Sunday, August 19, 2007

Do you have what you need, if not what you want?

Guinness, my Cairn Terrier, may have calcium stones in his bladder. This means he needs an ultrasound and then probably an operation. His liver also looks enlarged in the x-rays. The vet wasn't sure what this means, as his liver function enzymes are fine, with only one elevated. Could just be a genetic anomaly, could be something more...

My first dog died when she was 7, a year and a half after my father. I cried more for her for a variety of reasons, among them because I felt like I had killed her by not getting her regular check ups. My mother, in one of her rare bursts of being a perfect mother said that this was understandable as Fedora was with me every day, whereas I hadn't lived with my father since I was 12. In other words, every moment was a reminder of Fedora, while I could go long stretches without thinking about my father's absence.

Guinness is 9, but the breed average life-span is 15 or 16. I am trying not to worry--to worry before knowing the facts is to waste time and energy. It's been a long week.

Added to all the stress of the past few weeks, was the fact that we were trying to apartment hunt. We've long wanted to move, and now we are in a position to financially do so. Rents in Boston are embarrassingly high, and ours is rather amazing for the amount of space we have, so we knew we were going to make quite a jump. In the past two weeks, we've looked at four apartments (it's not an urgent search--we don't HAVE to move). Two of the first three were just wrong--one too small (esp. for the price), the other possessing only a shower/bathroom, and when I said, "It doesn't have a bathtub?" The landlord replied, "Who takes baths these days." I smiled politely and said, "I do, thank you." Way to sell it, buddy. The third was nice, but had more rooms than we need. The fourth was a fabulous apartment in almost all respects. Three bedrooms and an office so studios for both of us and a computer room, a porch in the back, roof access in the front, off-street parking, living room and dining room (which becomes a library in our lives) and tons of closets. The only odd thing was the kitchen, and that seems to be the norm in Boston--mainly because the houses have all been converted from single family homes, so the kitchen has to be carved out of some other room on the second floor. This one had only the stove in it and the sink and cabinets were in a separate alcove. I have had to give up the idea that we will find a place with a modern kitchen, re-stained floors and perfectly painted baseboards--it just ain't happenin' unless we buy into a complex which is difficult with a dog and a cat, and then the walls are thin. This one was in quite good shape, and the landlord was working on it to make it better. It was also about $300 more than I wanted to spend, adds at least 20 minutes more to my commute both ways, and $50 more per month to my husband's commuting costs. Blech.

It was also ready for the 1st of September and though my husband really, really liked it and we could both see ourselves there, I realized that there was no way that I could possibly add packing to everything I have to do. I didn't want to pay rent that would take up all of the extra money we now have. And now, with the possibility of Guinness having medical bills and the possible need to see my mother sooner rather than later, I don't think we can move at all. It is nice to have the money to deal with emergencies. It is rather sad that windfalls seem to come (in my life, or so it feels) with equal necessary expenditures.

Added to this is a sense of panic--a sense that if we commit to a higher rent (or a mortgage as so many of our friends seem to be encouraging us to do) then I am trapped. Trapped in a job I'm still not sure I love. Trapped in a career at all. Trapped in Boston. Trapped perhaps in adulthood.

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