As it turns out, I just got the call from the bank, and the new mortgage has been apparently approved without issue. No mention of an assessment, so I guess they figured the estimate wasn't out of line. So, if my math was right, and I can stick to it, the line of credit should be paid off by the end of the summer.
Reasonably busy weekend. I don't usually blog about that anymore unless it's a genuine excursion but I'm in one of those phases, and this is a confusing moment in my life that probably bears some mention just so I can keep it all straight later. So here goes.
Anyone who remembers what I went through with Twinkle a year and a half ago will remember I had my friend Michelle around through nearly all of it. She listened to my hopes and fears over dinners. She accompanied me several times to visit Twinkle in the hospital. She came by my home on what turned out to be the last night of Twinkle's life and it buoyed my spirits to see Twinkle, not usually the cuddliest of cats, crawl all over Michelle as if in recognition of her visits. I mention all this for context. I had brunch... well, lunch, really, with Michelle Saturday. Earlier last week she casually let me know that she's expecting. I'm happy for her and her intended (the wedding is this August and I've wrangled myself an invite, I think; she didn't think I'd want to be around a lot of strangers). It is, after all, a vicarious joy to see your friends get what they want out of life. Ah, but there was a bittersweetness to it, too. She was once, a long time ago, the one I thought I'd marry, and I suppose in myriad parallel universes, did, to varying degrees of success. But not in this one. That's pretty minor; though. Just a silly legacy of who we were as young people together. The other aspect is that it means I'll see even less of her than I do now. It's inevitable. When your friends finally really grow up and leave Neverland, that's how it is. But I won't abandon the lines of communication this time. I know she won't either.
Afterward I ended up in East York to continue some work in P-Doug's back yard. Larry arrived with a borrowed spade that was the principal tool of the day. Pretty quickly we focused on removing the stumps of the felled young trees; a task that grew harder with each we undertook. The last took about half an hour to dislodge. We also cleared up the mystery of how the 25' clothesline mast and possible radio antenna was anchored. We managed to dig it up, but didn't have the leverage or horsepower to actually remove it. I'm personally hoping this can be accomplished quickly and easily by salvage operators who will remove old metal for free. As it is, it's even less decorative than it was a couple a weeks ago.
I suppose we were back there for about an hour. The weather was cool, but not cold... despite all the oomph, I don't think even Larry worked up a sweat, though if anyone had a right to one, he did. By then it was somewhere between 2 and 3, and we headed up the the Queen Vic. There was a point at which I was sitting there kind of mourning it, thinking, if you move, how will you do this? But then I realized, this is Saturday. You'd do what you just did: get up, drive to East York, do the chores, then hang around someplace till the evening, DUH. The only difference is the length of the drive. That was kind of reassuring.
Sunday, Mother's Day, I was supposed to do a cat-transport thing in Brampton on my way to Hamilton to visit my folks but someone got the jump on it Saturday so I just headed straight in. I took my folks out to lunch at Kelsey's, partly for Mother's Day, partly to run the idea of my moving past them and gauge their reaction. I honestly didn't know what to expect; anything from "how about our basement" to "oh, don't be so foolish; you just moved into the place" was in the cards in my mind. When I explained it all—my feelings on losing the cats so quickly and terribly, my weariness with apartment life, the fact that my job's no long geographically-fixed, my desire to be closer to them and more generally central to where my friends live, and the goings-on with the bank and my mortgage—they were surprisingly supportive. After they paid the bill when I couldn't get the banking app to respond... ahem... we had a look around the area where I'd found one interesting place in Hamilton. It was actually a rather nice-looking neighbourhood. I'm still rather more inclined to pick Mississauga, but there's a lot to think about in terms of what can be had for how much money and where over the next few seasons.
It's funny what gets you thinking. I almost never watch sports unless I'm in Hamilton with my dad. Yesterday we sat downstairs and watched a hockey game between Canada and the Czech Republic. My relationship with my dad is not as emotionally constrained as Hank Hill and his son Bobby, but there's still kind of a waspish restraint to it. Still, I find myself enjoying things when I'm hanging with him that I wouldn't on my own; watching football, baseball, hockey, curling, and actually finding myself commenting more than half-intelligently on them. Before I left home there were other things we used to watch together... public television military dramas like Sharpe and Horatio Hornblower were kind of a touchstone for us for a long while. Yesterday I got him kind of charged up by talking about a documentary I'd seen about the exploits of people escaping under, over, and around the Berlin Wall. I guess it's who we are to each other. Part of moving, I suppose, is to take more advantage of that than I have for the past 13 years or so.
I can't help dreaming my little dreamy dreams for everyone. I've long lamented P-Doug's awful commute and I started looking for things I thought were approximately, or not much above, the value of his place much closer to his job, and I was surprised to find a really nice one not half a mile's walk from his office. The difference in price was, I'd estimate, something like the value of a new car. I was psyched enough to even show it to my mother when we got back to their place. You know when you think you know someone? She surprised me. She doesn't usually frame things in terms of what appeals to others, but I'd previously mentioned the new BBQ and how much use P-Doug would be making of it over the summer, and she floored me by saying, "Oh, if he left by five, he'd be grilling by quarter to six!" She made me feel like I'd just brought home a test with an "A" on it or something. :) I'm not really expecting much from it, but you never know. After all, the whole reason I'm switching mortgages now in the first place is because of what Dig and his wife said back in forth in emails to me last Monday.
Little things. Seth is more and more on the chairs beside me. Even Bonnie's perch. That's a tiny stab in the heart but she's gone; she can't resent it (and didn't when Max used to do it anyway), so I should take it for what it is—Seth trying to sit closer—and adapt to it, not try to take offense for it on Bonnie's behalf when she herself, always above jealousy and resentment, probably wouldn't have. Also, someone was grabbing and sort of chewing on my foot at about 4 in the morning. I assumed it was Seth. When I finally peered into the darkness, I realized it was Ally. In a year and a half, Ally has only rarely made a place for herself on my bed when I've been in it. This morning she must have spent an hour or two there, and I was really surprised. My mother and some of my friends have remarked they'd expect to see a change in the feline dynamic of my home now that Bonnie's pillar no longer supports a status quo. I suppose that's right. Watching how and to what extent things change over time will be the adventure, I guess.