Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island
I got home about 2 am Monday morning. My building smelled like garbage, the A/C wasn't working in the hallways, my own A/C was working but it was dripping water from the unit in the bathroom ceiling, and my smoke alarm was chirping. Good to be home.
Did laundry. Bought groceries. Worked my way through a mountain of mail. (This really is the best way to do mail: let it pile up for a month and then go through it all at once. I might make this a habit.) Had a neighbor over for blueberry crisp. Met a friend at Schlitz Audubon. Weekly knitting evening. Painting. Sketching. Putting things on my calendar. Stepping back into my life.
And having second thoughts about moving to Washington. It's a tug of war. I had a good feeling about the place and the people when I was there. Comfortable, positive. Just what I need. In addition to the group at Sunnyside Village I found other organizations I'd like to join, people I'd like to get to know better. That's saying a lot for such a short visit.
I'm in touch with some of the Sunnyside Village community via Facebook and other internet sites. Good to hear from them, good to get to know them. I wish I was there to pick beans, can peaches, sit outside in the evening and let the breeze do the talking.
On the other hand.
* I realized that I actually don't know very many of the people who will be part of the Sunnyside Village. Some of the people I met and liked have not actually committed to joining the community.
* Marysville is not quite what I had in mind when I thought of moving to the west coast. Those forests and mountains won't be right in my back yard like they were in the Bay Area: longer drives than I'd like to get to what I find inspiring.
* The leaders at Marysville have strong political beliefs and put them into practice. I mostly agree with them. I admire their commitment. I'd be happy to get swept up into some of it. Some of it. Not all of it. Will I be on the outskirts if I'm more focused on painting, poetry, photography? It would be easier to get a feel for this if I was there, interacting with everyone. What you see on the internet is not always what you get in person.
* The apartment that I can afford at Sunnyside Village is smaller than what I have here in Wisconsin. I would have to use my living room as my studio. I think I'd really miss having a room where I could relax without seeing all that clutter, all those things wanting to be done. When there are floor plans maybe I will see a way to work this out comfortably.
* But the big question is money. If the estimates that we have now hold, I can afford the smallest unit at Sunnyside Village but it will leave me without the level of discretionary income that I have now. What do I do if the costs go up significantly after I commit? I don't have the assets to recover if this venture fails on either a personal or community basis.
And HOA fees in general for condominiums in the area are twice what they are in Wisconsin. The other community members will be more affluent. So the group might not have the same interest that I will in keeping costs down.
Is this an opportunity worth the risk? What if I stay where I am, what if I don't go? What if I go and things fall apart?
What I want most right now - and don't have - is someone to talk through all the aspects of this decision with me. It's what communities like Sunnyside Village are all about. Creating caring relationships between members. Supporting each other by sharing meals, work, and conversation. Someone to talk through whatever comes up in life. That would really be nice.