Monday, January 9, 2012

Back into the shell

Excuse me, I am just coming off the high of a very relaxing and lovely weekend.  It all started with my executive decision to stay home.  This may not have meaning to you, but it has a great deal of meaning to me.  Now I shall explain and you will find the meaning that you lack.

Way way back in the long ago when I moved back to Minnesota after college graduation (ten years ago, to be exact), I started my independent adult life.  True, for the first few years of that life I lived in a condominium owned by my nursing-home bound grandfather, but it still felt pretty cool.  As I did not own the place, I was occasionally subject to mass intrusion by my immediate family for holidays or other big ticket visits.  My brother also became my roommate a few times on his summer breaks. 

But at that time, my parents lived in Wisconsin, a good five to six hour drive away from me.  Last minute visits were rare, so I was able to (mostly) live in my own little "grown-up" abode. 

Then I got my undies in a bunch and decided that I really needed my "own" place.  As the housing market was hot, I hopped right on the crazy train and purchased a townhouse of my very own.  I reasoned that it would be an excellent investment as I would only be building equity with each monthly payment.  Little did I know that major market changes were on the horizon, but that is part of a different story.

For several more years, I lived out my life in relative solitude.  This is not to say that I was a hermit, but I did have some strong home-body tendencies.  I could spend entire weekends at home with good books and/or movies and have no contact with the outside world.

Then my parents moved back to Minnesota.  Shortly thereafter, my brother died unexpectedly.  These two separate and unrelated changes led to me spending more time away from my house.  My parents initially lived in my grandfather's condo, but eventually their Wisconsin house sold and they bought a house of their own here in Minnesota. 

The next major event that led me to continue spending weekends away from my own house was the addition of a puppy to my parents' household.  I had long been wanting a dog of my own, but I felt that my schedule and lifestyle would not properly accommodate one.  Pippi satisfied my puppy longings, and her cuteness and terrier tenacity kept me coming back every week.

By the time Thor came around, I was already hooked, but he solidified my need to leave my hermit habits behind for a time.

When I made the decision to attend graduate school, I finally found a legitimate reason to stay at my parents' house on a regular basis.  My townhouse is located in an outer suburb which makes travel a bit of a chore to certain places.  To be clear, the commute from my house to school was in excess of an hour.  The commute from my parents' house to school was about 20 minutes.  The math makes sense.

Finally, last February, I adopted Lena.  Combining dog ownership with graduate school was a bit of a scary decision, but I went ahead with it anyway.  Luckily I had my parents and their hospitality to help me handle the transition.  It was also helpful for Lena as it allowed her steady access to a fenced yard to encourage her free-range requirements that cannot be met in my townhome development.

But now, school is done.  I have a dog of my own, so there is not as much of a need for me to get my puppy-fix elsewhere.  Hence, I can now contemplate a return to my more hermit-like ways.  Is this good or bad?  Time will tell.

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