The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Settling In

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003 in Illinois

I am in my new home, trying to settle in as quickly as possible after what turned out to be a tremendously stressful move involving a cranky buyer, creepy lawyer, and slippery real estate agent. I’m glad to know the worst is over and that I’m now inhabiting a quieter, freer, more peaceful abode. I’m thankful for that. But I’d be lying if I said that this long process has been one big flowery bed of roses. It’s been more like a dank, smelly mire.

After I sold my condo and closed on the new house, I was quickly overwhelmed (terrified) by the massive amount of work the new home needs to bring it up to standard. Although I was aware that I’d need to put some elbow grease into the new house to make it a comfortable home, it was only after the closing that reality sank in. It hit me all at once: this place needs a lot of work.

That’s the funny thing about buying a home (especially an older home) in a frantic seller’s market. After you have the keys, you might see the place in an entirely different light.

Another delight: a large open field and a wonderful oak tree a short distance from my new home.

Before the closing, I had so much to deal with—paperwork, negotiating, arranging movers, trying to keep up with work—that nothing really registered for me until after the move. And when it did finally sink in, I fell fast into a mean red funk—a condition more commonly described as buyer’s remorse. I wandered from room to room wondering what the hell was I thinking? I made a list of all the things that needed fixing or buying or disinfecting before I could feel comfortable in this place. It was one long list, let me tell you. After a while, I just threw it away because it was freaking me out.

Fortunately, I’m over that dreadful stage now. I’m moving forward with resolve. I made a new, level-headed list of the fixes and improvements that need to be done. I’ll tackle those things when the time comes. But first I must unpack, clean, sort, and settle in. And I must see the good in all of this, because it is there. It just requires me to select a healthy perspective. I need to adjust my attitude. In the immortal words of Winston Churchill, I must KBO: Keep Buggering On.

The lovely view out my living room window.
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Assortment

Geevor Tin Mine
Geevor Tin Mine
At one point the trail disappears onto an exposed stretch of granite. I continue to walk for few minutes across the rock and come to the other side. The giant slab ends at a steep drop-off. The slope below is thick with trees.
Staying Cool
Staying Cool
The Windy City sure lived up to its name today. All day long the wind howled and puffed hefty gusts of cold air from the northwest. Cottonball clouds sped across a cobalt sky—they collided and blended together and by late afternoon the sky was leaden.
Gem Lake
Gem Lake
This past weekend Phil and I went up to Estes Park to hike the Gem Lake Trail. For most of the hike, it was sunny and mild but as we approached Gem Lake the clouds took over and the temperature dropped.