Adult Situations

January 24th, 2016. Categories: Nashville

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Warning: This post contains adult content that may include career discussion, pets, and property ownership.

Twenty fifteen was a remarkable year of movement.

J and I left San Fransisco and embarked on domestic trips, then a multi-month trip across Europe just before the refugee crisis hit the news.

We moved by planes, trains, automobiles, boats, scooters, bikes and our own feet.

Returning from this carefree time, we immediately jumped into adult responsibilities.

First priority was finding money. J found a great job quickly, but my progress was slower.

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Departing a temporary basement apartment.
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Bathroom walls.
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Path to the river.
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Winter butterfly.
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Along the Cumberland.
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Edible locust ben pods.
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Marathon.
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I’ve got the power.
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Struts.
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The official malt liquor of pedestrian bridges.
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Loners.
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Killer sunset.

Our search for a house began after her offer letter got us pre-approved for a massive amount of debt.

After looking at hundreds of houses online, about twenty in person, and one failed offer, we finally found one in a sleepy neighborhood with a decent elementary school.

It wasn’t our dream house, if that’s even a real thing.

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Our house.
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Before even moving in, we made the most of our wood fireplace.

Immediately after the closing, which involved a lot of paperwork but less terror than I expected, a contractor removed the asbestos-free popcorn ceilings and applied smooth plaster. During construction, the walls were lined with plastic and the interior was warm and humid. It felt like a place to perform alien autopsies.

Under the cover of our new smooth ceilings, I spent two weeks repainting the downstairs interior walls. It was slow, but fun work. J and her mother helped out on the weekend. I listened to a lot of podcasts to not get lonely in the empty building.

Going over every inch of the house with a detail brush revealed every irregularity to my OCD mind. But all the imperfections are what they are, and it’s all mostly unfixable. Plus, most of the imperfections disappeared we finally unpacked all of our musty possessions.

Pro tip: leather and vintage typewriters mildew in storage.

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Mid popcorn ceiling removal.
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X-files bathroom.
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Sand barge.
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Like a cold moldy pie.
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Slippers and fire.
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Our mantel.
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Our wall decor.
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Midcentury bike stand.

The American Dream is largely a pile of crap from a more ideal time, but there’s a pleasant feeling to owning a house. It’s hard to pinpoint why, but I look around with a smile over it being mine (and the bank’s).

The highlight for me is the wood fireplace. The lowlight is the bills.

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ATL firing on no cylinders.
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McGavock terminates into the river.
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Interior ice.
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Damn, a dam. A beaver dam.
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Neighborhood creek.
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Shrimp and grits.
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Under the bridge.
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Two weeks ago, I was overjoyed to find a healthy orange cat on my home office windowsill. I ran to the kitchen to find a lure, but there was only milk and cotija.

A few crumbles of cheese barely brought him out of hiding from under the porch, but I was able to pat him before he ran away.

I immediately drove to the grocery store and bought some canned cat food. If he ever came back, I wasn’t taking chances.

Two days later, he returned and I lured him into the house. He did a loop, ate the glop, then left.

The next day he returned, and in my excitement to open the can of food I cut three fingers on the can and almost passed out.

He spent more time inside that day, even taking a moment to sit on the rocking chair.

I’m not sure when he started sleeping in bed with us, but he started to.

And despite having no litter box, he only peed inside twice. Like a dog, he signaled to go outside to do his business.

He was spending at least half the day inside now.

Our cat? Sure seems like it.
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I borrowed a carrier and brought him to the vet to check for an ID chip, but he had none. And he wasn’t reported missing online anywhere.

Who did this perfect cat belong to? A neighbor? The whole neighborhood? Anyone?

Well, he was mine now. At least emotionally.

Inside a tobacco barn.
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A view of the Natchez Trace.
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Cow trails and farmland.
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A quick detour.
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Gordon House and Duck River Ferry Site.

If the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane, the snow you see in Tennessee falls mainly sporadically.

Last Thursday night, heavy rain turned to heavy snow. By morning there was already three inches on the ground and god’s dandruff continued falling thickly.

J got the day off work, so we took a walk through the quiet neighborhood streets to meet a friend for a walk. No one was trying to drive, through we helped two people push their cars off the street. Already, numerous cars showed recent accident damage.

My boots soaked through quickly and made walking unpleasant. All restaurants were closed, so we bought snacks and walked to the friend’s house to eat.

The snow stopped falling by Saturday.

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J in the snow.
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A quiet street.
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Recent damage.
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Meeting our walking buddy halfway.
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Creek.
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Sledding hill.
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A classy snowman.

J and I went on a twelve mile walk around the neighborhood. Our destination was the greenway by the river that had transformed into a winter wilderness. Birds didn’t mind the snow, though it was empty otherwise. Snow was already starting to fall of the bent over trees.

Despite wearing plastic bags between two pairs of socks, my feet still got wet.

When we arrived home, I had the start of a cold and nearly a case of trench foot.

That night, we drove the short, slippery distance to the friend’s house for dinner. I was done walking for the day.

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It’s a stickup.
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Entering the greenway.
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Winter wonderland.
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Snowy canopy.
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Beaver lake, frozen over.
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But still fresh evidence of beaver.
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Shady path.
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Nearing the field.
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A field of snow.

Over Monday night, rain cleared all the snow away.

Nashville was back to its normal brown mess. I departed for California.