Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Moving Musings

At some point while semi-confined with the in-heat Jessica I decided to make a virtue of necessity.  At first I chaffed over not being able to go hiking, but she wasn't entirely to blame for that -- there were the ever-present trolls to think about.  I found a routine for letting Jessica into the back yard sans diaper by herself and discovered that since none of my dogs can speak they weren't yelling at me to take them hiking.  They seemed surprisingly content to stay here at home.  They could chase each other up and down the stairs, around obstacles in my study or in the living room, or they could go out back and visit the neighborhood dogs through cracks in the fences.  I took the opportunity to do some challenging reading, the Library of America edition of Henry Adams, History of the United States 1801-09 for exampleIt has 1252 pages and I am on page 586.   My interest would have flagged and I would have switched to something else long before 586 if I were hiking regularly (which requires a day of rest after each hike -- my mind included).  Also, I realized in this process that if I move to Idaho which has a snow-season, I shall have periods when we can't go hiking every year.  I recalled what it felt like to be away from the weights and then when I went back to weight-lifting to discover I couldn't lift as much as before and when I tried to, strained something.  Would every year in Idaho be like this?  Oh yes there are the weights in the garage and they would fit in some equivalent location in a house in Idaho, and I can run up and down the stairs up there as well as I do here, and I can get a treadmill and put it into one of my many bedrooms, but that isn't the same as hiking and would that be good enough?  I do self-checks all the time: a new pain in one of my fingers?  Could that be caused by not hiking?  Wait a minute, I remember when Jessica rousted me out of my lounge chair and I relocated myself on the floor (she taking my place in the lounge chair) I scooted my hand across the carpet and felt a pain in the tip of my finger, sort of like a nerve-shock . . . but I never had that happen before; so could it be from not hiking? . . .  doubtful, but still . . .

I would have moved to Idaho scores of times if Larry had been up to it.  But I have this tendency to rethink everything.  Why do I really want to move to Idaho?  Better hiking?  It might not be better if the weather makes hiking unpleasant because of sloppy muddy trails.   Not having houses so close to me?  Yeah, that would be nice until I realize that the stores aren't close to me either and that I might have to drive for 30 minutes to get my groceries -- in the snow!   Whereas here, while my neighbors are close-by, they are all nice.  And while I don't have many needs that can't be taken care of by means of, there is the dog-groomer at Petco.  She knows Duffy by name and knows about Jessica and Ben as well.  I don't think they have a Petco in Idaho.  My daughter Caryn said vaguely that they do have dog groomers in Idaho.  Maybe so, but I'd need to find one, and then I'd need to find a handyman to replace Larry.  He plans to go up there from time to time but he would no longer be a phone-call away if my water-heater or septic tank exploded and I needed immediate help.
Then too I have been appreciating the effects of some of the things I've been doing to and in the house.  The wings inside my dryer came loose and I had to remove two of them; so I got a new dryer.  Why do this if I am going to move?  Well, I wouldn't feel right leaving the wingless dryer to the person who buys my house, but now that I have the new dryer, one of the little annoyances of living here has been eliminated: no more loose-wing rattle and no more extremely long drying times (not caused by the dryer I discovered later but by an overly long somewhat clogged vent which Larry circumvented when he installed the new dryer).  And a week ago I decided to bake a pizza and my oven didn't work.  Actually that happened a month earlier and Larry cleaned out the gas line and seemed to get it working.   After this time he said if it wasn't the gas line it was probably the electronics.  If it were him he would have someone do a check and if the stove could be fixed for under $200 he would have it fixed.  If it cost more than that he would buy a new one.  But I chose to skip the checking part and go directly to a new stove which will be delivered Dec 14.  The old one will be taken away and a new gas line installed.  It is a much better stove than the one I have, not top of the line, but a much better built than mine.  Also, mine is still a bit cruddy in the bottom from all the broiling I did while Susan was sick.  She needed a lot of protein so I broiled steaks for her in the oven.  I would eat steaks as well, but haven't had one since she died -- steaks aren't my favorite thing anyway.  I do like to bake salmon, but I do that on a pan and grease doesn't drip into the oven. 

One might think that getting rid of books is a simple affair, Larry certainly does, but I don't plan to stop reading once I move to Idaho, and if I don't move I certainly don't plan to give up reading as well as moving, but I've come around to finding a positive element in my library deprivations.  In the past I might have thought that if I might need a book in the future I'd better keep it, but now I think the opposite, if I can't think of a reason for needing it now I put it in a box destined for the Salvation Army.  If something changes in the future, I can buy a new copy from or ebay.  I must have thus far sent about 50 boxes of books to the Salvation Army and I'm not done, but I've been making a few book-purchases as well.

