An Announcement: We’re Gonna Make It.

English: Postage stamp depicting the main buil...Postage stamp depicting the main building of the Tampere City Library (“Metso”), designed by Raili & Reima Pietilä (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes! Finally I can tell you some things. There are still struggles; there are still problems. Some of these I can’t talk about, mostly because I wish to maintain the privacy of those involved. Other issues I won’t bother to mention, basically because we all have these problems. The car breaks down. Your indoor cat somehow gets fleas.

And while it’s good to purge sometimes, I prefer selective and productive dumping, so as not to pollute the public’s emotional water ways. Sometimes others need to hear the specifics of your struggles, so that they do not feel alone. This isn’t one of those days. Today I need to share a bit of good news, because the gods know I have been needing some good news. And in this way, I hope to bring some encouragement, not through commiseration, but through celebration, and tangible reasons for hope.

So let’s boil this down. My beautiful 100-year-old building was bought by new owners this year. I was a little worried because frankly I’ve been living here pretty cheaply, and that allowed me to take that leap and quit the restaurant biz, go full-time at the library, and start working on that freelance editing thing. But the first time they raised the rent it was only by 25 bucks. Whew. Then, like my knee, the car broke down. No problem, we have another car and I can walk up the street to work. It will take time, but we’re gonna make it, I thought.

My table that I don't sit a often enough.

My table that I don’t sit a often enough.

Then in July we got the news that the rent would go up again, with the promise of a further hike coming in January. All totaled that’s a 200 dollar rise in rent in their first year of owning this place! Hey, if I’m going to pay that I want at least a postage-stamp-yard, not just a stone courtyard, with stones that are only there because friends and I drove the truck and put them there (with sweat, and little help from the previous landlord).

For that price I want a place with more light, not a cave tucked in between these dark buildings. I want a view akin to what I had when I was up on the third floor, when our family was smaller, a view that looked over the building toward the hills along the river, not this view of an ugly wall. For that price I want the stained tiles in my kitchen ceiling replaced, like the landlord promised months ago. A little insulation in the place would be nice too. The cheap rent only served to offset the high cost of heating and cooling.

There are nicer places (and we don’t need one quite this big now that the boys are older) for that price. But even so, I couldn’t afford the two hundred-dollar hike, not yet. The budget really was that tight. It meant a change in plans, and honestly taking my wounded knee and my battered heart back into waiting tables just wasn’t an option. I love my job at the library here. For the last year and a half I’ve been happy going to work, not dreading it (even when the computer lab tech issues seem to be conspiring to bring me down!). But circumstances were just making it clear that I needed to adjust my plans.

And to keep this story from taking up your whole day, here’s the news: After some inquiries, two interviews, and several weeks, I have accepted a job offer that (once I get past all the moving expenses–thank you to my friends who are offering assistance!) will get our heads above water again. No, we won’t be living lavish life-styles of the rich and famous, but we’ll be in much better shape and on our feet financially again.

They were a tad younger here.

They were a tad younger here.

It’s a little further from my sons, but my sons are well above driving age now, and really the few extra miles just make sense. We’ll be closer to Brian’s family, and that will save him his monthly week-long absences to work with his brother and father. And we have friends in the area too, so while we will miss our Northumberland-Lewisburg crowd, we will not be adrift or alone.

I’ll be supervising a small branch library and learning a little each week in the large home library downtown too. There is a local, active arts, music and poetry scene, and I’m looking forward to getting involved once we settle in. I’ve scouted out birding opportunities in the vicinity–it’s important! There’s even a little fall hawk watch south of town. And of course, we can pay the bills, rather than juggle them, without my having to do any more damage to my body on restaurant floors.

So that’s the scoop. The picture in the video below makes me chuckle, because while we are not exactly moving to “the big city,” for this country boy, it’s pretty close. So allow me a little artistic license here. As I’ve said elsewhere, “I’m a poet, not a historian.” EDIT: It seems the original video has been deleted, so by way of explanation, the image was a city-scape, and was meant to be a visual commentary for this well-traveled country boy. So I’ve come back and substituted this classic performance, introduced by “Hoss.” I hope you’ll call him that. 😉

It’s interesting, as I type this post in the editing window, WordPress is suggesting tags that include Star Wars, Nazi concentration camps, World War II, and the Associated Press. These are big life changes going on for us, but thanks for the contrast, WP Editor; It’s really not that bad. Here’s Little Milton (no, my cat is not named after him) with “We’re Gonna Make It.”

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13 thoughts on “An Announcement: We’re Gonna Make It.

  1. I’m not quite speechless, but I seem to be having a difficult time finding the words to talk about your impending departure. The library has given me the best part-time job I’ve ever had, and the second best job (compared to all jobs, including full-time). I have had problems making friends in the past. That has changed fairly recently. I consider you a good friend. You are one of the nicest, most understanding, creative, caring, open-minded, patient, gentle persons I’ve met in my lifetime. I enjoy working with you, and respect your creative comments and input. I admire what you’ve done with the website. So, I view your leaving as a big loss (both for the library and for me). I do believe, however, that you will be able to make a huge contribution to the Plains Library. They should count their blessings that you accepted the position. I can’t wait to see you at work tomorrow. There’s much I want to talk about and ask you. I’m hoping to be able to continue the poetry and story telling twice a month as your successor. (Big shoes to fill though!) I must say, my friend, that despite the foregoing, I wish you the best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Steve, you know reading this means a lot to me. Thank you. I always look forward to the days we work together, dear friend, and you know I will keep in touch. Your authentic presence and positive outlook, even through all the shit you’ve endured, well, you never fail to brighten my day. Thank you for all those kind words, my friend, but the best thing ever is hearing that you want to continue on with Cross Keys. That’s FANTASTIC! Really good news. I was worried what might happen. Faith and John will continue to help too, I am sure. And I’ll put you in touch with Mary. We should get an email/phone list together next time. Perhaps it can be the Cross Keys Poets and Story Tellers, or Artists or just the Cross Keys something? Whatever you decide, I can’t feel like it’s in better, or kinder hands. Thank you, Steve. See you tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Funny that you used the word flooding. After so much crap happening in Eastern Pa the last couple of years, flood zones are very much a part of my house hunting right now. 😉

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  2. Congratulations! I published a depressed post today, but then I went to a mostly-gay church, and now everything seems like it’s going to be great. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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