What I did on my summer vacation

…which was kind of a vacation from almost everything normal. Didn’t build models, didn’t write, didn’t do much of anything. And yet a whole lot happened.


We welcomed two new kittens to our household, much to the chagrin of Lily, our 4 year old cat, who herself was a new arrival to our house two years ago. At 3 months old, Ollie and Sam are two little bundles of endless energy that Lily just has no time for. Things between them were a little rough at first, but a steady, if tense balance has been struck between them and she can now tolerate being around the two of them as long as they don’t bother her. But if they attempt contact, she makes a hasty exit.

I bought a new car truck vehicle. I feel weird calling this a mere “car” because to me, a car is a low-riding street-only passenger thing. It’s not a truck, either, and SUV is more of a category than a name. Anyway, my trusty Civic’s air conditioning crapped out in the middle of June during the very hottest week of the entire year, and apparently the damage was significant, warranting a complete replacement of the entire AC system. Even the mechanic at the garage doubted the value of a job like this on a car with over 175,000 miles. So off it went as trade fodder, and despite the dead AC, it still garnered a decent amount toward the above, a 2017 Subaru Forester 2.5i. We’ve had at least one Honda in our garage since 2003, so it was a bit weird to look in there and see the Forester and my wife’s Ford Fusion, but they’ve both proven to be pretty great cars vehicles so far. I’ve got nothing bad to say about Hondas, they were good to us for 14 years. I just needed to move on, and Honda’s CRV just didn’t interest me at all. For their part, Subaru works really hard to make you feel like you’ve joined a weird kind of family, sending all kinds of welcome-committee stuff over the past couple of months. I just got yet another packet of stuff from them yesterday.

The other thing that we did this summer is something that’s maybe kind of a big deal: we bought a new house. Things sometimes come along unexpectedly and they seem perfect, and that’s this house. It’s in a brand new subdivision, it’s much, much bigger than our current house of 17 years, it’s got a huge yard, and it’s at the end of a cul-de-sac. Two stories, too, which is kind of a dream house to me since I’ve only ever lived in single-level houses, though I have to admit that there’s a small concern about keeping a two story house in Arizona comfortably cool without going bankrupt. But I guess houses are much more energy efficient now so hopefully it won’t be as much of a shock as I worry. On top of that, we’ll finally get a pool, something we shied away from when we bought our current house in 2000 because we were just certain that we wouldn’t be in it long enough to make financial sense of a pool. Seventeen years later, here we still are. But only for a few more months.

The fun thing about buying a house now that I’m older is that I realize all the things that could go wrong. There’s a very different stress level between buying this house in 2000 at 27 years old and newly married and having not a care in the world, and buying one at 44 with two kids in school to take care of, and enough experience to know that there’s all kinds of stuff to care, and worry, about. Most days, I’m much more excited than worried, and in the end, the excitement always wins.

Now we just need to get rid of this house. That’s a stress all its own.

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