The River Jordan is chilly and cold, hallelujah.
Chills the body but not the soul, hallelujah. Michael – 1961 – The Highwaymen
Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. The Drivel rambles through this thing called life, stopping here and there for reflection, an enlightenment, some storytelling, and a touch of humor perhaps. All the while my brain reverberates with the best music in the world – The ‘60’s and early 70’s. Yep – Lost in The Sixties. Remember, the brave kids who made this land free for you and me.
The move to the condo can be termed as done I think. The living room is box free. Messy looking because not everything has found a nice neat place to call its own yet but none the less box free. Murphy is a happy camper, he has his two (2) toy boxes, his covered bed, and his plastic crate neatly in place. They are strategically placed so that he has eye coverage of the living, dining and kitchen areas. Oh, the bedrooms, bathrooms and the basement areas all need finishing, but it is what I would call livable. The three of us are settling into new daily routines and habits.
Really proud so far of our Boston Terrier Murphy. He was a free-range dog. Meaning he could come and go outside to the backyard as he pleased to do his business, to bark at whatever, chase the neighbor’s dogs along the fence line or simply lay outside in the sun. Here at the condo he is restricted on what he can do. He can’t run off-lease like he used to since there are no fences. But the guy has instinctively sensed that this is the case. We have gradually let him off-lease to do his “business” more and more, and he has not failed us yet. He has stayed on task, looked around a bit but returned to his home without a bobble. Really neat. It is like he knows the rules as well as we do. I think he is adapting very well. If the number of toys being strewn around the floor are any indication.
We have gradually gotten out into the neighborhood a bit. The lady across the street is very pleasant and has a rather larger and fit looking dog. Kind of like a Doberman shape but not a Doberman whose name is “Whisper”. Go figure. The lady next door seems to be rather, how can I put this? Mysterious. She drives a nice Lexus. Seems to have odd hours. Has a big dog of some kind that I have never seen but have only heard. One day we saw her drive into the drive way dressed nicely with a young boy maybe 10 or twelve. She said she and her grandson were going to feed the dog and go fishing. She didn’t look like the fishing type. she didn’t look old enough to be a grandmother with a grandson that old especially, with her blond hair and that good looking. The next time I saw her, she was arriving home about 2:30 pm dressed in basic white blouse, tight white skirt and 5” stiletto shoes – middle of an afternoon – in Cedar Rapids for crying out loud. What is that all about? That mystery continues to deepen.
Now next to the blonde vixen, is the HOA president. I have only been trying to get in touch with this guy for a month with no success. Numerous voice message has been left. I even questioned as to whether I had the correct phone number. He has a large camping trailer parked in his driveway which may just be slightly against city regulations but, hey, who am I to complain. I have visited his place a time or two and visited with his wife. We have exchanged text messages and have been corresponding back and forth that way. Turns out to be a nice guy. So slowly, we are getting known around the neighborhood – just takes a bit.
The Home Owners Association has a document called the “Covenants”. Just a listing of do’s and don’ts permitted. It includes some obscure things such as the following. Here are seven of the most controversial commandments:
1. Thou shalt not plant too many roses.
2. Thou shalt not use “inconsistent” shingles
3. Thou shalt not post a “For Sale” sign
4. Thou shalt not offer thy homeless granddaughter shelter
5. Thou must carry thy dog at all times
6. No smoking — even in thy own bathroom
7. Thou shall maintain a consistently green lawn
Our condo is the first one you see turning onto the street. I am sensing some subliminal pressure that I will be expected to maintain this place a little better than the others. That would be, so the image of the development is projected in a highly positive light. I got the impression that even though the standards tend to be of a relaxed nature they would probably not take kindly to something like a jungle diorama of a pair of full sized giraffes figurines doing what they do best – make baby giraffes. No, just don’t think that would go over very well.
I would say that overall this downsizing and moving to a condo can not be understated. It is a HUGE change. At least it has been for us. We have not moved since 1976. It is amazing just how much you accumulate in that period of time. What is more troublesome is how you get set in your ways and habits. Every daily activity from opening your eyelids in the mornings to shutting them at night becomes scripted and you don’t realize it consciously. Here we are in a new space, new rooms, new layouts, new traffic patterns, new this and new that. NOTHING is where it was at the old place. OMG!!! I must try to start writing these new daily scripts beginning with the eyelid opening in the morning. Gradually, I am getting there. It hasn’t been easy though. I have been going back and forth way too many times forgetting something or other. You may have noticed that delivery of the Drivel has been unstable. Haven’t gotten that routine in the condo down yet. It will come.
I must say right here and now, my current wife, it seems is adapting much better than I am. She is really taking to this new environment and space with gusto. She has a nice big room with a walk-in closet. She has really taken the challenge of organizing these spaces. They are coming along nicely. She has done most of the living room and kitchen. So, what am I saying? I am saying, she is much better at organizing things than I am by far.
…….. Well my friends, there you have it as told by yours truly to you all. Thanks for allowing me back into your day, if only for a brief time. It is always an honor. If I can make at least one-person smile, laugh till they leak, or maybe spit out a drink, my day was not wasted. Until we meet again – “TA!”
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