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Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
Published by Swampy Meadows
Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes

WEST BLOOMFIELD (MI) -- To quote the eminent philosopher/songwriter Jimmy Buffett:

It's those changes in latitudes,
Changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane.

Those of you with better than average observational skills will note a change in venue for “From the Swamp” from Beverly Hills to West Bloomfield, MI. Others may have noticed the absence of anything appearing in this space for exactly one month. There are a couple of reasons for this: downsizing and upsizing.


This process began several years ago when my wife and I came to the slow realization that we simply did not need or want to live in a five-bedroom house (and all that it entails) any longer, when it was just the two of us. The Swampettes are both grown and live in Chicago and they ain’t coming back; I’m still working at my daytime job (predominantly from home) but not forever and we’d both like to have a place all on one level with less upkeep and no stairs and for me, no yardwork.

We started ‘thinning the herd’ slowly by holding the occasional garage sale. We travelled to places like North Carolina and Florida to check out warmer climes. We told our longtime friend and real estate agent that we would be ready in the spring of 2017 to make our move, wherever that might be. He provided insight on how to get our house ready to sell. Fix the roof; replace the windows; rip out the ancient carpet that hid a beautiful hardwood staircase; remove the wallpaper in the entry; declutter. The HVAC system had already been addressed and all three bathrooms renovated. By March of this year our house was ready to list and it went on the market on a Tuesday, to coincide with the local realtors’ brokers open house tour. By that night we had an offer and multiple interested parties; by Thursday we had finalized a contract for well over our asking price from a young family with two kids who will love and maintain the old homestead like we have for the last 23 years.

We still had stuff to get rid of before we moved and my wife by this time had discovered the wonders of virtual garage sale websites. They truly are a beautiful thing! You list whatever you want to sell and if people are interested they message you; agree on a price and they pick it up on your porch and leave cash or a check. We sold all sorts of furniture, pictures, even my electric chain saw. What’s not to like?

Needless to say, our move was both fun and bittersweet. I found it fitting that my last time mowing the lawn that I had emptied my gas can into the mower and just as I finished the very last section of grass, it ran out of fuel…and then went straight to the curb along with my grill, as both were on their last legs. Adios amigos!

So, where did we move? Not down south as we had originally envisioned, altho that is still a possibility in the future. We chose an apartment with three bedrooms, two baths, a garage and most importantly, all on one level here in West Bloomfield, some eight miles west of Beverly Hills.

Why an apartment? We weren’t ready to sell one place and buy another, at least not right away. Our 15-month lease allows us to take our time and plot our course, which has taken a sudden turn for the better in the last few months. And that’s where upsizing comes into the picture.


Everything changed over a quiet family dinner in Chicago last fall. The Younger Dr. Swampette handed me a photo and said it was a picture that she and her husband had taken. My wife knew what it was right away but I’m not too bright and thought it was a snapshot of their cat.

It was an ultrasound.

On May 6th, little Desmond James came into the world, all 7 lbs. 11 oz. and 21 ½” of him. Five days later, his mom presented her thesis, the last official act of her Residency at Northwestern Memorial before she takes her Boards in July and then moves to San Francisco to do a one year Fellowship in Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSF. After that, she wants to pursue a career in Academic Orthopaedics at a university somewhere TBD, hopefully in the Midwest. My wife and I did not want to plant permanent roots until we found out where the three of them landed, so renting rather than buying made perfect sense.

Little Desmond’s arrival impacted my wife’s well-thought-out moving plans. We were to get the keys to our apartment on Sunday; the movers would come on Monday and then we would drive to Chicago that weekend. On Saturday, my wife and I were headed to dinner when we got a text from our son-in-law that they were at the hospital and ‘headed upstairs.’ We got our meals to-go, went home, packed a suitcase and hit I-94 West. En route my wife called the woman who owns our moving company and asked to switch from Monday to Tuesday, as she had promised she could do, given our circumstances. We were about 90 minutes outside of the Windy City when DJ was born and got to see him shortly thereafter. Those of you who are already lucky enuf to be grandparents know that the little guy has rocked our world. Guess who’s smiling face is the new wallpaper on my smartphone?

So, that’s what I have been up to the last thirty days, let’s see what’s been going on in college hoops and life in general, shall we?

-- UD Pride MB posters went from all-out panic to ‘everything’s cool’ in those same thirty days when it came to the future of UD hoops. The deletion of McKinley Wright and Nahziah Carter from the Class of 2017 combined with the departure of PG John Crosby called into question the hiring of Anthony Grant to some, but not all of the Flyer Faithful. The retention of the Jordans and Matej Svoboda, paired with the return of Crosby and the signing of PG Jalen Crutcher and big man Obi Toppin filled out the 13 man roster and set our collective minds at ease.

-- The best piece on UD’s latest recruit Obi Toppin that you will read all day:


-- What can you say about the $72 million-dollar renovation of UD Arena other than “Wow!”


-- So what do college head coaches look for when they do an in-home visit with a potential recruit? Former Wright State HC and ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi provides the insight:


-- When you look at the recent on-air firings at ESPN, the one that really caught me by surprise was that of Andy Katz. His ESPN Twitter account has been suspended so I can’t link to the classy goodbye he posted, but here is what Katz meant to CBS Sports’ counterpart Jon Rothstein:


-- Oakland U Head Coach Greg Kampe had a great answer to the question “what can I do to help with cancer research?”


-- Want to break into sports/broadcast media? Here is your chance:


-- Good news: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently visited Dayton.
Bad news: to talk about the rampant Opioid addiction that is ravaging the Gem City:


-- For all of you grammar Nazis out there, here are a couple of points of contention to consider:

The Oxford Comma


Leaving Two Spaces After a Period


That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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By cj on 05-23-2017, 03:53 PM
Sounds like we are living semi-parallel lives. My oldest graduated from med school the same day my 3rd kid graduated from UD. The new doctor and his wife are expecting. We just signed a contract on the house we are currently living in because we too are downsizing. We threw in the riding mower as part of the sale as it is on its last leg. Now the fun part, trying to find a place to live.
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