Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Quick Check-In

I'm pretty good at avoiding the realities of life. This personality quirk keeps me optimistic in the face of scary stuff.

Money is painfully tight right now. I'm not making enough to cover all our expenses, and the tax bill will continue to creep up with penalties if I don't contact them soon. But I still have work, and I can always try for something more if things get too desperate. I just have to do more sites. That's doable.

I have a birthday next month. It's a big enough one to be sparking a bit of a midlife crisis. I'm mostly working on denial...for example, I've decided to stop aging beyond the aforementioned birthday on account of my fear of dying. But the timing is lousy, since money's so tight, because my dreams require money, or at least decent credit, neither of which are on the horizon right now. I want my farm. It's time to get working toward that for reals.


Loved that middle shot, just felt so "small town"...

So today I was crawling out of my skin and knew I needed to get out of the house. I thought about hiking, but quickly realized what I really wanted was to drive. I hopped in the car and headed toward Marshall, and then kept going. Hot Springs is 30 miles west of us, which translates to almost an hour away when you're new to the curvy roads. There were some serious drops and S curves to get down to the valley, and then you're tipped out into a tiny town that has made a name for itself as an Appalachian Trail thru point and a French Broad River access point. Rafting outfits lined the road near the river, and the Hot Springs Resort & Spa is the first thing you see as you drive into town.

Apparently there are actual hot springs that are supposed to offer healing properties there. I was more interested in the AT. I've been following Fimby, the Tougas family as they hike the AT, or as much as I can since I'm too cheap yet to purchase the vid series (yea, OK, not cheap, just frugal). Les and I talk about doing that crazy hike someday. It's a pipe dream, unless we can get physically fit and financially more stable. I know this in my heart though, so it motivates me. The drive took long enough where I didn't hop out to walk any of it, so I could say I walked the width of the AT, haha! But I'm glad I got out of the house. The drive was lovely.

That's what I needed the drive for, the motivation. I'm a little scared of not being able to keep the wolf at the door. I adore living here, and that could be taken away. I take chances with our finances occasionally, putting off paying a bill to take care of another, robbing Peter a bit to pay Paul, as my folks' generation would say. But in the back of my mind is the fact that we don't live in a normal apartment complex, that the landlord (who doesn't even live in the US apparently) could decide he wants to unload this investment property and not renew leases, and we'd be up shit's creek rather quickly without much locomotion. I'll be asking about a lease renewal at the end of next month, and I really don't anticipate a problem; but I'm a realist who likes to be prepared for any contingency.

I drove down the US highways at varying speeds, through gorgeous mountain ranges bordering the Pisgah National Forest. Mountains upon mountains, with views that literally took my breath away once or twice, reminding me of when we drove through West Virginia last year. I had escaped the house today hoping to see farmland, and I saw that and more. We're surrounded by farmland here, but you have to keep an eagle eye out for it because it's so nestled in the hills and valleys of the Blue Ridges. The fields are smaller than what you'd see in Pennsylvania or the Midwest, but they're no less agrarian, plenty of crops or stretches on their second cut of hay. Barns in various states of disrepair. I'll bring the camera next time.

I normally have every confidence in my ability to keep our heads above water. Money's thin enough lately to shake that resolve just a pinch. I'm thinking about downsizing, doing another purge of some of the apartment, wondering if we have anything worth selling. But I love living here way too much to lose it. Just gotta get a little ingenious, work a little harder.