Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things.

So it's a good life here. The wife and I are more in love than ever. I mean, it's a solid relationship. No what-if's. It's one for the books, this marriage. Our kid is amazing. Girl said the Pledge of Allegiance the other day. The whole thing. Standing in her pajamas, holding her flag in one hand, the other hand over her heart, said it loud and proud. Three years old, going on thirteen.

We've been homeowners for three years now. That's no small feat these days, when so many poor stiffs got in over their heads and lost it all. (Gotta read the fine print, folks. Look up "adjustable" in the dictionary, if you're not sure.) We were smart enough to stay current on our mortgage so that we were able to refinance at a low fixed rate before the evil adjustable rate kicked in. Got an overall lower payment, too. So now we're sitting pretty, mostly, though utility rates keep going up, up, and away... And though there is still some Katrina cleanup left in the Back Forty of our 1.3 acres, the rest is looking 10x better than it did when we moved in. My cypresses and Japanese red maples are flourishing; the pear tree looks to be loaded down again this year; the last of the dead pines fell last week, and is but a sliced-and-diced memory. The Poulan and I are a formidable timber-felling team.

My job is a cake-walk, almost. Getting quarterly bonuses now. My store is in the black, has been for over a year. ZERO turnover. Established customer base. Yeah, I have job security. And I rather enjoy being the boss from time to time. (My people don't mind, either. I'm mostly a big pushover. Surprise, huh?)

We've got a fish tank, two indoor cats (Titus and Zoe), two Basset hounds (Earl and Beulah), and our gorgeous Siberian husky, Misha, a veritable spirit come down to us from the boreal world. Eyes blue as Arctic ice. She lies at my feet now, resting from her vet checkup; Wolf and her Master.

Everything is great. So why am I so mother-flippin' restless? Is it not enough to enjoy life, to be content? Apparently not. I have been without a challenge too long. I have been without adventure for too long. The wife is feeling it, too. We love our life here; we've worked hard for it, sacrificed; we appreciate so much all we have.

But there is talk within these walls, and the M-words keep coming up: Moving. Missoula. Montana.

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"