Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Skies of My Apocalypse

Sky porn in lieu of me bitching about my First World problems. All photos taken by and Copyright ©Yours Truly, via a Canon Powershot S95.

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for too long, owing to a major transition in my life—my own personal apocalypse, as it were.

It’s not a perniciously catastrophic apocalypse, but, as befits an apocalypse, there are no walkbacks, takebacks, or go-backs. This is it. This is the end. Long story short, the school district where my wife and I raised our now-adult children all of a sudden became a hot real estate property, affording us the opportunity to sell our house at a profit, pay off our crippling credit card debt, and move to a less crowded and hectic town in Colorado.

As of this posting, I’m writing from a hotel room in north Colorado Springs, waiting for the appraiser in Monte Vista to do his thing so we can settle into our new digs. Everything is delayed because the real estate market is heating up to varying degrees all over Colorado, and everyone involved in such transactions is booked solid.

The process of prepping, showing, and selling the house, along with the stressors of packing and moving (my wife did most of our packout, bless her), smothered my writerly mojo. I could hardly bring myself to post on Facebook, let alone on my blog, or—worst of all—finish my last book in THE SAGA OF THE DEAD SILENCER series. 

It’s been a week since my wife and I moved into this small hotel room with our four cats. We have maybe six more weeks to go. I’d like to think the worst of my stress was over yesterday with the stomach flu that had me puking my guts out all day Father’s Day, but...six weeks. 

Yeah, I know. Suck it up, Buttercup. It’s all you can do.

At least I’m past grieving for the change. I took many photos of my last walks through the greenbelt near my old place, and a few from my Jeep as I drove through the familiar streets. It’s been a stormier than usual summer here in Colorado Springs, and if I’m already sick of looking at happysnaps of my former home and office, the skies have reflected my mood rather nicely.

So much has changed in our nine years at the old address. When we moved to Colorado Springs in 2007, the town was known as “the evangelical Vatican.” I shared the same ZIP code as Focus on the Family, and was maybe ten minutes away from Ted Haggard’s New Life Church. It’s not nearly as severe as one is given to believe. The day after we moved in, a neighboring homeschooling mom showed up at our front door with a welcoming batch of cookies. I may disagree with the evangelicals on any number of topics (and we are NOT going into that here, or anywhere), but I will defend to the death the practice of welcoming neighbors with fresh-baked cookies, and the people who would do such a thing.

I’m not sure the family is still there. We haven’t seen them around in ages. A lot of people have moved out. Others have moved in. After nine years, with a metaphorical wolf circling in the yard just outside our door for the last five—never mind what the media is telling you to be upset about; the very nature of the economy has changed most apocalyptically since 2008—it was our time to fly.

Nine years. The churches aren’t the big deal they used to be. Many of the tech companies that employed the majority of people who once lived on the north side have either closed, or replaced a lot of their workers with H1B visas. They’re hard to miss, as their families fill the local King Sooper’s between four and six p.m. 

Our children are out of high school and on their own, looking to make their own ways outside of Colorado Springs. While Colorado Springs was a great place to raise children, it never was much of a town for young people to stick around in. And unless you’re an officer with better than average security clearances, and connections in the defense contractor companies still here, it’s no place for military retirees, either. As the economy has contracted, so have the surviving cliques. They’re naturally wary of outsiders, and if you’re not already in, outside is where you’ll stay.

Regardless of the change and how it happened, a change was happening. Adapt and overcome. Change or die.

We’re looking outside the Pikes Peak region to the high San Luis Valley, three and a half hours away. The house we want in Monte Vista is over 100 years old and in need of some work, to say the least. But it fits our narrow budget. And with the debt paid off, we’ve sent the wolf away from our door and down the road a piece. With some care, and barring further catastrophe, he’ll stay there.

As that old song everyone hates goes, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

It’s waiting for that beginning to get properly going that’s going to drive me crazy over the next few weeks. But I’m writing again. That’s something. It has to be. 

It’s a blank new world. Let’s see what I can come up with this time around.