Merkel’s Yerkels

I feel like that could be the name of her U.S.-based fan club, should we all decide we’ve completely bolloxed up this independence thing and beg for admittance into the E.U. We’re not there yet? The past six months are just a moment’s retrograde in our country’s history… a history full of moments that would make us all shudder were we to relive or experience them up close? Yes, every time I get drawn into a PBS historical special or read about some period in history I’m reminded of the real problem here: humans can be really horrible to each other, and to animals and nature. There are a lot of base and selfish instincts that sometimes carry the day. Then we are capable of producing great things too: medicine, art, culture, justice, equity — things we like to use to define our civilization. We’d like to think we are more defined by these good things we produce and provide for each other, but man, it seems like it’s a bit closer than we thought, as far as our advancement as a society versus the violence, inequity and barriers to productivity and peace that step us backwards again and again.

So with all that in mind, we’ve cashed in some stock, sold our home on the coast, and we’re moving inland. Ok, I might be slightly dramatizing the narrative. But don’t think I haven’t looked up the elevation change here — with the rising oceans always in the back of my mind (I can’t swim). We’ve got two closing dates pending in mid-July, with the home in Sharon (elevation: 249 ft above sea level) set to be out of our hands three days before we take possession of a great new house in Arlington Heights, IL (elevation: 700 ft above sea level). This move has been deemed controversial and even traitorous by some of my oldest friends here (aka the Frappeheads), as I abandon them to the rising tides of the Atlantic. But, like the forefathers (and foremothers) who came before us, are we not pioneering new territory for settlement and will we not send for our family and friends who are being, for the moment, left behind? But of course!! Provided we do not fall prey to the many perils along the trail… or misplace your addresses… or have you swallowed by the waves in the meantime.

No, we are feeling quite lucky to have sold our house fairly quickly and then have that money go a bit farther out in the Chicagoland burbs. The new house has a great home office for Johnny Telecommuter over here, “Sorry, I’m still trying to get this soft phone to work, the VPN is spotty… can you hear me? What’s that? Turn my camera on? Well, I’m not wearing any clothes… I’m a telecommuter… what did you-… well ok…” And then to make up for not having a basement, there are two garages. I’ve already got the signoff from Karen to turn the second detached garage into a music space. So stay tuned to my adventures in HVAC, insulation and carpentry, as I try to turn that structure into some year-round studio space. But the location is great too, walking distance from downtown Arlington Heights and the commuter rail for Karen. So we’re pretty excited. Even Isaac is excited because he found a bunny living in the vegetation in front of the house, seeing it two days in a row while we were out there last weekend.

Note to others: house-hunting with kids is a borderline no-go. Karen and I made one trip ourselves more to scout out the different towns we were considering and look at some houses. We had a great time, the realtors took us out to lunch, we hit Starbucks for a break, we debriefed humorously about houses that were non-starters for us. Second trip with the kids, we were half looking at the houses, half keeping the kids from beating each other up in a walk-in closet. “Save that for when we own the place!” we yelled, giving the realtor the “well, you have kids, you know” shrug, the realtor checking her watch. Less fun.

Anyway, it’s going to be sad to leave friends and family here. I’m about to become an uncle, with my brother due to have his first child any minute now! All the more reason to come back to visit frequently, also so I can show up at work and make sure people remember I still work at the company. It’s a bit scary venturing into the company of some of my colleagues who are primarily disembodied voices. I guess with our meeting software we more and more often share our video and can see each other now, which helps, although honestly I think you pay attention to the conversation better when you don’t have images  of everyone on the call plus an image of yourself on the screen in front of you. You’re always listening and then catching the image of yourself listening and thinking, “Wow, is that how I look when I’m listening? Putting the pen in my ear does not make me look thoughtful at all. I just look like an idiot! And I forgot to get dressed again.”

Ok, that’s all for now, one of the last times from Lee Road, down in the pastel palace, which was callously referred to as a “man-cave” in one of the real-estate listings. Really? The pastels make it at least gender neutral, I’d say. Although one of the big moving company guys giving us an estimate made a very genuine comment about how much he liked the pastel cabinet colors. We did NOT go with that company. I’m kidding. Well, we didn’t, but not for that reason. I’m rambling. Ok, hope you all are doing well, and after July I hope you’ll look us up anytime you’re in Chicago. If you’re in MA and want to raid our house of stuff that doesn’t fit onto the truck, come by July 12! Actually, my band is playing at the lake in the center of town that night, July 12, so seriously, come for the free stuff and stay for the music. Until next time,

-Eric

 

 

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About ericf73

A modern-day combination of Noah, Godot and Clark W. Griswold.
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