Once a year, all the judges in Maryland get together for a judicial conference. Once a year, attorneys all over the state catch up on paperwork, sleep in a little, and bask in the experience of knowing, no matter how busy their practice is, they won’t have to wear courtroom attire to the office “just in case” there’s an emergency phone call from judges’ chambers. We can take it a little easier for a few days, thanks to Their Honors’ annual annual do.
I used the week to pop out to Oregon to see Beloved Offspring and her Devoted Swain. They are ready to house hunt, because Oregon checks all the boxes for them. Big trees, nice people, lots of horses, beautiful… So a house-hunting we did go.
The sticker shock about knocked my socks off. I have a little farmhouse on two acres here in Maryland. The house has character (by this I mean low ceilings, an oggly fieldstone fireplace, but also gorgeous, huge chestnut beams), and a lovely bank barn, a stream cutting through the middle of the property, a little summer kitchen, fenced paddock, big trees… I have always enjoyed living here, though it’s a lot to maintain for one person.
I also pay less for this little bide-o-wee each month than BO and DS are charged for a two-bedroom basement apartment–a LOT less. Yes, I heat with wood, and I’m only one person, but still… What I have here would cost me at least double in Oregon, and I couldn’t find anything exactly comparable anyway. When my house was built, Oregon had yet to be settled.
We started our house hunt looking for a property that could eventually house the three of us–something with a mother-in-law suite, a studio over the garage, a casita down by the pond. Nothing, not one single property in our price range, even had so much as a full-size chicken house, much less quarters I could move into.
I came home with a good dose of, “Guess where I am is pretty cool for what I’m paying. Maybe fixing this place up is not a crazy plan after all,” and that was a huge relief. I suspect the day will come when I do move west to be nearer to my only child, but that day is not today. Today I’m calling the electrician to fix the kitchen light, and taking out another trash bag of stuff that’s been cluttering up my nest.
Has travel ever given you a helpful insight? Ever helped you hit reset on a problem? To one commenter, I’ll send a copy of My Own True Duchess, which goes on sale in the website store on June 15, and on the retail platforms June 19.