New Home, New Car, New Book

For the past two weeks I have been in tornado mode. A few days before Christmas our landlord gave us 90-day notice to vacate the premises. So we are out of here. Of course, this is not how I expected to be spending my time. I have a new book coming out in 2024 and a long list of tasks to accomplish. But my brain has been sucked into the anxiety vortex and that is where I will twirl until I’m settled at a new desk in a new home. I have a lot to say about the process of apartment hunting, moving and homemaking in a new place. But I’m going to save that post for a couple weeks while I nurture a more balanced perspective. Right now my hair is on fire. 

Billie Best writes about her life.

I’m a planner, and since October when I found a feminist press with an editor who loved my novel, I have been focused on the process of preparing to publish “Clitapalooza: Her flower blooms power,” the story of a woman who plays games with her sex life and gets caught in a digital trap. Then the first week in December I got word that a board member for the publisher had blocked the publication of my book because it’s too controversial. Yes, two months before my 70th birthday I have been slut shamed. Many thoughts come to mind about the barriers to market for a story about a woman who loves sex, but I’m going to save them for my next post. 

I need to focus on the center of my circle. Home. My cohabitant is still working full time. He has lived in our current home since 2005, where he cares for the property, 40 acres of old growth forest, ponds, gardens and an orchard. This is his heart place. So, the prospect of leaving is a great loss. I am going to miss the communion of trees and my wondrous garden, but my big epiphany living here is about our cabin in the woods. You can’t put lipstick on a man-cave. For three years I have been trying to fix up the funk while I tell myself to just accept things as they are, because, well, the trees. The trees are spectacular. But I’m looking forward to new digs. More on that later, too.

The week after the Winter Solstice, and Christmas, and the full moon, while Mercury was retrograde, I was reorganizing my life to move, sorting possessions into plastic bins, adding rubber gloves to my shopping list, and comparing prices on washer/dryer combos. Also, had to take my car in for maintenance. As I sat in the repair shop waiting room, the service tech came out to talk to me with a look on his face like a surgeon who had just lost the patient. He showed me pictures of the undercarriage of my beloved 2007 Honda Element and advised me not to put any more money into the vehicle, and to replace it as soon as possible. My bottom has rusted out. Hmm… I was hoping to get another 25,000 miles out of those wheels, and my mind is wrapped tight around the idea of money as our living expenses increase and I fund the PR for my new book. It’s a lot all at once. But that’s just how life is.

So, for me 2024 begins with new home, new car, new book. To keep my head screwed on straight I’m going to be writing to you as I dance through the changes. Stay tuned to my website, my newsletter, or my Facebook page if you want to follow the story. I will be diving into gendered controversy as I self-publish “Clitapalooza” and open myself to all sorts of criticism. But first, after living in the wild for three years, I’m going to be moving to suburbia, full-on Donna Reed, with fenced yards, lunch pails, and school children, walking my dog on a leash and carrying poo bags. And I’m going to be driving a new used car. Should I go electric? Also, my cohabitant is going to be listening to me through his new hearing aids, which change my life almost as much as his. Watch for a blog post on old ears. 

Yes, I feel like Dorothy in the tornado yelling for Aunty Em. Then I look in the mirror and realize I’m Aunty Em, and Dorothy is lost inside of me. My life is going to be a chaos for a while, but that’s what makes it interesting. This blog is my therapy. I’m committed to living out loud here with you because it keeps me honest and helps me think. So, thanks for reading. More on all of this next week.  

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14 thoughts on “New Home, New Car, New Book

  1. Wowie-ka-powie and Glorioski ! — I’m wishing you such a terrific, grand Bon Voyage
    send-off into your new habitat. What an intense New Year you’re in, oh boy. And, one
    has to think, with all the New Year oomph and drama — Argentina, you put new pink
    underwear on, Bolivia, yellow, Italy, the same in red for good luck! Put them all on and
    just f l o w through one challenge after the other these months. I so hope you can find
    your heart’s content, maybe not with a spacious view of the moon, but one with
    neighborly “Hello”s and fewer ticks. Cheers and Charge On!!

  2. I love this line: “Then I look in the mirror and realize I’m Aunty Em, and Dorothy is lost inside of me.”

  3. I moved 6 months ago from an 1800 sq ft to 700sq ft. I understand that stress. Perhaps getting a storage space, temporarily will make moving easier. A backyard privacy fence definitely helps make the suburbs tolerable. It’s amazing how easily we adapt to change. You have weathered worse! Keep going!

    1. Thanks for sharing my pain, Mary. I feared this moment for so long and now it’s here and everything is going quite well. Funny how we always imagine the future is more difficult. Right now things are good.

    1. I’m glad you enjoy reading about my life. I’m hoping that by living out loud, other people will be able to learn from my mistakes. That makes them easier to tolerate.

  4. I feel your pain. We, too, are moving soon. We are downsizing to a condo where the lawn care and snow removal are included. However, it is OUR decision to move, something we’ve been talking about for 2 years but didn’t act on because of the housing market and interest rates. So here we are, looking for something with few or no stairs, but big enough for all of my craft stuff and in our price range. Fun.

    Here’s to a smooth transition for both of us.

    1. Oh, Karen. I’m glad for you that you have chosen a path, buy I know how challenging it can be to move out of a place you’ve been dug into for years. Sounds like you’re clear on it. Sending big hugs your way.

  5. Holy shit, Billie. Huge upheaval. Somewhat the same in mine. 13 year old KIA Soul been in the shop for 2+ months still waiting on parts. Thankfully got a loaner. First one – all electric. Like a flying saucer. 2nd one – when you back up the side mirrors auto shift down making parking a lot easier. But i won’t miss it. I do miss my banged up KIA. God knows how much longer I’ll get to stay living in JP. You rent/you move is the refrain. So far, all ok, but around the corner…? And in Feb I’m sucking it up and getting hearing aids. The decent ones ain’t cheap. But my atractive gay audiologist explained that if you don’t get ’em, the audio signal to your brian weakens and all deaf ears around the corner. So ill get the buds and wear ’em at work, and here n there, but not at rehearsals or on a rock n roll stage. Ah age. Ah change. Invigorates the soul.

    1. You’re in the weeds now! All of it. So mundane but so key to getting through the day. It does invigorate the soul. The learning is incessant. Nothing you can do to avoid it. So, man up, buttercup.

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