Wednesday, June 23, 2010


It took the floor guy two days to resurface the hardwoods in my new house. It's taken me a month to resurface myself. The hardwoods are gorgeous; I'm still not looking too good. But here we both are, just off Woodward Avenue.


Patty and I live in a new house now, in a new city. Well, new to us. The house and city are actually on the old side, and I'm feeling more and more that way myself. But old can cut a couple of different ways.

Old can have bumpy, oddly laid out routes and infrastructure that take some patience and creativity to navigate. Old can be creaky and problematic, with long-forgotten wiring schemes mystery switches and missing parts and moisture where it doesn't belong.

And the city and the house are just as bad as me. Haw, haw.

I won't lie. This move has been tough on me. It's put me behind on my work - here's apologizing for the blog silence while hoping it was at least a little noticed - and thus on sleep. It's taken me away from a home I loved, from friends I miss. It wiped out and hasn't allowed resumption of a training and racing regimen that I believe now more than ever is essential to my mental health. There has been frustration, impatience, stress and maybe even tragedy - our second day here, the curious Mr. B slipped out of a window where a screen should have been and we haven't seen him since. I am not ashamed to say that there were moments where I wondered if I had made the worst mistake of my life, and we're well beyond imagining it's reversible.

But if my old, new home and city can resemble my old, new life, maybe I can come to resemble them. Most of the houses here are old, and most of them are still here. So are the narrow streets and so are most of the residents. Nobody ever leaves - it's the Hotel California of cities. The neighbors are too nice, the trees too gorgeous, the atmosphere too friendly. People tend to remodel their houses, add to them or just move down the block to another one.

Sure, a few people go over the wall and buy something shiny and sterile and new somewhere else. A few residents have lived here forever and done nothing with the place. But most of the homes, and certainly the best of them, are originals with extensive updates. A solid foundation with a steady diet of newness and even a jarring dose of change once in a while seems to be the formula of choice.

I'm getting caught up. I think more stuff is put away now than in boxes. My attitude is improving. I know where some of the important things are. The cat will take his time, but he'll come back.

The Detroit Free Press Marathon is 17 Sundays away, and the training plan is 16 weeks long. Let the remodeling begin.

The old place is looking up.


Kovas Palubinskas said...

As Heraclitus may have said," The only constant is change." Fight it at your peril. Best of luck settlin ginto your new house and new town, and here's hoping your cat will return. An auspicious sign that you have just the right amount of time to train for the race.

Sara Davis said...

With such a striking and unique cat, someone will catch sight of him soon and you will get him back.
Moving has the effect on 90% of people. Its an uncomfortable and heinous process, but it slowly gets better. I bet if you join a running group, your mood will improve.
And we live in a time when friends are never far away - they are just a button click away.
So ends my obvious and already known encouragement.

Jacqueline Haney said...

The house is gorgeous!

Jim Smith II said...

Jef - Glad your resurfacing, as others have said moving is a challenge for almost everyone, but in the long run change is sometimes the thing we need most (even if we don't always know it OR enjoy the transition).

Hopefully Mr. B will turn up turn up soon and you can get back in the saddle, literally.

BTW - Trust me, your blog posts were missed.

robincgonz said...

I missed you!

Look for your cat in your old neighborhood; quite possible he's returned to the house and your neighbors are feeding him...

rzeitner said...

Was that the cat who attacked?

The other important thing is that there is room for all of your bikes.

The rest is negotiable.

La Professora said...

"here's apologizing for the blog silence while hoping it was at least a little noticed"

Yes, you were missed. Glad to have you back.

Purplestate said...

Missed you Jef -- glad you're back in the saddle!

Joe said...

Good luck with the new house. Glad your back.

Anonymous said...

As my daughter says, "Moving = bad. Being moved in = good." Glad you are back.

Joanne Emig said...

Any news on Mr. B?

Jeanie said...

Sending you wishes for Mr. B's return -- Rick told me this weekend (as the screen was out of our utility room window at the cottage). Very sad for you both and hope by now he has been found safe, happy and returned.

Give my best to Patty. (And my verification word is "press," so "Press on!"