I’m driving down to Podunk today after work so I can pick up the last few remaining things from Dad’s house that I want/need, and leave the papers on the counter the buyer needs so he can get the lawyer started drawing up the necessary items to revert ownership of the home. This should be the last trip down there. It’s both a relief and a burden. No matter that the house is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a bunch of nosy provincials who refer to the area as “the ranch” and view it as paradise on earth, only to be left for the procurement of food at the grocery store – an hour’s drive away. Yes, the area is pretty, sort of. Yes, it’s kind of nice to stand on the banks of the pond and throw food to the catfish. It’s also nice to wake up early and see the deer gathered around the pond for a drink. But It’s nicer to not have the worry of it over my head. To not stress over paying house payments, and keeping vandals out of the house. And DEFINITELY it’s nice to not have your every movement examined and flocks of people coming over so they can observe you like a damn animal in a zoo there for their viewing pleasure. It’s nice to know that, after I split everything with my son and brother, there will be just about enough left to pay for the orthodontia Jamie desperately needs. It’s nice to know that I won’t be eating up the gas and putting undue stress on my car to go down there. It’s also nice to know I live in a neighborhood that is not completely isolated and the breeding ground for rabid ignorance and hatred of all things “different.” It’s nice to know that it will not take me an hour to get to the nearest movie theater, nor will it take me two hours to reach the nearest museum or cultural event. It’s nice to know my water is not brown and stinky, and does not turn all my white things the color of dog turds when washed in it. So long, little house. It’s been nice knowing you, but it’ll be even nicer to be rid of you.