Archives for posts with tag: home sweet home

This particular blog post is about several things that are more than a little interconnected, but probably also entirely coincidental, and more likely still? I may not actually ever get around to mentioning any of those details in any specific way, because I’ve got this headache “peering over my shoulder” and distracting me. I sip ginger ale in a dark room. My tinnitus is louder than my computer, and I double-check to “see that it’s on” and laugh, immediately realizing how fucking dumb that actually is; I’m at the keyboard, writing. God damn this headache makes me fucking stupid. 0_o How annoying.

I’ve been very introspective these past few days. June 25th has some gravitas these days – the anniversary of my Mother’s death. It’s also got some serious joy – the anniversary of buying our home (we did not select the date). “Mixed emotions” doesn’t even come close to explaining where this put my head these last few days, as we approach the 1st anniversary of the date we actually moved into our home. So many boxes! Last year, all of the days between those dates were midst the COVID-19 pandemic, in the early months of “the lockdown”… strange to discuss it in months, but here we all are. I write a few more grim sentences, then remember I honestly don’t know enough to legitimately have an opinion of some of these things. I delete them, and let my mind wander.

It was hot this week. Like…intensely bold-red-text-heat-warning hot. No kidding. It was… Phoenix hot. Fresno hot. Death Valley hot.

I’m not even exaggerating.

Fortunately, it cooled off quite a bit day by day. It was so hot I couldn’t think. Writing would have put more heat into my studio, so I kept it to the minimum needed to work, and then shut everything down. My Traveling Partner and I mostly sat around bitching about the heat, keeping the things as cool as we could, in darkened rooms, drinking water. Is it weird that my recollection of those hot days is pretty pleasant? I enjoyed my partner’s company when I wasn’t working, and I’ve no memory of discord or fussing at each other. We were a team fighting a common “enemy” – the heat. We were armed with ice cream and humor. LOL Much fun was had by all. I mean… that’s how I remember it.

Memory is weird. I’d link a particular song that comes to mind…but I can’t remember the title… and then, when I do, I can’t find a link to it… I’m no longer sure I’m remembering it correctly, at all.

…On the other hand…I clearly remember exactly what a summer night in Maryland smells like, how it sounds, how the humid air clings relentlessly to sweat…

Memory is weird.

…I had forgotten how much I like ginger ale…

I sit quietly awhile, just listening to my tinnitus and sipping ginger ale. I could do without the headache that persists in hanging out with me. I rub my neck and remind myself it won’t last indefinitely – what ever does?

…Wow. That went downhill fast. LOL

Roses in my garden

It’s summer, I guess, for real. Hotter summers now, that seems clear. The summers definitely were not this hot 10 years ago (and more recently than that, Portlanders could be heard making jokes about “June-uary”, because summer didn’t really arrive until July). My garden didn’t die this year, when the heat came; my Traveling Partner set up a simple drip irrigation system for me. My tomatoes did not seem to suffer with the heat at all, quite the contrary; I think we’re going to have “too many tomatoes”. LOL Win. ๐Ÿ™‚

This headache, though…

Time to begin again.

Chilly morning. Coffee just a memory at this point. I consider making a pot of tea, or having a mid-morning soak in the hot tub. I think ahead to the weekend, and blustery autumn days, chilly walks through piles of autumn leaves, and cozying up to the fireplace wrapped in a soft blanket with a good book. There are some delights that even pandemic life does not dim. A book by the fire? Add a mug of warm cocoa to that, and it’s a small slice of heaven for some of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

I ran a brief errand, and returned home. There’s still something so magical about stepping over the threshold, here. Home. Feels good. I smile at the fall foliage on the pear tree beyond the window. Here and there, green leaves turning to russet shades, shaking with the breeze as if to say “it is chilly today”. I sigh out loud in the quiet of my studio.

Small moments and small pleasures make up so much of what is joyful in life. I mean… that’s true for me, specifically. I can’t speak for your experience. ๐Ÿ™‚ My results do vary… often depending on my choices. I sit with that though for a moment, aware of the chilly autumn day beyond the window. Aware of the comfort I am fortunate to enjoy, here at home. I think about that hot tub, out on the deck, and the pain I am in with my arthritis, right now…

…Choices… verbs… free will… opportunity…

…It’s a good time to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

The week began with unexpected (but welcome) contractors. It continued, yesterday, with the return of the (now expected, still welcome) contractors and the completion of the dry walling, taping, texturing, and painting. Today? Carpet, and, I think, the completion of the last bit of our moving “adventure” (which was the discovery of a leak, by way of the visible damage it had caused). Finally.

