer. He has been a true neighbor to me, in the old-fashioned sense. He and his wife have cared about my well-being. Formerly a man so energetic that I had to wonder if he had ADD, the cancer has rendered him suddenly immobile. Unable to walk over to my house, he calls me nearly every day to check in, with a hoarse voice sounding like a ghost's. He usually passes out after a few sentences. I know he's not long for this world. His wife will sell the house and move to their home in Florida.

I understand why feng shui rules dictate that a house should not be located at the end of a dead end street. It's because of the lack of energy flowing around the house. The senior center brought in energy even to this dead end, but now it feels isolated and lonely, which is the last thing I need.

It's great to be so surrounded by nature, though, in the midst of a major U.S. city. I don't have to breathe air pollution when I sit outside or when I jog, because of the park on which my house is situated.

On the downside, it's not a pedestrian part of the city. It's suburban even though it's within city limits. You have to drive everywhere, which I dislike strongly. Everyone says, "Can't you walk in the park?" and of course I can, but that's not what I'm talking about. Until I moved to this city, I got by without a car. I walked or biked everywhere. That's how I grew up- it's in my blood.

The changes that are occurring here are sad ones, and this is certainly a difficult time of year, with ice storms and dangerously frigid temperatures. I rarely allow myself to even think about any dissatisfaction- I'm just lucky that I don't have a foreclosure sign out front.


Loving Annie said...

Dearest Betty,
I feel your frustration at being on the dead end street, and the distress about the dog situation.

My empathy toward your neighbor - cancer is such a cruel stealer of health and vibrancy.

Have you ever tried putting prisms is all of your windows that get sunlight ?

I know it is a superficial change, but it has really helped to brighten up some of the rooms in my house, as they are filled from dancing rainbows for a few hours from the laf-dozen ball-shaped prisms hanging at slightly different heighs in each window...

I'd paint the inside of your house a bright sunny pale yellow color throughout maybe if you could...

Bring the joy you'd like to feel energetically inside as much as you can - until one day you can move where you don't have to drive and can walk or bike easily...

I know people who love being in the middle of the hustle-bustle. It recharges them, and keeps them feeling connected :)

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that this house is just temporary.
The economy is still so bad that a bargain may be out there yet this year !


Lynilu said...

I understand this, although from a slightly different scenario. When I lived in KC, Caroline and I were neighbors, and it was a lively bustling neighborhood. Through the years, it changed, sadly much as a slow decline, and as empty houses began to show up, crumbling as they sat, we began to feel the energy changes, too. It is very hard to watch your beloved neighborhood change and affect your life and the energy of your home.

Annie says it well .... a time will come when you will find the right place for you and The Child, and it will feel good to you once again. It happened for me when I cane to NM, and I couldn't be happier. Think positive thoughts, dear Betty!

Laurie said...

Oh Honey I feel ya too...
It's nice to be able to feel safe
in your neighborhood...We do have
a STRONG leash law here...Even
cats need to be on a leash if they
are out...Not all people listen
but when they don't the fine
is a BIG one...I think you
should go to city hall and stress
this to them...

I love the picture of the
Blue Jay....Just yesterday
morning I saw two woodpeckers and
one cardinal...I saw a blue jay
a couple of weeks ago :)

I can't wait for spring for you!!
I would love to sit and feed the
birds while reading a good book.


Betty said...

Dear Annie,

I like the prism idea. I'll try it!

Interestingly, the wall is already painted a bright sunnry pale yellow!

The economy could indeed offer a bargain, but I'd still be stuck with the problem of selling the current house. In this city, the buyers are vicious because there are so many foreclosures and so many houses for sale stagnating on the market. Still you never know.


Betty said...

Dear Lynilu,

I am absolutely fascinated by neighborhood stories- even sad ones like yours. I sometimes think I was meant to be an urban planner, but I don't want to go back to college.

Maybe as in your case, my next move will be to a different part of the country. I am tired of frigid snow and ice.


Betty said...

Dear Laurie,

I am jealous of your leash law, which evem applies to CATS!!!

I like that idea, because I'm tired of cats hovering around my bird feeders waiting to attack....

Yeah, spring- bring it on!!!!


Big Dave T said...

I always thought I'd like living on a dead end street because I lived once on a very busy road and the noise of traffic driving by drove me bonkers. We're not one to fraternize much with our neighbors either. So might as well be the only house on a dead end street.

Too bad about the roaming dogs. I wonder why people in the city buy such big dogs, then whine when the dogs don't have a place to run free. They had a big dog next door which they would let out free in their front yard once in a while, and he was fine, but once in a while the devil would get into him and he would take off after a jogger or another dog on a leash. Scared the bejesus out of them. He never bit anybody though.

Betty said...

Dear Big Dave,

You and your wife would probably be happy here. Let me know if you ever decide to relocate. I don't think you'd be able to tolerate the local college football scene, though.

I too have wondered why people living in the city opt for large dogs which apparently "need" to run free. I'll never understand it...


Sideways Chica said...

Dear Betty - You have the cold spell and we have the heat wave. Wouldn't it be nice to have an "in-between" spell - as in happy medium? I know I would rather take the heat wave! How about I send some of the sunshine your way?

Hang in there and stay warm - and keep feeding the critters!

BTW, I am back to writing a weekly column, but for an OC newspaper. Below I have put the links to the first two columns, just in case you would like to check them out and weigh in.

Ciao bella...XO

Scratching an Itch:

Under the Cover:


Betty said...

Dear Teri,

Well, thank heavens for indoor temperature control, whether it's too hot or too cold outdoors...

I will definitely be checking out your columns!


Monogram Queen said...

I hear you girl. I'm not in the place i'm supposed to be either and hubs and I keep tiptoeing around the topic of staying in this house (he wants to and I don't). Blah. Why would you buy a house that is clearly not big enough for you with the intentions of "adding on". So stupid to me. Grrrr......
Anyhoo I am sorry they tore down your senior center :( I am also sorry to hear about your neighbor. My FIL died from bone cancer and it was heart-wrenching.
I hope one day we both end up where we feel we are meant to be and free our spirits!

Betty said...

Dear Patti,

I knew you'd understand! And I hope your hubby comes around on this issue.....

I know that someday we'll both find "home".