It's always exciting to start looking. We're fresh and eager. If we find something right away it would be great, because I remember looking for houses for months and it got to be a drag... it was a big, dark looming cloud; I'd have to "drop everything" when one was spotted and I needed to "take a look."
When you're working, home-hunting can eat up a good portion of one's "free time" -- and I need free time to recover, write this blog, eat, get groceries, go to church, read my Bible, pet my kitties, ride my bike or walk... and sleep! But the prospect of finding a duplex, then selling this condo (a little more work, but worth it) and living next door to "where the action is" (my sis and her often-visiting grandkids, my grandnieces) is alluring. I love my family!
When you're single, you get your "family high" off relatives' nuclear families. I never wanted kids (good thing, or I might be sad now, not having ever married and produced any; instead I raised every kind of critter you can imagine, including an African serval, a skunk, an orphaned raccoon, hawks, and two fawns orphaned by the eruption if Mt. ST. Helens in 1980) but I love kids and sons and daughters I can borrow and send back home at the end of the day! Jackie's son Phil and daughter in law Wendy and their kids (Casey and Jamie) and Dawn and her kids (Lizzie and Isabella) are a part of my heart in a very big way! IF you know them, you know why! If you don't... if you met them, you would know why! It's sufficient to say that even if they weren't related to me, I would adore them!
So this morning Jackie and I go look at two -- possibly three -- duplexes. There's one I've seen that Jackie hasn't yet that looks PERFECT to me if it's in good shape. From the outside, it looks fine and has a new (two-year-old) roof. It has a privacy fence all around (great for kids, cats and dogs), a two-car garage and two covered parking spots, an RV pad, some outbuildings, a pool and jacuzzi... and it's well within our budget because I have a lot of equity in this condo. Jackie has her eye on one that I haven't seen yet. It would stretch our budget unless the sellers are willing to come down substantially. The one I know of has been on the market at least three months -- probably closer to six -- so the seller might even consider a reduction in the price... or not! (That may be why it hasn't sold!) Anyway, we're looking forward to starting our duplex-hunting adventure...
There was one other piece of news I wanted to mention, and now I can't think of it... Maybe it'll come to me as I move right along here...
I am starting to have "nightmares" (nerve-mares at night) about the August STAR TREK convention in Las Vegas. This always happens just about four months before every convention where I will be speaking. Public appearances are not native to me! They are better than root canal to contemplate (but not by much) and once I get there, a whole lot of fun! But until I get there.... (I've only done this three times before, remember -- and now Adam says VEGAS!?! That man has more faith in me than God, I think!)
Until I get there... I dream that the books didn't get there (in this case, Creation is taking care of getting the books to the convention), that I have forgotten to prepare a presentation, that I forgot bookmarks and postcards and signing stickers, that I left something in my car and run to the parking lot and get lost and can't find my way back to the convention hotel and I speak in fifteen minutes and have to go to the bathroom in the worst way imaginable... all of these, of course, are convoluted, subliminal ways of telling myself, "What the h--- were you thinking when you said YES to this speaking engagement?!"
What I'm thinking when I say, "Yes," is meeting De's fans individually, hearing their stories, being able to extend De's legacy in ways he would really love and approve of, touching his fans and letting them know "You have good taste in actors and human beings -- he deserves your affection! Now go out and become a De to someone who really needs it (and p.s. everyone really needs it!)!" All of that...
Then as the time gets closer and closer I start to focus on the ACT of presentation. Will I screw it up? Will I look nervous? Will I pee my pants, or worse-- ???
I start focusing on ME and my potential to really disappoint people if I'm not prepared to the teeth. So of course I prepare to the teeth and then the reasons I said yes in the first place get first billing again and I settle down little by little.. right up until about a week before when all my insecurities rise up again and I think, "I used to be sitting in the chairs out there with them, just another fan. That was cool. THIS is INSANE! What do I have to offer....?"
Then I have to remind myself of what someone in the TREK world told me: "You have DE, [dummy]! You have DE to offer! Who else has that? He isn't here to present himself anymore. You are their living link to De. You knew him on a personal level as few others did. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!"
And once I get there, and past the first two minutes, I forget all about myself and my "responsibility" as a presenter because I'm talking about one of my favorite subjects: DeFOREST KELLEY: Actor, Healer, Friend! And the rest of the weekend is pure joy...
It's just the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds leading up to placing my foot on the stage that drives me up the wall. The rest is a piece of cake! I get to love on De's fans and get loved by De's fans (or hated... whatever! Haven't run into any of those yet... I'm not sure De had any hateful fans...) The ones who introduce themselves afterward when they stop by the book-signing table are uniformly warm, appreciative and wonderful. Some of them are laughing and crying because they've been touched in both spots -- and that usually gets me going, too. So we can end up soggy and chuckling. Onlookers must think we are on drugs!
Nope, we're just high on remembering De!
The really amazing thing to me is that I have heard from fans in New Zealand, England, Spain, Germany, Australia, Canada and all over the U.S. saying they have never attended a STAR TREK convention before but they are thinking of coming to this one to hear me talk about De! No pressure, right? Aaaackkkkkkkk....
Lord, give me whatever it takes so that I don't disappoint those who come from farthest away!
I would never forgive myself...
P.S. Just got this email from Alison:
Dear Ms Smith,
I regret to inform you that I just booked a hotel, a flight and a ticket to the Star Trek convention.
No pressure or anything.
This email is redeemable against one hot chocolate somewhere in Vegas.
(OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!)
I even spoke to an American person (Vegas Hilton) on the phone for the first time in my life and I couldn't understand a word she was saying! Haaa!!! She couldn't understand me either! I can't stop laughing!
I thought long and hard and it feels very right so I'm doing it. Depending how things develop I may even stay in the US and try to find teaching work. How exciting.
Anyway, I'll be the mad girl in the queue with a copy of Harvest of Memories and a yellow balloon.
Gadzooks! This is jumping the gun! But... seeing as how I am not certain which day I'll appear yet (I'm tentatively scheduled for Saturday August 11th)... looks like Alison is going to fly in for the entire convention Thursday through Sunday -- and she may as well, since she's flying in from England or Spain!