I’m home. At Creek House. I spent the entire week packing, moving, unpacking moving more, reorganizing, cleaning and settling in. There were glitches. Like when my high-speed internet provider disconnected the service at Terraphilia as scheduled on Wednesday morning, and then “forgot” to reconnect me at Creek House.
I was at the door of the cable company when they opened Thursday morning. Only to learn that they couldn’t hook me up until Saturday. Evening.
“Really?” I said. I had work in progress. Deadlines that required internet access to accomplish.
Really, said the lady behind the counter.
Okay. Deep breath.
I took advantage of my unscheduled tumble to the wrong side of the digital divide to invent cool curtain rods for the lace curtains on the French doors at the front and back of Creek House using chrome steel rods and eye hooks, build some pantry shelves (nothing fancy, but they work), move more stuff, deal with more construction hiccups, to move more things….
It was an interesting week. “Interesting,” that is, in the sense of the old Chinese curse, May you live in interesting times. (The curse may or may not be apocryphal, but it fits.) I have been living interesting times since Richard began seeing birds two years, one month and a week ago.
I haven’t moved an entire household by myself since I was a broke and newly divorced grad student, and “entire household” meant one towel, one washcloth, one pillow, one set of sheets…. I have more stuff now, and more riding on finishing the move on time, like the sale of Terraphilia, which closes Wednesday morning.
I didn’t do this move by myself. My friends turned out to help in generous and unexpected ways. But I was the only one responsible for making sure everything got done. And the schedule is tight. After closing, I hit the road to drive to Kansas City, where I’ll teach a workshop I haven’t had time to prepare yet.
My neighbor Bev helped all week, schlepping and cleaning. (Bev’s glorious cottage gardens were the only point of light in this down-beyond-the-heels neighborhood when Richard and I bought our first dilapidated property here. Those gardens convinced us to take a chance. They were right.)
My girlfriends turned out one evening for a couple of hours of load-boxes-onto-the-handcart, bump the handcart down the alley and around the steep curve of my not-finished-driveway, past Treehouse and across the dirt yard to Creek House to fill the cabinets and drawers and shelves in my new kitchen.
And stayed to drink wine and eat munchies while I rearranged their handiwork. (Thanks to Bev, Lisa M, Toni, Geraldine, and Kerry!)
Neighbor Judy, also the real estate agent for the buyers of Terraphilia, stopped by one afternoon–“I was biking home to put my feet up for a few minutes and saw you.”–instead resting, she helped me schlep boxes. A friend and former Salidan who now lives in Austin hallooed through the back door another afternoon, completely surprising me. She helped me move the contents of the fridge and freezer plus the entire pantry. Thank you, Kathie!
Yesterday, Tony and Maggie helped me move the last of the art, and patch nail holes and touch up paint at Terraphilia, where the empty rooms now echo. Tony even braved my rickety extension-ladder to attach a hanging sculpture twelve feet up (“You might want a new ladder,” he said calmly after he climbed down); Maggie helped with the last fall clean-up of Terraphilia’s kitchen garden.
I’m here now. At Creek House, with Treehouse next door. Neither are finished. Yet both feel like home–the first night I slept here, I saw a meteor streak across the almost-dark sky out the bedroom window.
When I return next week, construction will still swirl around me and the entire yard will still be bare dirt (more accurately, bare roadbase, which is worse).
But I’ll be home. Truly home for the first time since Richard died and Terraphilia immediately became way too big for the one of me.
Home in my own snug house with Richard’s art around me. I am blessed.
“Interesting” this journey we call life is. Full of grace, too. Thanks for being part of mine—both the journey and the grace.