“My, my. A body does get around.” – William Faulkner
Oh William, you have no idea.
We’ve moved. We’re in our new house. It is lovely, really. True, the microwave doesn’t open, the dishwasher is confused about its purpose, there’s a wine fridge but it too is inoperable, and though I have a double oven, it has to be replaced or repaired. Did I mention that our refrigerator legs aren’t locked, so that it creeps along surreptitiously, advancing with little notice until it kisses the wall?
Of course, as with every new house, there’s a punch list that is lengthy – and I now understand why it is in fact called a ‘punch’ list.
At night, our boxes multiply as if their souls were rabbits. And each morning, I look around in disbelief that there are so damn many them. The yard is not seeded, sodded or fenced, so the Sirs and I walk with our heads down – our neighbors must look at the mosh pit that is the front yard and shake their heads with displeasure. Some of the doors don’t lock properly yet, but what the heck, I can always make someone a cup of coffee.
I love that I have landed. I may not be able to find my way through this morass even with a compass and clear head (I lack both) – but I am home. A place to create new memories, walls that will hold laughter and baby giggles, words from family and friends, new secrets and old stories that are told and re-told for their lessons and familial value – all will be protected by this structure. When you cross our threshold, you will know you are welcome. I think that is what I have missed most about our old home (other than the fact that my kids were still under the roof). It was ‘home’ to all who entered – shoes were off, people curled up on couches, succumbing to those drooly kind of naps, big Thanksgiving dinners, intimate moments with friends around the kitchen table.
I wish my whole family was local, but I am so, so grateful for those who are here. I think as you get older, you treasure ‘home’ differently. It isn’t about acquisitiveness any longer – on the contrary, that which isn’t essential to your heart is purged – it’s about holding on to that which is most important to you. And reveling in it. Perhaps therein lies my impatience. I want to find the pictures of my parents, the cards my sons gave me when they were small. I want to ‘feel’ my life in what I touch.
Andy keeps telling me to go slow, that this isn’t a marathon – he’s right of course. I’m driven by a compelling force to snuggle into what I know, before I begin to create something new. If our fence was up, I’d have one foot in the new and the other in the old. Barring that, I’m just going to keep going until I uncover all those priceless treasures that I have missed for almost a year. And whisper with delight and gratitude, ‘There you are! Thank you for waiting for me!’.
Ok, time to get started –