I've come to realize that, for the last twenty years, more so in the last five, I've been sleeping in Claverack, but living in Hudson. It's Hudson where neighbors recognize me, where I eat out, where I walk the main street, where long-made business connections exist. Claverack, on the other hand, is where I sleep, bathe, sometimes eat, and get in my car to go elsewhere. So, despite the incredible prices Hudson buildings are bringing, the thought of selling our last remaining building, the old crack house where my office is located, leaves me extremely conflicted. I've been trying to figure out a way to both sell (to eliminate the work The Man has to do, not because of the money) and yet stay.
I made a deal with The Man. Well, it was actually a one-sided deal. We would sell our Claverack house, live on the lake for the summer, and move to Hudson for the winter, interspersed with trips to warmer climes. Since I was the only one who thought that was a good idea, The Man has been less than enthusiastic about both selling the house he built and we've lived in for 35 years, or moving to Hudson. He's a boy from the Bronx who's really country at heart.
So yesterday I went to see the Armory Houses, as they've been dubbed. A developer has been buying and fixing up tons of buildings. One particular house has always caught The Man's eye, so I drove by to see how things were progressing. Even though the thought of going from landlord to tenant makes me feel unsettled, it might be a way to ease his transition into city living if we can buy or lease it when it's done.
Two men who obviously had something to do with the work were talking outside, so I asked if I could go on the porch to peek in the windows. Probably without realizing it himself, he quickly scanned me, and then politely told me that he would prefer I wouldn't, because it was a construction zone, and he had to think of safety.
At that instant I realized that, to them, I looked like an old woman who they had to worry about. I myself have caught sight of that stranger, usually reflected on a store window as I walked by. But the person I am, the one they didn't see standing before them yesterday, is the capable, sure-footed person who spent her career crawling around job sites.
The Brits have a good word for it: redundant. Hell, not without a fight.