I was able to awaken this morning without the aid of an alarm clock or any medical resuscitation equipment. I would have thought, after all of my strenuous activities of yesterday, that I would have slept on and on this morning, only arising when forced to by some outside influence. For, as we all know, a body in rest tends to stay at rest until acted on by an outside force. Especially THIS body. But, at 8:00 AM, my eyes popped open and I found myself suddenly and inexplicably awake.
I expected to creak out of bed and do the “old man hobble” down to the kitchen for my first infusion of coffee. However, I was amazingly pain free, which is astounding after everything I did yesterday. There was an occasional twinge walking down the stairs, but for the most part I am none the worse for wear and shan’t have to be put into the “reduced for quick sale” bin just yet.
However, there is one thing that suffered somewhat from yesterday’s activities … and that is my sense of mission. Whereas yesterday I awoke and got busy with a sense of purpose and with a drive that is uncharacteristic of me, today I sat, steaming mug of coffee in hand, and contemplated the remainder of my to-do list with what can only be called indifference. I started to say “lassitude”, but there is no sense in using a ten dollar word when a ten cent word will do just as well.
But this is just a temporary state. I know that, with large enough infusions of coffee and self-guilt, that I will become motivated to get up and go through the motions of being a dedicated and enthusiastic homeowner, though to do so will bring me little joy.
Not that I am ungrateful that I have a house. I am extremely grateful. However, when we are young, and when our families and society begin to pressure us to “get our own place”, the images used to sell us on that notion are idyllic. It is a vine-covered cottage with a white picket fence, lovely sing-songing birds, and frolicking squirrels. Around this halcyon cottage are expanses of lush, green grass with bursts of colorful flowers in verdant gardens.
What they DON’T tell you is that vines attract rodents and insects who view it as the Garden of Eden, and that vines growing up the side of your house invite rot, water damage, and the ill effects of vine adhesion. They don’t tell you that you will NOT get pretty songbirds, but only grackles, crows, and obnoxious bluejays. They do not tell you that squirrels will chew their way into your attic, nibble on electrical wires, and burn your house down. The brochure says nothing about the fact that white picket fences need to be constantly maintained to keep the pickets from becoming loose and falling off, and that the fence must be repainted constantly to keep it from becoming weathered and unsightly. The sales video also fails to mention that the grass will only remain green if you water it constantly to the tune of $200 a month and cause the depletion of the local lakes, and also only if you fertilize it to the point of having your yard declared a super-fund site by the Environmental Protection Agency. As for flowers, the salesman will conveniently forget to inform you that flowers do not grow in Texas unless you are prepared to build a bio-dome over your own little slice of Eden and have the entire shebang artificially cooled, have the humidity lowered, and about 80% of the sun’s energy blocked.
And, as the final, stinging, and deepest cut of them all, don’t even get me started on the staggering costs of maintaining a central A/C unit, aging plumbing, and a shifting, cracking foundation.
But I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. Of course I am grateful! If I were not grateful , would I dedicate the lion’s share of my income, time, and energy on it?