It’s my last quiet Sunday morning in this house.
Sitting in the big chair, watching something quiet on the big screen, and coffee. It’s been my Sunday morning since forever. Things comfortable and durable.
There’s a silliness for someone fully grown to get attached to walls of wood and brick, but I’ve lived in this place longer than any other in my whole life. Maybe longer than any I’ll ever live in again. It’s a biggish place, bigger and better than we probably deserved when we moved in, awestruck, some 13 years ago now.
My children barely remember their first house, but they’ll never get this one out of their mind. They painted its walls and swapped bedrooms and came in late at night to a foyer light glowing, just for them. Watched a dad grow a little more gray, a mom crying at times. They drove off in cars for the first time from here. Endlessly cut the lawn, swam in the pool, called their friends and said “I’m at my house, come on over.”
There will be a lump of years go by before something becomes my house again, for them and for me. You move along, you change things in your life and the life of those you hold close, but that tug remains. Sitting right here in this small corner of a large room, far away from anything else.
It was just Ally and I yesterday, laying waste to the Master Bedroom and the little office, dragging boxes around and generally making a moonscape out of the clutter.
“It’s impossible,” I muttered at one point.
“What’s that?”, she asked.
“It’s impossible that all this stuff is going to fit anywhere. I can’t believe half of it even fit in here! Shoulda’ tossed all of this crap. You do know we’re moving to a much, much smaller place, don’t you?”
She does. She does know, and she’s patient with my curmudgeonly ways of asking the obvious just to remind her of it. Or perhaps she’s chalking it up to stress. Uh uh.
I don’t care for the term. ‘Stress’ sounds awfully like a wide eyed redhead with heaving bosoms, clutching a designer purse and explaining to a bored sales clerk that “Of course my credit cards are good, are you sure? Can’t you run them through again? I know I paid that bill, I just know it!”
My last couple of weeks have been more subtle. A Watering Hole broker selling my house who never calls. He’s quite competent, he does what he’s supposed to do. He just never seems to feel obliged to tell me anything, which leads me to call with an anxious whine and ask things like “Hey Broker Bob? Um, did you fax that thingy off to the mortgage company and did the termite guy call and is this all really gonna happen come Friday?”
Or another realtor, who wisely remained unapproachable to the hordes of screeching ninny’s seeking rental property, me among them. Difficult to reach, and breezily unflappable when run to ground, she sounded almost cheerful as I inquired about house after house for rent. “Nope that one’s already gone, whoops you missed that yesterday, so sorry. Call again now, something will pop up.”
Stress? No, I wouldn’t call it stressful. My hair isn’t red and my bosoms don’t heave, although Ally might point out that I do have a bit of a belly that tends to wobble under the right conditions.
Nerves, that’s what I call it. As in, the fine art of finding my last one.
But we did land a rental. A 12 month sort of place with many bricks and trees. It’s in the right spot, not 3 miles from where I am right now, which is a necessary thing when you have a child still in high school and needing to finish next year.
It’s a rental, in my mind a temporary. With a little luck and a lot of sweaty days we might get something more permanent out of the ground in 12 months. I can live with temporary. Even if temporary is 2 blocks from (hold your bosoms) the mother-in-laws house.
I wouldn’t call it stressful. I wouldn’t call it stressful.
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