I discovered that I wasn't just getting rid of books, I was honing my library.  I've learned to appreciate The Library of America, for example, and have made some purchases just because the price of a used book was low and (for example) I had never heard of Dawn Powell and if the LOA thought she was worth publishing maybe I should read one or two of her novels -- on a rainy or snowy day in Idaho, or just any day here in San Jacinto where it doesn't snow.  Here are the first two paragraphs from the first novel, Dance Night, I looked at,
    "What Morry heard above the Lamptown night noises was a woman's high voice rocking on mandolin notes far far away.  This was like no music Morry had ever known, it was a song someone else remembered, perhaps his mother when he was only a sensation in her blood, a slight quickening when she met Charles Abbott, a mere wish for love racing through her veins.   

    "The song bewildered Morry reading Jules Verne by gaslight, it unspiralled somewhere high above the Bon Ton Hat Shop, above Bauer's Chop House, over the Casino, and over Bill Delaney's Saloon and Billiard Parlor.  It came from none of these places but from other worlds and then faded into a factory whistle, a fire engine bell, and a Salivation Army chorus down on Market Street."

The hair went up on the back of my neck.  This was as good a beginning as any I could recall -- made me think of The Return of the Native.

And then there were all those theological books.  I decided that what I wanted to keep were the most scholarly of the lot.  Susan liked devotional books, but that sort of thing always struck as being similar to the chanting, dancing, and singing around the campfire to the accompaniment of mantras.  Reading or chanting something over and over will reinforce something in your mind, or put you at peace, (chanting "OM" has a very good record, for example), but I'm not interested in that.  I do however like the literary research involved in making sense of difficult passages, finding out as much as possible of the true sense of the various texts of the Bible.  In going through my Anchor Bible set I discovered that Anchor Bible has been taken over by Yale:  I discovered as well that a new commentary on Revelation had been published and ordered it:  Hardcover of course purchased $73.00 from Wordery USA.    I also purchased Mark 8-16 for $59.00, and Hebrews for $40.00

I have almost all of the Anchor Bible and the "Word" set which is the set used at Westminster Seminary.  The International Critical Commentary has been one of the most prestigious sets existing over the years.  Their recent publications have been priced similarly to the pricing of the Anchor Bible, but I've balked at spending $100 just to fill in my collection.  I have an interest Revelation in the Anchor Bible Series, but would only buy the more expensive editions of the ICC if I were actually studying something at the time.  If the price for missing volumes drops below $20 at some future time I may decided to fill in my collection -- a bit. 

[When Susan and I had just started going together back in the mid 70s, she told me that her dream was to have a husband who would spend the rest of his life studying the Bible with her.  I told her, "I could do that."  And I could and did.  But there came a time when, due to her diseases, her ability to study tapered off.  Mine never did and I recall my first guilty pleasure at discovering copies of the ICC at a Christian Book Store near the McDonnell Douglas plant where I worked at the time.  The book store didn't realize what the ICC was, but once they did they lowered the prices of the books to get rid of them.  I bought all they had just as shortly after Susan and I were married I bought a library of Reformed books.  "Studying the Bible" didn't mean for Susan nor to many in the Reformed camp the studying of such matters as the ICC and Anchor Bible dealt with.  To be able to adhere completely to the Westminster Confession was for them a good thing.  I couldn't conceive of knowledge having been frozen in time in 1647.  Neither could many I spoke to from the Westminster Seminary, but I wasn't looking for arguments and so kept these matters to myself, studying one thing or another and appreciating having the best scholarship.  And while I haven't engaged in such studies since Susan needed so much attention, I can see myself wanting to study various matters in the future.  Having a better understanding of Revelation is high on my list.  I studied that in the past in the light of the three major views, Amillennial, Postmillennial, and Premillennial.  The scholar who wrote of the Anchor Bible Revelation probably isn't going to take a stand on these positions but he is going to provide the best scholarship pertaining to the literary tools available to the original author.]

If I stay in San Jacinto I will probably get more reading and writing done than if I move to Idaho, at least for a few years, and I hear tell that older people lose a bit of their capability in those regards as time goes on. 

I'm having Larry replace the tile in my two upstairs bathrooms.  It is worn and faded.  Larry has done this sort of thing before and knows what he has to do and how long it will take.  Yeah, it will enhance the desirability of my house a bit if I sell it, but I'm also interested in enhancing it if I don't.   And if I don't I expect to continue on with improvements.  The freezer I have in the garage develops frost much too quickly.  The seal is leaking a bit.  I saw a new freezer at Home Depot for $800.  I didn't buy it.  I don't need to do everything at once. 

I am presently leaning toward staying in San Jacinto, but if in a few months the housing market in my area improved and I could get a bit more for my house, my attitude could change

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lawrence, We do have a Petco here.. It's about 5 minutes away.. Kevin Lavender