Saturday, December 12, 2015

State of the Apocalypse: In the Pale December Light

There’s an undercurrent of melancholy to this season for us. This may well be our last Christmas with the four of us together as a family—at least until such time as we can afford to fly them home for the holidays. Let’s hope this last zombie book I’m working on puts me over the top.

Yes, my last zombie book, The Wrong Kind of Dead, Book 3 and the all-stops-pulled finale to the SAGA OF THE DEAD SILENCER. I’ve had to ask myself if the reason I seem to be dragging on it is I because I’ll miss writing this thing that’s been a part of my life for four years already. I expect that’s one reason. 

All things must pass, as the dead man sang. Our children are grown, and it’s right and proper that they want to do their own thing in the state they did the great remainder of their growing up in. People with much more money than me wish they had my problems with my children. 

Just as people wish they had a third book they were finishing, I suppose. I shouldn’t be such a mope, but I am. Maybe it’s the failing winter light that’s getting to me. That, and all these things I’ll miss seeing as I walk through my neighborhood greenbelt and along the wide sidewalks.

As noted in a previous post, which featured a photo of those same trees in their autumnal glory, I won’t be here to see them bud again. Not if all goes according to plan. Which it has to. When we moved to this north Colorado Springs neighborhood in 2007, there were two rental houses on our street. Now every other house is a rental. The nice young couples with children have moved to better kept neighborhoods. The families we’re seeing now...the best thing I can say is I’ve seen worse. 

We’re not worried about selling our house, as houses on our side of town are being snapped up by people who work in Denver, but can’t afford to live there. Property values are going up even as the roads and sidewalks—untouched by city repair crews in the nearly nine years we’ve lived here—crumble. For our part, aside from being in the proximity of extended friends and family, the cost of living is far less in South Carolina. It makes no sense for us to stick around and watch the place go even further into rental drama hell.

So I’ve got to resist my aversion to uprooting myself and moving it all 1,750 miles east. Not only are the times a-changin’, most of them have long changed already. If I find it so hard to leave because, “But this is where I raised my children!”—again, those children are grown and gone. And the neighborhood doesn’t look the same, anyway. Coming to visit would only bring them down after a while.

I might as well be clinging to air here. They’re only memories. Memories are portable.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end,” as another song goes. I should look forward to starting a new book, a new story, somewhere else. It will be so good to spend Christmas among friends and family. No more desert island Christmases. This change must happen.

Still, it’s so hard to leave sights like these behind. It’s a bittersweet season this year.

Our tree in the living room window.

What the tree sees. Note the Christmas tree in the neighbor’s window at lower right.