what I’ve gained and lost: my first two years

So, since this blog should really be much more rounded in its display of transitional neighborhood living, I’ve decided I’d list what I have gained since living here:

  • Great house with a low mortgage (allows my husband and I to travel frequently each year).
  • Immediate neighbors with whom we have a trusting relationship.
  • Close and diverse friends with whom we have common goals, even if not always common methods (I don’t think I can emphasize this particular point enough).
  • A free pool and park in walking distance, both of which are stellar.  Some people even drive from the county to use our pool.
  • Experiences – these can be attributed negatively and positively, but I’d like to note the positive experiences far outnumber the negative, even if the negative ones leave a greater imprint in my memory.
  • Proximity to a fast bus line.  I can be in downtown Richmond faster than I can drive and park there using the bus, which is two blocks from my home.  During peak hours, it arrives every ten minutes, and takes about 15 minutes to reach downtown.
  • Proximity to our library, which is also two blocks away.  I’ve taken out a lot of DVDs, and paid less in late fees for weeks than what rentals normally cost.
  • A sense of belonging – I am a member of my neighborhood, and being active in my neighborhood helps me to appreciate its history and the possibilities for its future.
  • Money on food and housewifery skills.  We gained a real, and professional kitchen.  I almost never cooked in our cramped apartment kitchen, and now I’ve learned to cook.  Much to my family’s surprise, I make Thanksgiving dinner better than my mom (and they were threatening to stop at BK to eat on their way over the first time I made it). 
  • Renovation skills (I’ve got skills) – I hung drywall, not well, but it’s there.
  • Porches.

What I’ve lost:

  • Sleep on weekends for a period when a certain nightclub was causing hell to appear outside my house (I could have sworn I saw a crack in the earth and fire shooting from it).  It’s gone, and I’m sleeping again on the weekends.
  • Opportunity to invite possible friends over to our home.  We have to keep some people at arms’ length when we get a certain reaction to our neighborhood.  I’ve decided that it’s not a loss, but my husband disagrees, so I’ll put it up here.
  • Money – ok, to be fair, renting is cheaper than owning an old house.  While our mortgage is low, we are always working on projects.  So, I would add $300 for the mortgage over the rent, and another $200 spent a month (averaging over a year) spent on house projects/furniture. 
  • My edge – I am more apt to listen to someone in order to achieve a good end for a majority, even if I have great reservations about someone’s motives or character.  Karma will always come around in the end =).
  • A non-working bike.  I swear, it’s the only thing that’s been carried off from our property.
  • Tolerance for people with lofty morals and lack of personal ethics… and I thought it would be my politically sensitive job that would jade me.

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