New homeowner shit. I’m not bitching – I’m delighted to have a home. I’m just counting down the days (hours, now?) until I can sigh contentedly, feel safe, settled, and at home – without huge holes in the walls, and an entirely unfinished closet, and paintings stacked everywhere in a seemingly haphazard way. lol ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sipping my coffee feeling grateful for this house, our home, this partnership, and my partner – and mentally listing for myself all of the many things we’ve gotten done since we moved in, just 98 days ago. ๐Ÿ˜€

…Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? I feel simultaneously that I’ve “been here a long time” (and thus, it feels unreasonable that I’m not yet wholly “moved in”) and also feel as if we just moved in “a couple weeks ago” (in which case, it totally seems reasonable to still be “sorting out some details”).

In early April, we began looking for a home of our own together, quite seriously. The search became “urgent” in an earnest “this has to get done because we’ve got to move” sort of way, in spite of the pandemic, at the end of April. By May 19th, we’d found what we were looking for, and made an offer. I’m still surprised by how quickly that went. We closed at the end of June, and began moving in. Pandemic restrictions at their most severe (up to that point), we did the move ourselves, and it took just shy of 10 days to get it all “done”, such that we were no longer moving out of anywhere, just putting finishing touches on moving in. That makes it all sound rather easy – and it was as easy as my Traveling Partner could make it, no doubt. Organized. Well-considered. Planned carefully. Executed skillfully. Still hard. Still a lot of manual labor. Some fussing. Some crying.

…There were some trying moments, that’s just real…

Since we moved in, there has been what now seems like an inevitable cascade of “small things” to handle. Squeaky doors. A hot tub leak. Quite a bit of spilled water. Cleaning. Things to assemble. Small repairs. Totally ordinary homeowner stuff. lol At first it mostly felt new, and delightfully autonomous (no call to a landlord, no delay in getting stuff done that wasn’t chosen), then it began to feel sort of “crushing”. (Strictly temporary. Change is.) We fixed things, and moved on. I feel a bit as if this last bit of contractor work really finishes the move, is what I’m saying. (Omg, so many words just to get to that idea. Sorry.)

No idea what comes next. New adventures. Everyday life. Contentment. Romance. New recipes? New neighbors.

A sunny day on the deck, a view of the forest beyond.

It’s time to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am relaxing on a summery afternoon, sipping blackberry flavored fizzy water. I check the label. “Natural flavors”. Sure, okay, but… it doesn’t really taste like blackberries. I mean… it wants to. It fails. Real blackberries have a certain something to their flavor that must be very difficult to capture, preserve, or duplicate. I search my recollection for any commercial product at all that really tastes like blackberries. I don’t think of one. I let it go. Life has a few mysteries, perhaps this is one? Regardless of the lack of real blackberry flavor, the fizzy water is cool and refreshing, and not so much fizz as to feel sharp or unpleasant on my tongue. I sit with the experience a little while. It’s enough to enjoy the pleasant moment on a warm spring afternoon.

I listen to the traffic on the busy street at the end of the driveway of this rented duplex. The paperwork is done. The appointment to sign this and that is set for a day next week. The weekend ahead feel relaxed, and purposeful. I smile at the moving boxes, and look over my “to do list”. I won’t miss the traffic, the busy street, or the noisy neighborhood.

I don’t have to miss the roses; my container garden will move with us. ๐Ÿ™‚

I take a moment for fond appreciation of the human being that is my Traveling Partner. He’s done much to make this move organized, and comfortable. He knows how much moving disrupts the routines that support my day-to-day emotional wellness and preserve the general appearance that I adult skillfully. It’s not that I don’t, I guess generally I do, these days. It’s nice to have some help with the busy-ness and clutter of life, though. He makes a point of reminding me that now is time to finish up the packing and organizing. For a couple week’s he’s been tenderly reminding me to take a breath, and slow things down. Timing matters. He gets that for me it matters a great deal, and doesn’t tease me over it. (Well, maybe a little…) He’s considerate and caring, and the moments when we frustrate each other have been few. This is certainly an easier, more emotionally comfortable, move for me, of all the moves I’ve made since… yeah. Since ever, I guess. I don’t have a recollection of a move that has been more organized, settled, or joyful. It’s pleasant. Like this blackberry fizzy water; it doesn’t need to be explained or solved. I remind myself to enjoy the experience, and sit quietly with my gratitude, for a bit longer.

