Back to Reality

Although I have gone to bed each night weary from the ceaseless motion of unpacking and setting up a functional home, it has been a joy to just do that and nothing else.  But today, reality dawned as I began to add up costs of the move: I need to get back to working.

Writing is my craft. Grant writing, story telling for marketing purposes, business proposals–these are my stock and trade. Today I had the privilege of meeting Ron Butlin, Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB). A colleague referred me to Ron for potential writing projects. This happened during the time that I was contemplating a move to the downtown district. So I was looking forward to this meeting.

Ron and I discussed the value of a vibrant downtown hub and shared similar views about making the district more accessible, walker and biker friendly, with great trees and an aesthetic built environment. Ron pointed out that a vibrant, historic downtown attracts tourists who bring tax dollars for the entire county to use in economic development.

The Old East Hill Neighborhood, of which I am a fledgling member, has a long tradition for its diversity and desire to preserve the old architecture and lifestyle of previous eras while upgrading its facilities and streets for modern life.

Christian Wagley 041My good friend, Christian Wagley –and the reason I moved to the House on Belmont Street — is a community leader and great advocate for the Old East Hill neighborhood where he owns a home and gardens.  Christian works through his business, Sustainable Town Concepts, to promote the idea that urban density, if developed with walkable, bikeable landscapes and easy to use public transportation, can be a high quality lifestyle, and better on the environment than sprawl. Christian’s house is on LaRua Street above and  right behind “mine.” I am hoping his Green Thumb extends across the fence to help me grow most of my own food as he does. This Saturday he is leading the first of a series of Transition Town educational programs: 4 seasons of backyard fruit in Pensacola. I have signed up.

Other New Insights for Susan:

I don’t have to buy everything new! I have put Ya Ya to work  looking for a used round shovel for me; my land lord left me a rake, and I have it from a trustworthy source that Christian even harbors a push mower which he doesn’t yet know, I plan to borrow occasionally.

The Train

I did wake up last night. There is one engineer who blows the horn much more vigorously than the others. He comes along about 1 am. (I want to get his name and address.) Last night I woke to the syncopated rhythm of a large, heavy painting clattering on the wall, the little door on my desk compartment chattering, and the whole house vibrating. I began to think about the house itself like a character in a novel. What has its journey been for this little House on Belmont? How does it feel to vibrate from head to toe every time a train rolls by? What dramas has this little house experienced over its 95 years? The voices…are they absorbed into its wooden walls and ceiling? What will I add?




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