A STONES THROW AWAY

April 8th 2021
As I was driving today to get Chinese food– we were craving it because we had not had any for a long time, and I had ordered it via the phone app for Panda Express (what an invention!) and I know it’s not ‘legit’ Chinese food, whatever that is, but it can hit the spot, and did hit the spot this time. I was driving on winding Petrovitsky Road in Renton and I passed the place where we had lived here for three plus years, after leaving our beloved Erie, Pennsylvania and driving cross-country, and then moved to another apartment complex right up the road, also off Petrovitsky Road, so in essence we had moved only 5 minutes or so away (often referred to as a stone’s throw if you’re into throwing rocks at places), and I realized that we had done the same thing in Erie…moving from West 29th Street to Raspberry Street, both on the west side and within walking distance of each other. They were the only two houses I’ve purchased in my life, selling the one before moving to the other, and in both cases of selling the houses, we had really only had one interested buyer, and were fortunate enough for them to pull the proverbial trigger and allow us to move on with our lives, the next chapter etc. So I got to thinking today how many times, once my childhood was up, how many times as an adult I had moved and the new place had been relatively close to the previous place. In San Francisco and in Peru both, I have lived several places and all of them were within either walking distance or a short bus or subway trip. And we seem to be carrying on that tradition here. And is it crazy and unnecessary…all the cost, all the hard work, I mean carrying all that stuff from one cave just down the road to another?  But as I think back on it, as I analyze all of it, it seems like each time it ended up being a wise move and an improvement in various ways, and I’ve never had regrets about any of them. And you also realize that each of those places had with them different memories and different experiences, you had perhaps different jobs and a new income level, different health concerns and accomplishments and failures, and you were interacting perhaps with ‘new people’ who did not know the people from the previous places, and maybe you’d even lost contact with the people from the previous places, despite the fact that you’d only moved a remarkably short distance away. For example, I’ve not returned to these apartments where we left, and I wonder as I pass by but do not turn like I had turned so many times before, what goes on there and how many of the neighbors at the time we were there have also moved on? America is such a transient society in so many ways– people abandoning jobs, family, spouses, schools, even states and countries to see what it will be like in the new place. Seeking greener pastures, leaving a cage, or fleeing the scene. And in fact, our lives, despite having moved so short a distance again,  are much more positive now. We have fewer issues with the neighbors,  it’s more peaceful, cleaner, we prefer all the features of the apartment — we feel blessed because there are always so many variables beyond our control in this regard —  we’ve managed to be happy in both places and fully realize that we have, what I call, ‘landed well’, once more so far from Pennsylvania. Coming to Washington, a major undertaking, with many ‘risks’, unlike the moves (short hops) I’ve talked about here, traversing an awe-inspiring distance, as was the one from Pennsylvania to San Francisco and back again… as was the one to Peru and back. But sometimes even the minor (and none are actually minor) moves can somehow mean all the difference in the world as you go through the days, as you move ahead, touching more milestones.

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