Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

Exciting and pleasant news: I will be moving this summer, to a house about a mile from my current, extraordinarily cute little ranch. The new place is somewhat larger and somewhat Japanese in flavor, a common thing for college professors designing their homes from the ground up in the 1960s. It has a giant walk-out basement, which I certainly do not currently need, but giant walk-out basements always come in handy eventually. In spite of the large size it will actually be cheaper than my current place, though I expect that difference to be largely eaten up by heating all that space under the 14′ cathedral ceilings.

While this is a good thing, it is also a stressful thing — moving always is; moving in the summer, for a woman who works intensive workshops every summer, is worse — and it’s a sad thing. I have been feeding these squirrels, these birds, for three years. I will send the next few months tapering the food I put out to a smaller amount so that they start foraging elsewhere, and the babies don’t stay so close. I will spend the next three months feeling like a monster. I comfort myself with the thought that summer is the perfect time for everyone to be able to sort this out, and that, even if I leave these guys, I will have an entire six acres’-worth of other little animals.

And yet, three months of feeling like a monster looms in my headlights. This morning, I found that I was trying not to look out the window, even though I put out just as much food today as I did yesterday, even though as far as they are concerned, nothing has changed, and they certainly don’t stay up late at nights whispering about how great I am, for a human. I have spent many years sorting through why I have Zero resistance to coping with the suffering — or even discomfort — of animals, even though I cause plenty of it, as when I deny my cat access to roast chicken or push her off the bed.

In unrelated news, that damn cold is returning, or perhaps it is a different cold? I usually don’t have relapses, so ugh. I’ll go see Captain Marvel this afternoon, and then tonight I expect I’ll watch Republic of Doyle, a highly engaging Rockford Filesish show from Canada. Comfort watching.

12 thoughts on “Newer place?

  1. I feel your feeding comments are somehow connected to K. Graham. Your empathy is exquisite. Glad to hear you will have more space. I have a small space but it helps keep me in check. I tend to fill all space available wherever I am. Hope you will enjoy your new space.
    Get rid of that damn cold girlfriend. Enough is enough.

    1. That is always the risk with larger places! I reeeeeally hope I keep streamlined. Even in this (smaller) place, have a fair number of empty closets, so perhaps I can sustain this?

  2. You can’t move! Your current mailing address is so sweet and charming, and it took me forever to memorize it. Does the new place have a/c?

    Well, I won’t blow sunshine here – it would certainly be more convenient for your flock if you stayed put. During breeding season, our feeders serve as an endless series of casseroles in the fridge for harried parents. Babies eat bugs, but the adults at least don’t have to spend any extra time and energy foraging for themselves too. But they really will adapt. I am really looking forward to hearing about your new place, and maybe even SEEING IT (when it’s not too hot or tornado-y or oak mite season).

    1. It’s so easy, I know. The new place has an equally easy name, but not as cute.

      I am trying to think through the timing. I would be gone-gone by August 1. My assumption is that I would taper off sometime between the beginning of June and the end of July. The trouble is that squirrels get knocked up pretty much any time there’s food.

  3. I love your old place! You can’t get closer to the Merc. But good luck with the move, and I hope the cat and squirrels adjust. I love Republic of Doyle; keep your eye out for members of the Newfie band great big sea. And if you haven’t heard of great big sea, go research them immediately.

  4. This place is three-quarters of a mile from the Merc instead of just under half a mile. The cat will OF COURSE adjust. Right now I am wrestling with the notion that the place is so big, I could add another cat “to keep her life interesting.”

  5. When I left my place in Scotland, to move 12,000 miles away, a place I had known the place since I was 17 (as my parents had retired there and I looked after my mother there caring for her till she passed away in her own bed ) so over 40 years .. I felt exactly this way. As I am a believer in letting the birds and animals know, possibly via the local Fae ( yes I know you will think I am mad but ..) that is what I did. I also explained to the house itself ..I did reduce the care for the birds a little, but as I did so I said to them out loud what was going on and why ..I also used Reiki, but the intention with love on its own is effective. I still changed their water and I left food for the new owners and did my best to explain that the birds had helped me through some very low moments in that garden. I have no idea if they bothered. I am still missing that place, as it was by the sea and I said goodbye to the seals there as well .. but I had to leave and rehome my dog. ( so hard and he just passed away two months ago ) I am renting now, less than ideal and no garden but a lot of trees and many sparrows ( my garden in Scotland, according to a local bird lover had more sparrows than any other ) and blackbirds are here, they always remind me of my Mother and her Father ..What I am trying to convey is that it’s worth letting them all know you are going ..I packed your books (among many others ) to bring with me , I love your writing.

    1. Thank you for all these great ideas! I don’t think there’s anything mad about that, at all. I say a prayer every time I see a dead squirrel, inviting its ghost home with me until it’s really ready to go. And thank you for your kind words about my writing. I hope my stories are a comfort for you, so far from your old home.

  6. Ceiling fans will keep the heat costs down, although they will raise your ceiling fan costs.

    1. It’s a rental and a 14′ ceiling: if it doesn’t have ceiling fans, it’s not going to have ceiling fans.

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