We’ve reached the point we knew would come:  we’ve temporarily worked ourselves out of a job.  The last big project was splitting the firewood, which we completed a couple of weeks ago.  There is still much clearing to do, but it’s on the waterfront.  The waterline backs up sufficiently for us to walk on the shore, enabling us to do that work, but not until deep winter, when there is a more-or-less permanent north wind blowing water out of the creek.  (Our tides here are almost entirely driven by the prevailing winds instead of the moon.)

And so, what to do?  Psychologically we are are not permanent yet because we really don’t “live” anywhere–this current roof over our heads is a mere way-station, populated with as many of our things as necessary to make life possible, but it’s not really ours.  We have done all the day trips in the region that can reasonably be done between sunrise and sunset, and haven’t really discovered anything anywhere that makes us want to return.  Our two home bases, Edenton and Elizabeth City, are well served by restaurants, but very poorly by movies, so we are well fed, but other entertainment comes mainly via either Netflix or DVR’d movies off the TV.  We do scare up the occasional odd job:  we’re working on the boat and dock at the moment, preparing to install new seats on the boat and making the lift run more efficiently.  We want to paint the wicker furniture we’ve found in antique stores–the pieces are in excellent shape but their white needs touching up, and it makes sense to have that done before we move.  It seems to be staying warm enough here well into autumn for us to be afforded the occasional 60-degree day that makes that outdoor job possible.

Otherwise, strings of empty days loom ahead.  I’m more OK with that than Steve, who was not raised for introspection or a life of the mind.  He does welcome the occasional day off, but usually as a reward for some just-completed hard work, which is his normal medium.  When he gets down to spending hours playing Monopoly on the computer, it’s clear he’s scraping bottom.

We’ve been in one stage or another of “move mode” for about two years now, from the disruption of preparing the Arlington house for sale, going room to room dismantling and re-creating, to the emotional roller-coaster of the selling process, to the physical move itself, to making ourselves ready to hit the ground running when we finally take possession of the new house, free to tackle all those new chores with the big exterior work behind us.  We’re very smart, very efficient.

But we’ve been living <span style=”font-style: italic;”>in anticipation</span> all this time.  Our present has been completely filled with preparation for the future.  I’m the first to acknowledge it could be a hell of a lot worse–at least we have a future, and a very bright one at that, to prepare for.  But what I wouldn’t give for a group of friends who were a mere phone call away for an invitation to dinner and conversation.  That day will come, I know.  But it’s not here yet.