The titular moment I’m waiting for is that moment ahead. The one with the signing? No. The one with the house keys. The one when I park my car in my driveway – our driveway – for the very first time. Home.

Home

…There’s a new garden to plan. Roses. Dahlias. Maybe jasmine and honeysuckle, too. Herbs in pots, and summer veggies in raised beds… I feel happy tears well up, and a smile so big it makes my face hurt.

My sigh fills the room. The sound of contentment. Another glance at my list of packing tasks I plan to tackle this weekend. Another sigh. Less contented, more resigned. I’m reminded briefly of the work involved, by the physical pain I am in. I shrug it off, unconcerned about that. The work involved is worth overcoming or enduring it. It’s a very human experience. Fucking hell, I’m so glad I’m not doing this move alone, or having to impose on friends, or hire strangers. This move feels intimate, connected, and shared, in a different way. I think back on other moves – was I adequately grateful, and did I say so, all those times I’ve imposed on friends for help, when I moved? Maybe not… I haven’t always been the woman I am… hell, even now, it’s often a solid real-time effort to be the woman I most want to be… a very human experience, indeed. I add “say thank yous for past moves” to my list of things to do. Dear friends have sometimes traveled great distances just to help me move. I am beyond fortunate.

…I remind myself to spend a day writing letters to friends and family from the new address, once we’re moved in. I took a handful of days off to do the move – more to give myself a chance to get used to the new space, new routines, new sounds and new shadows, than anything to do with unpacking boxes. I’ve learned a few things about caring for this fragile vessel over the past decade. There will certainly be time to write a few letters. ๐Ÿ™‚

I listen to the birdsong and the breeze, and wonder what songs the birds will be singing (or, more accurately, what sorts of birds will be singing their songs) from the new deck, looking out into a different wood. I think about the walks I will take on new trails. I think about what the change in perspective may mean for my journey. I remind myself, as I have so often before, to “stay on the path”.

Seems to be very effective so far… probably doesn’t hurt that the path is mine, and that I choose it myself.

Maybe it’s not too late in the day, on a Friday, for another cup of coffee…? Certainly, it is not too soon to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Life can feel pretty chaotic, happenstance, random, coincidental or strange. I’ve got my free will, you’ve got yours, we’ve all got circumstances. Somewhere in the recesses of my fragmented memory I hear a memory of myself screaming at someone “This is not a fucking GAME!”

Isn’t it?

Is it?

What if it actually were, and we could know that going into it, and as with any game, even have the rules in front of us, and a moment to get set up? There are lots of sorts of games that life is rather like. Games make good metaphors of life for that reason, and many games creep into our language as figures of speech. (I’m looking at you, Baseball!)

If you had a stack of chips – call it your savings – and cash flow that replenished that supply – call it ‘a job’ – and some goals to reach with those resources, and some challenges and hurdles to overcome… that sounds a lot like life. The only thing missing is a system of winners and losers, and a way to keep score. And a timer. Games always end.

Here’s your first goal, first round of the game: acquire suitable housing. lol Yep. There are a lot of options. Do your chips cover what you want most? No? I guess rethinking that makes sense then… What can you afford? Meet the need as soon as possible, improve over time; it’s a common strategy. What if you are fortunate enough that you don’t want or require more than the basics? Your chips pile up! Is that important? No – they’re just chips. lol ย A lot of people miss that detail. ย We primates are a competitive bunch – what we grab up and keep close doesn’t have to have real value, it just has to be more of whatever it is than that monkey over there has. Hell, in some groups, even having more pain, more misery, amounts to riches.

Every choice we make matters. Every opportunity for a decision, or indecision, or action or inaction, takes our piece another step around the game board. ย We progress toward our goals, or move away from them. Sometimes we stand still.

This morning, I’m playing The Game Of Life in my imagination. I’m starting with the chips I’ve got, the job I have, and mentally rebuilding my experience with those resources. Not personally my own? I’m not counting it. ย What do I really need? What do I want? What contributes value to my experience? What do I keep, what I do I let go? What can I have? What is out of reach? What matters most? ย At the conclusion of this morning’s game, I’m hoping for a clearer picture of the life I would like to be really living. A good map makes any destination easier to reach.

What will I choose to fill my life, my home, my experience?

What will I choose to fill my life, my home, my experience?

Few challenges are as challenging as they seem. Few hurdles stand as tall as we fear. Our choices matter – even our choice about what matters, and what the choices may be. ย Today is a good day to make good choices.