I'm camping out at the new place and didn't have internet there till tonight. I have a temporary dial up account till the real one gets set up. I'm moving, cleaning, and I'm three days into a new job. I suppose life will feel normal some time TBD, but at the moment it feels like that will never happen. I tell myself that moving to a strange place is always like this. But then, I have moved to a strange place. Can't see another house from mine. But if I walk half a mile and cross the road I enter this subidivion that is straight out of Disney's Main Street -- if Disney's Main Street had a golf course running through the middle of it. It has its own little supermarket and shoppping center with (thank you Bijan) the inevitable nail salon and tanning place, and aside from that it is a desolation out here. If the houses weren't so Christmas-card perfect -- if they were double-wide trailers -- the subdivision would remind me of the camp my Dad lived in in Saudi Arabia. I turn my back on those splendors and walk down my dirt road again, woods on my right till I get to the meadow and then this small, shabby, quirky, drafty, and desolate-looking old ranch house. Well, I begin to think I may be testing the limits of my capacity for dislocation a little too rigorously.
At twilight I was stacking some firewood (a surprisingly satisfying pastime, who would have guessed?) when Sweetie took off after a deer. I followed the sound of her crashing through the woods and then I heard her just doing that special excited yelping bark she does, the sound fading off into the distance of some fields much decorated with "No Trespassing" signs. I wandered into some place where I definitely was not supposed to be, calling and whistling to her, and then it got dark so I walked back cursing like mad of course. By the time I had collected my wits -- collect flashlight and coat -- she came sauntering in the door mightily pleased with herself. When I sit out in the back yard after dark, though, she huddles behind my chair and listens nervously to the sound of the old metal shed creaking, and to the owls and other wild noises and the planes from Dulles, and where's the big showboating deer chaser then, I'd like to know. She just sits there looking alarmed.
But in the morning and in the afternoon light this place is magical. It's real. And I've learned rather quickly how to start a good fire. I started the piece on the Turner show but it has sort of gotten away from me. You'll see what I mean, I'm sure. Meanwhile, thanks for hanging in through the long silence!