The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Marriage has never been important to me. Having a loving relationship, yes, but marriage, no. To me, it’s a contrivance of society and religion that forces people to stay together when they don’t want to be. Given the number of divorces and sham marriages, it’s foolish to think that marriage is more of an indication of love and commitment than simply living together is, but, furthermore, people drastically change every ten years.

As a teenager, I was extremely talkative and outgoing, then I became a very quiet introvert in my late 20s. In my teens and 20s, I was firmly a city girl, but in my mid-30s, I began to crave the mountains. Throughout my 20s and early 30s, I was heavily into national politics and constantly fired up about issues, while now, I’m largely politically disengaged. Up until my mid-30s, I was constantly going to live concerts, but now I have very little interest in that. I’ve never been into exercise more than I needed to be to stay basically healthy, but I’ve become a full on gym rat in the last year and a half. I’m constantly acquiring and dropping hobbies and interests, and I think it’s very likely that by the time I’m 45 or 50, I’ll be engaged in certain activities that are currently beyond my imagination. Continue reading →

Fifteen and a Half Weeks in the Mountains: What Makes a House a Home?

I’ve lived in a lot of housing units in my life. 31 now, to be exact, if you count living somewhere as a stay of at least one month. Even if you think the threshold should be three months, I’m still at 26. And all but two of those were after high school. So it’s no surprise I’ve never felt much of a connection to the places I’ve lived. They never were much more in my mind than just what I called them – housing units. Or domiciles, quarters, lodging, a roof, a pad. “Home” is not a status I’d confer on any of them.

This number 31 on the top of a hill hasn’t reached “home” status yet either, but only emotionally speaking. Acquiring a new property is like dating. You see it once and it’s gorgeous and you become infatuated; you see it a few more times and realize it’s something you want to get to know better; and then your feelings grow from infatuation into something deeper, so you decide to make the relationship exclusive, but even then, a long time might pass before you really fall in love. Although I suppose the analogy kinds of breaks down at the end there because in the case of buying a house, you’re really getting married and moving in together before you fall in love. So I guess this was an impetuous wedding in a chapel in Vegas, although my partner would beg to differ given the months of extra special frustration associated with acquiring a mortgage and insurance for a property in an area prone to wildfires. But true love can’t be far behind the fascination we both still very much have with this house and property. Here’s why. Continue reading →