Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Contract Day

It was a rainy and uninviting day on the beach here today.  Just as well as we had two preoccupying meetings - one in the morning to view a prospective rental unit for our hibernation next year; and another in the afternoon to sign a rental contract for another unit we had already seen several days ago and about which we were already determined.  Both meetings went well.  The morning meeting confirmed our prior expectations about the place; namely, that we would not be convinced to seek to secure its rental.  The building did not speak to us and the unit was smaller than we prefer (and less well maintained and outfitted). The owners (who are from West Virginia) were extremely pleasant, both professionals who fled from Communist Romania years ago and who have since successfully proven their compatability with capitalism.

Though we have put next year's rental issue to rest, to satisfy our curiosity (and for that purpose only) we intend to pursue one final lead we have to see another property on December 1st.  The meeting was scheduled several weeks ago.  Our estate agent (to whom we confided this extant arrangement) has intimated that the property will not be to our liking. But as I say we feel it is worthwhile to use the opportunity to broaden our knowledge base.  We have satisfactorily exhausted our interest in any other properties for the time being.  Certainly there are other places nearby which are of interest to us but there is no practical purpose making further investigations.  Our estate agent echoed our understanding that properties in Jupiter Beach rent at a higher rate than here.  But because the condominiums we saw in Jupiter Beach are smaller and less modern than what we have secured here we suffer no sense of deprivation.  In fact we are relieved not to have to endure the extra cost since we'd prefer to throw the money at short trips to the Keys or elsewhere on the Gulf coast (as we already plan to do this year).

The remainder of the day was marked by less buoyancy.  As one contract was made, another was in threat of being broken. Mid-morning I received a solemn telephone call from an ancient friend in Canada who advised her husband is leaving her.  That call precipitated a late afternoon commiseration.  Though it is impossible to underestimate the poignancy of such an intense situation we nonetheless achieved a resolution to keep it adult and caring on both sides (at least as far as possible). As with most of these circumstances the dilemma is not entirely new and therefore involves recognition of what has frankly been a lingering and persistent source of perplexity. The saving grace is that I know of no one who hasn't undergone stress in a long-term, close relationship.  In fact I am suspicious of any relationship which isn't marred by at least some grit and friction.  In this particular instance there are bushels of reasons for acrimony on both sides; and even considered independently the parties each have their private burdens to bear.  I am confident however that there subsists the underlying inclination of them both to address the individual concerns and to reunite in a stronger and more harmonious relationship.  This isn't purely Pollyanna codswallop on my behalf.  I can see they've both had inordinately difficult issues to handle for the past decade; but I am also convinced they're better together than apart.  We'll see what transpires.

I also spoke with my elderly mother today.  She expressed exceeding remorse that her favourite granddaughter plans to move to England. I attempted to dispel my mother's anxiety by stressing that my niece only plans to go to England for a Christmas vacation (to join her partner who is currently studying there) but I wasn't entirely convincing.  I then emphasized that even if my niece were to move to England permanently the immigration process would not be accomplished in a fortnight.  This is my speculation even considering that my niece's partner may enjoy the advantage of dual citizenship (Canada/Britain).  My mother is clearly sensing a heightened sense of creeping loss and removal as she struggles into her 92nd year, having lost her husband, her house, her other granddaughter (to California) and me (to Florida hibernation).  I tried to counter her disapproval of her granddaughter's expedition to England by reminding my mother that she herself had traveled throughout the world, including England at the age of 21 after having married a Protestant contrary to the ambitions of her Catholic parents.  My observations were effectively dismissed by my mother who instantly sought to cut short our conversation. Naturally I understand that her apprehension reflects only her adoration of her granddaughter and not a manifest misapplication of logic. Yet my comments may have partially assuaged her worries.

Subsequently I rounded out the intimacy of my afternoon colloquy by calling my sister.  She and her husband (who is adjusting to his recent retirement vernacular) sounded well.  Lately they have spoken frequently of matters directed to retirement issues and estate planning generally (involving for example lawyers and accountants) though they haven't as yet shared with us any plans for travel, downsizing or other significant undertakings which may or may not be in the works. No doubt new developments will percolate over time.  I shared with my sister the concerns of our mother for her granddaughter.  Basically my sister affirmed my initial speculations.  In addition however my sister enlightened me that not all is 100% in England between my niece's partner and family. Apparently a scratch of the veneer reveals unforeseen issues which in turn have precipitated strategic diversions. To this I immediatey threw up my hands as I am too remote from any of the parties even to enjoy any standing.

In the result I am reminded once again of the great polarities of life - mind and body, cerebral and visceral, emotions and things, order and chaos. Nor have I been spared some personal involvement in these otherwise impersonal matters even to the extent of suffering the insinuation and repercussion of them into my own behaviour, sensibilities and private relationship.  It is small wonder I so regularly delight in arresting the threatening turbulence of the world by subduing its material constructs.  Making contracts, addressing legal problems, isolating fantasy from reality, generally knowing the facts and dealing with them is itself a relieving process which clearly satisfies my intellectual zeal.  I have always descended to logic as my last safe-haven. It is a critical process sometimes void of sentiment. While I acknowledge that the utility of rationalism and pragmatism may not speak as forcefully to someone of an artistic bent for example, it is nonetheless the only way I know to subdue the simmering volatility of my universe.  Whether I am entitled to dignify my deductive reasoning as plausible is a matter for others to decide.

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