Some People Just Can’t be Happy

angry ladySo yesterday I was in Kroger’s for the third day in a row.  Why can’t I ever check to be sure I have all I need on my list before I go grocery shopping? I hate grocery shopping.  Put that on the list of things I hate, along with Milan and Florida drivers. And since I live in two different states, food items can be tricky. Mostly, I eat whatever I can find — raisins, peanut butter, sardines.

Well, I needed to do some baking.  Flour? — check. Sugar?  — check. This is happening over two days, mind you.  There continued to be things I didn’t check.  On the third day, sure that I had finally managed to get all the needed ingredients, I pulled out the butter from the fridge and it was weird looking — kind of like marbled.  I guess I bought it last year when I did some baking. Okay, I know I used to be a baker and owned a few bakeries, but now I bake kinda yearly.

So, I was in Kroger turning the corner to get the butter  and bread — yes I forgot to put sliced bread on any of the lists I made — and I heard a lady say, “I hate Raleigh. You know I hate Raleigh.”

Well this really got my attention because this is one of the two places I live. And the house I decided to keep.  You’ll remember in my last post, I finally decided which house to keep and which one to sell. So when  I heard this I was surprised.  I love Raleigh. Being the outgoing extrovert that I am (not), I blurted out, “You hate Raleigh?  I love Raleigh!  In fact I am in the process of moving back here.”

“From where?” she asked.

“South Carolina.”

“Oh, I hate all the south.  I’m from Chicago.  This place is all subdivisions. What do you like about it?”

“Well, I like that’s it’s a big enough city, but not overwhelming like a city of Chicago’s size. I like the variety of things to do with relative ease.  Concerts, museums, the symphony, shopping — all the colleges.”

“Well, it’s gotten a lot bigger since I moved here in 1974.” Now her husband was standing there, but he wasn’t saying anything. I wonder why? And she’s lived here since 1974?  

Then she told me, “Oh, I like the symphony too, but they start at 8:00 at night and he wants to leave the house at 8.  So I won’t go.” I glanced at old hubby, but he wasn’t going to say or do anything.

At this point, I wanted to throw my hands up, roll my eyes and walk away.  But since she was a stranger, and being aware of the conceal/carry laws now, I didn’t want to risk my life over this conversation. So wanting to end this peacefully, I said, “Well, let’s remember what holiday we will be celebrating this week.”

“Yes, Thanksgiving.  I have a lot to be thankful for.” Really?  She sure fooled me.  That poor man.

I saw them as I was leaving the store.  I chose to go out the other door because I was afraid she’d pick up the conversation again.

OMG — I finally made my decision!

At least I hope I have.  Well, maybe I have. When I need to make major decisions, I take such a long time, I get tired of thinking about it. And I swing back and forth from one spectrum to the other.  What is the decision that has taken me about a year and a half to make? Which house should I sell and where should I live.

For some background — I have a brick and mortar townhouse in North Carolina and I have a mobile home in a 55+ mobile home park in South Carolina, one mile from the beach.  And I love them both.  And I like my neighbors and friends in each place. Therein lies the problem.

When I am in NC, I’ll decide I’m keeping that place.  Then I’ll go to the beach and decide that’s the place I’ll keep.  My friends and family just roll their eyes when I announce my latest decision. Heck, I even get sick of myself! But this time, I’ve made it. Really. I have. I’ve even started packing. Gosh, I hate packing and moving.  That, I think, has been a big part of my decision making.  I am a bit of a procrastinator. Not as much as my son, but one nonetheless. It’s easier to put off a decision when you don’t want to do the chores.  I really have even thought I’d make no decision and let my kids deal with it all when I die.  Isn’t that sick?

How did I finally make the decision?  I took most of the emotion out of it and dealt with the practical and financial aspects of each place. Once I was able to do that, the decision came easy.  In NC, I have no outside upkeep.  The HOA takes care of it all.  Since I’m in my 70s, that is a huge positive.  In my mobile home, I have to do all outside upkeep myself or pay someone to do it for me. No brainer there! But, the beach place is the beach place, after all.

Plus, to add a little emotion to it, my family all live in NC.  And I miss being around them.  Not that I haven’t worn down the pavement on I-95 these past six years. I think some of the people who man the cash registers at my favorite pee stops have begun to know me. I can’t in good conscience use their bathrooms without making a purchase. Two of my favorite junk foods are those cheese danishes and bear claws that come in wrapped packages. Forget that I was a baker and would have cringed if anything we sold would have been remotely like those.  But I love them!

So, the beach place lost out.  It gets sold. With my grandkids getting older and my grandson playing sports, their ability come down to the beach as often as they used to has become more difficult. I keep recalling my six year old grandson telling me two months ago, “I love this house.” And it makes me sad. But we can always stay with Mr. Jim. And he has the hot tub, aka — Mr. Jim’s little pool. And he has Wii.

I’ve had to convince Jim that we can do this.  He’s still trying to influence me in the other direction. Heck, we’re both retired. The road runs up and down. Please Lord, let this be the right decision. I think he might be  a little worried I’ll meet another old codger at the Senior Center.  I tell him as soon as I pull out of the park, all the single ladies will be coming by to bring him a casserole or pie. Hopefully, we’ll just be together at one place or the other.

I think I’ll have to break down and get cable up there. He’s pretty dependent on television. I have had success getting him to enjoy PBS, but, unfortunately, I can’t get it with the antenna in NC.  Hence, the cable idea. There go the $$$.  I hate paying a cable bill, since I don’t watch much television. Not that there is much to watch on cable, right?  Roku is just fine with me.

With the money I’ll save each month on fees, taxes, insurance, utilities — we can travel more and even take my family on a nice vacation each year, if I choose. (I enjoy the excitement the grandkids exhibit by just staying in a hotel).

What will I miss?  My porch. I’ll miss sitting out there reading or playing with my electronics.  Or napping.  Or hanging with friends.