This morning Wendy and Marcia hosted the neighborhood for coffee and bagels. It was a delightful introduction to the year.
Kris did not attend, although she was invited. Instead, Ginger came by and they went out for breakfast, and probably a few drinks. This was pretty much symbolic, although I did not recognize it at the time. Kris is disconnecting from the neighborhood; drinking with her mother is more important.
We also assembled a welcome basket for our new neighbors, the couple who bought Brian's house. Blair and Dina put on finishing touches at their table - it turns out Blair used to make flower baskets! - and then walked it over.
The next project was finishing the 4freeCLE newsletter and getting it published. What with the holiday and all, a bit of a backlog of listings had built up, but I got it done. In the interim, the real estate agent Kris had contacted to value the house came by, checked out the interior, and discussed staging and other selling strategies with Kris. This of course was quite distressing to me, although I had been prepared, and afterwards we had a calm discussion. Kris indicated that she just wanted out of the whole transaction, not any money; she stated that she believed that there was no money in the house due to house values. I don't know what the market value may be, and certainly the roof and solar installation would be hard to value in conventional terms, but the entire unit is my retirement plan, and we're pretty clear that that can't be replaced by a sum of money. Kris suggested that if she could move out into her own place, perhaps I could rent the top floor. As has happened before, she suggested to me the plan I had suggested to her, so I don't really disagree with it. I would have preferred that the situation not get to this point, but since she wants out, that would be the simplest, more fair and more practical out for us both.
I feel relief that we may have a compromise that works for me, and am satisfied enough that it works for her.
There is the not-insignificant detail of locating appropriate renters or, in the alternative, augmenting my income at the risk of my public service projects, but I have a few months to work on this. For the first time in a long time, I have a clear road - not a simple road, but a clear one - and the only issue is to perform. This greatly simplifies every decision.
Putting the two events together: in our discussion, Kris said that she would just move to another neighborhood and make friends there. I felt sad at that; I love my neighborhood. I understand change is necessary, but if I had to move I would have some feelings about it. Perhaps she does; it's really impossible to tell what an alcoholic "really" feels or even if that has a meaning in the ordinary sense. When I asked what she wanted, she said she wanted to live in a house by herself, and then she started describing how that made sense; finally I interrupted her and said that the explanations and so forth were not needed; the question was answered. There is no needed to persuade me whether her desire is reasonable or not; it's not me who would need persuading. She definitely wants to be away from living with me and, on the evidence, anyone else, and that's that.
She had a pleasant walk with Jeff on New Year's Day down at Lincoln Park, a place we liked to walk - it really is walkable. I recommended Jeff and some of the other men to her, and she recoiled; she thought of them as friends and did not want to date anyone where she hung out and drank. I pointed out that what this meant is that she did not want to date anyone, which is fine, but she might be better off just admitting it. She's not ready for that, and it's her karma I suppose.