Well, the big decision has been made. Dave’s dad plans to return to UK following his retirement from ORNL in a few weeks, and needs to sell the house here in TN in order to purchase another in UK. Likely, he will move somewhere up in the English Lake District, near Dave’s mum (his ex-wife), with whom he has had a partial reconciliation following what (nearly) happened to Dave and the rest of us at the end of our adventures (see Against All Odds).
Pete (Dave’s brother) and his long-term partner Ivo will definitely stay here, with senior jobs in the local gymnastics centre (and, in Ivo’s case, a second job too!). They could afford to buy property themselves (they just haven’t, whilst we had this house to rattle around in and the wonderful training cabin at the top of the yard). Dave and I, on the other hand, have invested our hard-gotten gains in property in Wales (UK) – although we have already had several offers of accommodation here if we elected to stay.
So a realtor (as they call them here) as been instructed to test the market. It’s not a good time here in Oak Ridge because they are going to make a lot of people redundant from the main employer, the government lab, based upon reduced funding for next year – so we can expect a lot of property to hit the market and few buyers. So we shall watch what happens.
Dave and I, and our wonderful kids Leo and Jaymee, all have the right to live (and work) in both US and UK. Our inclination, at the moment, is both to enjoy our investment in UK for extended stays and to commute back to TN, also for extended stays, provided we can finance ourselves somehow, both to maintain ourselves and also afford the cheapest air fares back and forth across the Atlantic on a regular basis. Selling more books to you guys would help (a bit!) – see right!
We’re still rehearsing the arguments for and against leaving here after 13 years, and I’ll share some of them in future posts. It has been an amazing time, with a fantastic group of mates for workouts, performing and so forth, and it will be real hard to face up to a change. But, as one dear friend continuously puts it: ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your lives’ – do we want to stick in one rut for ever?
One rut we are definitely ‘stuck’ in is fitness, and (as gay guys) the admiration of great bodies built with dedication and ‘true grit’, so let’s share:
I like black and white. It often shows up a great body more clearly than a colour picture. In fact, I like things to be ‘black and white’, and the decisions we have to make are anything but. Our options seem more like a murky grey at the moment, but we’re sure there’s a right answer to this: we just have to find it.
A couple more black and white images to finish on, then:
…and, for the last one, a reminder of hot summer sun…