Sunday Before the Late Mass

I’ve got some pulled pork happily steaming away in a dutch oven. The laundry is spinning and humming in the other room. I have a plan for tomorrow — rewrite an essay for a new publication and get back to the running. Last week, I dashed out an article about the Supreme Court in a couple hours and then monitored its “shares” and “likes” on social media for several days. We had three parties this weekend, so we’re feeling fulfilled and popular. I’ve got to feed the guys and check in with the Apt. 11d peeps in the next fifteen minutes before we drive to the church for 6:30 mass.

(And now returned to the blog post on Monday afternoon.)

I spent the morning working on an essay. It’s something different for me, so it’s taking too long. Not bound by the Atlantic formula, I’m drifting around and rambling. It’s going to take a week to get this puppy in order.

One of our three parties this weekend was out in the Rockaways in Queens — a little strip of land at the southern most part of New York City in the harbor. Residents have a beach front house, but still take the A train to midtown Manhattan, which is cool in theory. The neighborhood is mostly Irish and Italian cops and firemen, whose homes have been passed down through the generations for a 100 years. The houses range from shacks to crazy, tacky mansions with statues of Greek gods on the front lawn. I hear that the hipsters are making it cool again, but I didn’t see the bearded ones there this weekend.

The party was at a friend’s brother’s house. He bought a two family house and is making enough from the AirBnB in the second unit to coverage the mortgage. I would like to be a property mogul someday. I guess we need to get the kid through college first.

With Jonah committed to our state college, we’re starting to make other plans. We’re meeting with a kitchen cabinet contractor on Tuesday. He’s got to choose a dorm and get a job for the summer. We’re trying to find a good camp for Ian. Our vacation is going to be simple this summer – a trip to North Carolina to visit the in-laws with a long detour in the mountains.

We’re slowly transitioning from a life that is centered around our kid’s school to a new life that is less anchored to the community. Which is odd, because two of our parties this weekend were in town with people that we met through Jonah. Ian was loving the evening folk mass so much that I’m going to make some phone calls to get him into the band. We’re becoming more rooted in our community, just as we have fewer reasons to be here.

The houses of Jonah’s friends are already on the market. Nobody wants to live here with the high property taxes, once the kids are gone. It’s cheaper to live elsewhere. But now I’m finding reasons to stay. We still have Ian in an area school, and there’s a new kitchen. Jonah’s imminent departure has opened up all sorts of questions and possibilities and change.

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13 thoughts on “Sunday Before the Late Mass

  1. “With Jonah committed to our state college, we’re starting to make other plans. We’re meeting with a kitchen cabinet contractor on Tuesday. He’s got to choose a dorm and get a job for the summer. We’re trying to find a good camp for Ian.”

    Very nice!

    “Ian was loving the evening folk mass so much that I’m going to make some phone calls to get him into the band. We’re becoming more rooted in our community, just as we have fewer reasons to be here.”

    Very sweet!

    C (who is the same age) has been experimenting with some electric ukulele versions of Renaissance songs.

    “The houses of Jonah’s friends are already on the market. Nobody wants to live here with the high property taxes, once the kids are gone.”

    That’s going to be hard on the kids…

    Are they also doing that thing that the mom did in Toy Story 3?

    I kind of don’t want to keep such a big house once our kids start launching (Texas hits overconsumption of housing pretty hard with the property tax stick), but my husband likes the house and thinks it will be nice for family stuff down the road (and I think it will). We’re going to have to do a lot of reconfiguring over the next 10+ years–in the next year we need to have two kids swap rooms, and we currently have a playroom instead of a dining room. We will probably keep moving kids around as long as we have kids at home.

    We want our kids mostly to live at home for college just to streamline expenses, so we’re going to be living with each other for a looooong time. (But if they do go to Hometown U, we should be able to do nice vacations and finally do some cosmetic stuff on the house.)

  2. We have sort of the same issues. However, I wouldn’t have thought of us as empty nesters until Miss Y81 graduated and got her own apartment. Prior to that, she needed a place to come home to on vacations and she would have been very unhappy not to have the family home in proximity to her high school friends. Now, we could definitely live in a smaller apartment. On the other hand, it’s nice to have a guest bedroom, plus Miss Y81 could always go to graduate school (i.e., business school, not something intellectual).

    We really can’t imagine living in the ‘burbs, and I would have trouble getting a job outside NYC, so we’ll have to keep paying NYC income taxes. (Property taxes are actually very low in NYC, since there is an income tax.)

  3. oooh! I love the cheery tone of this post, just what I needed tonight! In three years I’ll be in the exact same point in life, except that I’ll have to wait two years to move — as soon as our youngest is done with high school we’re most definitely moving. It’s bittersweet for you to feel more linked to the community just as you’re on the brink of having no reasons to be there…

    We wanted to do a kitchen renovation this summer too (everything but cabinets which we’d paint), BUT… I’m pretty sure my husband totally low-balled the cost and set aside too little money, so we can only do it if we can take some more money out of his summer salary (he’s teaching a summer class for the first time ever… I guess it’s one of the symptoms of now having tenure — getting to relax a bit about research).

    Can’t wait to hear more about the new article you’re working on!

  4. I just did a google search to see how long I’ve been commenting at Apt 11D (searched for apt11d & bj, so didn’t find everything).

    The oldest post quickly that I’d commented on is a post of Laura’s older home improvement project (from home #1?), in March 2008. The post has picts of her babies from 2008. Boy, the years really do fly quickly. My comment from that post: “your kids are cuties.” They still are, and I can’t believe that J is off to college next year!

    I’m surprised about how much I’ve forgotten about life without kids, even though I lived a lot of life before my eldest was born.

    1. Impressive! I think I started commenting in 2004, but I don’t think I have that many comments.

      Who wins the most comments prize, Laura? I think there should be an award of some sort.

      1. Ha! I’m running out of the house right now, but I’ll do some tallies later. AmyP might win, because she’s been here the longest.

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