Monday, June 29, 2009

For all who don't know, we are in the midst of a cold front here in McKinney, Texas. It's 9:37 in the morning and only 82 degrees. I'm looking for my jacket. Wherever did I put my jeans?

The reason I'm looking for clothes at all (and not that it's necessary to wear jeans and jacket right now) is that a shelf in the closet came crashing down and everything needs to be taken out of it to make room for the necessary repairs. The first thing I told my daughter, Alyssa, was that we'd need to patch it. She looks at me like I'm speaking a different language. "Mom," she said, "that's what maintenance is for."

Now, this really hit me. I've been a homeowner most of my life. I'm used to taking care of all the repairs. I either did it myself or had the numbers at the ready of those who could do it for me. What a concept to just call maintenance and they come and fix it and you don't pay for it. This renting thing is nice. Why hadn't I thought of it before?

Do you know how long it's been since I've pulled a weed or watered flower beds? How many years ago was it that I painted my porch railing summer after summer? With a wraparound porch, it took most of the summer too.

Renting, it's a lovely concept. If I want to move, I don't have to put anything on the market and pray for a quick sale.

Really, this is fascinating. I have so much more time because it's not my responsibility to take care of a house and yard anymore. I'm not in charge of those chores anymore. I can put my energy into things that matter to me. This is such a wild concept to me that I'm just reveling in it right now. Even though I haven't been a homeowner in a couple of years, this is the first time something has occurred that needed repairs, and I didn't have to make them. Sweet mother of god, why didn't someone tell me sooner that I didn't have to be responsible???

I feel years younger, more vibrant, and ready to take on the world because I'm not responsible.

I've been responsible since I can remember. Responsibility has weighed heavily on me, and because of it I took life seriously. I took myself seriously. I felt it necessary to figure everything out, how we were going to pay bills, how we were going to take time off for seminars, where our daughter was going to school, how she was going to get there...

Ahhhh, now I breathe. Now I just sit here on this monstrous couch knowing that maintenance is called and all I need do is breathe. Life is not serious. I'm not serious. It's all a game. It's all just fun. Okay, so the flea thing wasn't fun, but it has been my intention to clear things out of my life, and guess what? I got the opportunity to do just that when fleas showed up on the cutest puppy in the world that just happens to be living with me. Actually, I live with him. He and my daughter were here first and I showed up .

Now back to the "cold front."

My computer is still set at Steamboat Springs, Colorado time and weather, so when I open my yahoo account, I get to see 45 degrees as the current weather. I can even almost believe it until I open the front door to the apartment and am hit by the oven-like atmosphere. I'll be talking with a friend from Steamboat who tells me how hot it is there, and I glance at my computer to see the 72 degrees listed. I'm telling you, though, that temperature can feel really hot. I know. What Colorado doesn't have is the humidity. I knew how fortunate I was to live without it for 34 years, but chose instead to jump back into it last November. Back then Texas felt really good when Steamboat was getting hit with snow again, but now? I don't think I can say anything more than how great it feels to be able to call maintenance when something in the apartment needs to be fixed.

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