April 7, 2019
A View from the Hudson:
Why I’m Moving to a nice Town Home in Statesville
(Joe resides in Magnolia Glen)
I was on the front porch when you drove by and I waved and yes, those were boxes I was carrying to my car.
Recently, I drew back my shoulders, took a deep breath, and made a decision so profound if I told you all the details you’d be blown away and filled with admiration so I’ll just say this: my wife and I-mostly my wife but I was nearby munching on chips-have decided to move from a tri-level, stairway-filled home in east Statesville, to a nice townhouse in north Statesville. Everything bad hips and enlarged prostates require in a home will now be located on one floor.
We’re going to a place our feet never have to step higher than three inches. Hallelujah.
But moving requires you to shed material things, yet you realize this is liberating.
You find closets full of things you once took pleasure in but now seem embarrassing and trite. Worn LP records and old cassettes, all music of the ‘60s—your early years—you now quietly send to a landfill. You find a brown polyester suit you wore for a record-album photo back in the ‘70s, that’s three sizes too small since 1980---you toss it. You discard pounds of old books, shoes, clothes, hangers, golf trophies, framed civic awards, plaques proclaiming various achievements, shirts and pants—all unwanted baggage.
The beauty of such a move is that it’s mostly mental how it puts dead history behind you and opens up new scenery and vistas for a fresh start.
This is also the American approach to dealing with problems—pack up ad move on. For some time I’ve hoped to win the North Carolina Press Association award for Best Use of Humor, but they haven’t called me (I have an answering machine) and I’ve felt bad about it, a bit crushed, and now I’ll move on and forget about those people. So there.
Anywhere you go in Statesville is a great place to live because Statesville is a big small city that knows where it belongs (at the junction of 40 and 77.) In Statesville, we’re caring and proud of our scenic downtown, our public art, our schools, churches and parks. If you get sick, we’ll bring you a casserole. And, we’re happy folk.
When our State magazine writes a nice article about us, church bells ring and we take to the streets and jump up and down and laugh and hug each other. The mayor fires the cannon down at the old courthouse (Boom!). We cancel school.
I grew up in eastern North Carolina, near East Carolina University, and we were influenced by math professors with hair you get if you stick your finger in an electrical socket, and history professors who smoked briar pipes and wore a lot of tweed in earth tones. I was young and arrogant and wanted to be a writer and a musician, so I tried to project the image of a sulking artist slogging through a swamp of agony.
But I was raised in a good Christian home; my parents showered me with love, so I was too happy to experience agony. Depression eluded me. I yearned to be bitter.
Now I am old enough to accept my happiness, and to appreciate how lucky I really am.
Careers have been ruined by recognition and success, so hopefully the press-award committee will never find me in my new home I’ll continue to tap away on my keyboard, keep dear friends close and live in the same great city. Sweet, sweet life.