True, I turned 50 two weeks ago. I turned 50, sold my house and put a contract on a house on the Lake. And yes, it is Carter's senior year of high school, which means we're pretty busy here with the whole college and graduating "business" (and it is a "business," but that's a topic for another post), and yes, it will be just me and Julia at home next year, and yes, I fully intend to make DB live up to his promise to marry me when Julia graduates. Which means, yes, I'll be moving to Charleston in three years.
Still, moving to the Lake in the interim doesn't necessarily signal a mid-life crisis. Nor is it "insanity," or "impetuous" or "rash."
"Adventure," remember? "Adventure" is the word I'm looking for. Or, in a pinch, "carpe diem."
Julia and I are keenly aware of the gaping hole we'll face when Carter heads to college next fall, so listmakers that we are, we maintain a "When Carter's Gone" list. For example, "When Carter's gone, we'll eat more salad." "When Carter's gone, we'll take yoga." "When Carter's gone, we'll get an exchange student," which sounds just like getting a kitten, in that we'll be dealing with language neither of us speaks, but better, because there's no litter box.
A few months back, Julia tacked something new on the list, "When Carter's gone, we'll live at the Lake."
To which, Carter, who was entirely in favoring of dodging salad and yoga and exchange students, responded, in essence, "What the aitch? I wanna live at the Lake."
The way I see it, I only have a couple more years -- or in the case of Carter, months -- of full-time, hands-on parenting. I'll always be their mom, of course, but God willing, they won't always be under my roof. They won't always be my funny, thoughtful, insightful dinner companions. They're already slipping away, moving on, spending less and less time with me. It's not that I want to cling to this time. I want to cherish it.
So yes, we're moving to the Lake. Yes, I understand the transaction costs. Yes, I understand the longer commute. Yes, I understand that I'll no longer be able to walk to Starbucks. And yes, moving is a colossal, miserable, unremitting pain.
But it's also an adventure. I'm 50 years old, and I'm heading out on an adventure. With my kids.
Three-Way Caesar Dinner
I don't have any regrets about relocating to the Lake, but I do need to watch my budget to make everything work. Using a single ingredient as a marinade/sauce/dressing is tasty and budget-friendly, to boot!
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 boneless chicken breasts
12 oz medium chicken noodles
1 bag romaine "salad"
Make dressing/marinade/sauce but combining garlic, anchovy paste, oil, lemon juice, hot sauce salt and pepper in a blender. (Or, even easier, combine using an immersion blender until smooth.)
Place raw chicken breasts in a zippered plastic bag with one third of the caesar dressing. Allow to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Grill chicken until done.
As chicken grills, boil noodles in a large pot of very well salted water until done. Drain and toss with one third of the caesar dressing.
When chicken is done, allow to rest for 10 minutes, before slicing on the diagonal and tossing with hot noodles. Toss salad with remaining dressing, and serve alongside chicken and noodles.