As I leech bandwidth from one of my unknowingly-generous neighbors, I ponder the fact that what we learn about an object depends on the context in which we find it. Our understanding is enhanced, and more accurate when we find things in situ.
Am I currently in situ? I am. Over the weekend, I was not. We were in two houses. With items thither and yon. Sunday and Monday the move was accomplished. Items: Boxes produred, truck was rented, toilet stopped up, bunk beds disassembled, music played loud, fast-food breakfast eaten, strapping tape utilized, bubble wrap popped, furniture moved, war cries of young men who saw 300 called out, backs ached, new roses evaluated for “fun” trimming, frightening three point turns made, boxes placed, baskteball hoop FreeCycled, smaller living room filled with furniture, new neighbors introduced, Outback steaks offered as compensation to hardworking kids, collapsing in a heap parents, new smells in new house “appreciated,” refridgerator disposed of, run to the Simi landfill made, rental truck returned, trip to Goodwill made, backyard swing FreeCycled, work commuted to, cleaning and more cleaning done, second phase of crap transported, house emptied, plumber called for a leak, final walkthrough done, keys returned, and the deal is done.
And now we live in Moorpark, mere blocks away from the kids’ Dad and Stepmom. It’s really awesome. Al dropped by at random yesterday. This ease is new. It’s the bold experiment called “joint custody” and I think it portends great things. My commute is only ten minutes longer, I have easier access to interesting bike paths along the stream that flows through Moorpark, I’m in striking distance of Amtrak and Metrolink, moderately closer to Moorpark college.
The place is about the same rent-wise as we paid in the last place. Our goal was to drop our rent 20% or so. Well, no. Not a realistic possibility. With four kids, we’d have to be in an apartment with 2 bedrooms or three in cramped quarters. Now, we’re cramped in this new 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath place — but it feels homey as well. It’s a new discipline for us, to live in less space. The last two years in a 4+2-1/2 were great and right for the time, but less space will work for us now. It’s a grand new adventure and this new setup changes what it means for us to be “in situ.”