We're still here. The promise of the suburban dream remains a promise, muted somewhat by the reality of two people who would rather do any number of things beside working on a tract home out on the first ring. Really, we mean well, we're just easily distracted.
Truth is, we just had other things to do - we had a business to run, a couple of old cars to fiddle with, a hot air balloon to fly, kids and grandkids, and well, we just ran out of time and forward momentum. Inertia and denial are powerful drugs, easily administered. Overdoses are common, and while usually not lethal, they can be disfiguring and permanent.
With the changes of the last few years to cope with, and the virtual demise of advertising photography and my willingness to participate in it, there really hasn't been that much liquid cash to dump back into This Old House. We considered an apartment, maybe a loft; something that would liberate us from the day-to-day upkeep of Rancho Conejo, and the guilt that comes from not doing said upkeep.
Then there's this:
Neither the Boss Rabbit nor I want to spend our (ahem) Golden Years in Kansas City. We've seen it. Easily-irritated progressives shouldn't live here. We've also seen the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Chicago, the Intermountain Desert West, any number of roadside attractions within a half-tank of Kansas City, and not that long ago, we finally set foot in Scotland. We have know for some time that we were not suited for where we are. We have benefitted for many years from the low cost of living here, without actually doing much real living.
With the realization that we're approaching a more fragile, even brittle age, it dawned on the BR and me that we didn't have any desire whatever to grow old and eventually achieve room temperature in Kansas City. It's just too redundant.
Of course, since we are who we are, we're not going to move, exactly. We're going nomad - move and keep moving. We intend to shuffle off the mortal coil of home ownership in favor of a trailer and a gas-guzzling Suburban. We will finally be able to spend as much time as necessary to catch the light in Utah, the seasons in New England and winters in Arizona or Florida.
|Serving Suggestion, not our actual vehicles.|
If weather presents a hurdle to a photographic challenge in say, Coos Bay, we can wait it out, even if it's only for one image. If the BR wants to wander the neighborhoods of Victoria Hill in Seattle, we have time to do that. The time spent waiting for the planet to turn can lend itself to journaling the life on the road and maybe even finding an interested reader or two. I will have ample time to write, and with some luck, experiences to write about; images to share. We will maintain this life until we grow weary of the Bedouin way, grow weary of one another, or give out physically.
So, we spend a lot of the next twelve months shoveling thirty years of accumulated crap into the willing if confused arms of children, grandchildren, thrift stores, and the drone army of estate-sale commandos, who pick at the flesh of the recent dead like flesh-eating beetles. Removing the books alone may make the house list to one side.
At the end we'll have a house, a trailer and a large Chevrolet. The last few pieces get shoved into the trailer as the house is sold, Moxie the cat is installed on her portable throne and we put Kansas City in our rear-view mirror.
There will be adjustments. The BR and I are both dedicated packrats, and I'm still parceling the remainders of my thirty years accumulation of photo equipment to worthy successors and future image-makers. Learning to live in a confined space has its own challenges. I'm a big guy. My daily ablutions will be like playing the trombone in a phone booth, but I will adjust. We will adjust. We will learn to live within our aluminum and fiberglass boundaries.
Note: The value of this plan has just been validated by the sudden, unexpected death of one of my compadres from the old neighborhood. We were brothers beyond the flesh for more than fifty years. Shit.Then, right on cue, my friend Jan wrote this morning:
"So let me ask you: What do you really, really, really want to do? What motivation do you need? How long are you willing to work? How hard are you willing to work? Who (besides me, I'm here!) is going to support you?Tracey Leiweke once gave me this bit of insight during a photo shoot with George Brett, "In Kansas City, no idea is good enough." It's true. Our collective inferiority complex manifests itself as a sort of snarling victimhood, a Boss Tom concrete-paved pouty three-year-old that will hold its breath until it turns blue if you don't tell it that it's just as good as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or (jeez-o-pete) St. Louis.
Today is the perfect day to start, my friend. Turn your world upside down. It's a really beautiful view."
This is a town where you still can't get a train to the airport, a bus that actually goes anywhere useful, or a cab when you need one. Downtown is a Yellow-free zone, save the corner of Twelfth and Wyandotte, and even then cabs are rare unless there is a granfalloon of paunchy, barbeque-addled businessmen in town wondering where all the hookers are. That cab ride will set you back at least twenty bucks, chum.
We will miss Kansas City. And then we won't.
Update: First tangible evidence of our insanity.
Thus spake the rabbit.