July 8, 2014
July 7, 2014
We've been in our new house for nearly a week now. Still honeymooning -- the rooms still smell like fresh paint, are still echoing because of the lack of furniture and rugs.
When we arrived, the yards and flowerbeds were overgrown and weedy. We didn't connect with the lawn pro in time to have him tend the acreage during his most recent visit to the neighborhood, so Miner bought a big, bad push mower so he could at least tame the wilderness a bit before he leaves tomorrow.
He got 3/4 of the front yard done. He might've finished except he unwittingly discovered a ground hornets' nest when he passed over it. They swarmed out and got him three times on the back of his left calf.
Miner's not allergic to stings, but ground hornets don't play. The pain was severe and lasted through the evening. He said the venom gave him an all-over, achy, flu-like feeling, too. Fortunately, his body fought off the toxins by morning. I'm just glad one of the little ones weren't near him when it happened. The closest ER is 10 minutes away (a subject for another time).
Boxes still line the walls of every room, but we've been tackling them a bit each day. All the major pieces of furniture (minus the pieces still in Lafayette (next trip) are in place, but the windows and walls are bare.
The budget is just about sapped this pay period, so my immediate goals are endeavors that require no purchases.
The current focus is Gumball's bedroom and the two pieces of furniture we have for her right now: a dresser (mirror is in Lafayette) and a small shelf unit/nightstand. Refinishing details in the next post.
July 4, 2014
clear clipboard, or any clear surface
clear packing tape
permanent marker, fine point
7. Right sides together, handstitch or machine sew along the edges.
July 3, 2014
June 26, 2014
We are not prepared. Virtually nothing is boxed or labeled, and yet, the truck is reserved for Tuesday morning.
I'm not ready. Dislodging ourselves from this house will be pressured and painful. I'm not ready to take apart the scenes that have surrounded me for a quarter of my lifetime. Once the images are deconstructed, they won't be seen again. The full force of permanence is crushing.
I'm scared. Moving is indeed a form of loss, and the summation of this season is an impact I'm not quite postured to absorb.
Truthfully, these are simply a series of moments of weakness, and intellectually, I know I'm strong enough to see it through. I'm just terrified of feeling the sharp cracking of my heart as we pull out of the driveway and down the street with our abandoned home shrinking in the rear-view mirror.
June 24, 2014
I'd venture to say most people are actively hunting a house when they find what they want. Not so for us. The house of our most fantastic hopes caught us completely off-guard.
For three years, Miner and I stalked the market. We probably reviewed every 4+ bedroom home ever listed in both Lafayette and Vernon parishes. Most didn't make the initial cut -- not enough square footage, no yard, no privacy, no heart. On the other hand, we watched some stellar houses come and go -- lots of square footage! (but no yard), tons of acreage! (but no square footage), perfect in every way! (but selling for your firstborn child. and your legs. both of them.). There were an abundance of beautiful homes out there, but none that ever really struck us or inspired us to action.
Three years of spectating...the sensible thing to do would have been to continue ogling but start socking away that downpayment, so when the right house did present itself, we'd be ready for it.
Honestly, I think Miner and I genuinely didn't expect to find "The House" so soon. Or so unexpectedly. Ever hopeful, but never quite convinced. Silly -- that kind of discovery is not exactly a process.
No -- for us, finding the house was like slipping yet another old, random key into the mysterious lock of our future and finding...it turned. And clicked. And opened the beautiful 3/4-lite double front doors. The House we've prayed and pined for, year after year. MLS #02-3347. Just nine photos.
And the second photo...prophetic. I jokingly remarked to Miner, "Look at the welcome mat. It's a sign! See? The house already has our name on it."
Oh, love the portico.
Look at those railings!
It was a constellation of all our little "I wish"es and so many "I wish"es we hadn't even thought of, together formed at one address. But could the reality truthfully reflect the vision?
We drove to Leesville the very same weekend and made an appointment for a viewing. Reality not only reflected the vision -- it surpassed it.
We turned up the long, wide driveway, and what we saw took my breath away. Trees all over the property, both new and mature. The shady porch and double door wreaths invited us to imagine this house as our home, our land, our piece of the earth.
Inside, the owner guided us from room to room; it took great effort for me to restrain my awe and excitement. I saw glimpses of our family occupying those bedrooms, passing each other in the halls, meeting in the kitchen for breakfast.
It's one thing to love a house for its features and character. It's quite another to look at the building and the grounds and actually see your family living there. I didn't just see our family living there -- I felt it, in my bones, in my heart, in my spirit that acknowledges the future and dusk of my life.
We would've put the house under contract that day, but the responsible thing to do was to cool off over the weekend, review our finances (which were none), and evaluate the change we'd really be accepting if we decided to purchase.
That Monday, we arranged to sign the contract, and we accepted the responsibility of coming up with a downpayment from scratch.
It's been almost two months since we toured the new house. For weeks and weeks, I've tended to practical tasks like budgeting; emailing and texting the realtor; signing, scanning, and sending documents -- in addition to parenting and homeschooling routines. I've been well distracted from spending too much time daydreaming about what it will be like for me to brew my first cup of coffee in that kitchen, or take my first bath in that tub.
We close on the house this Friday. After that, it'll be another 50 days before we move. The eventuality feels real, but the dream is still mist and fog.
Looking at the photos of the house now, I admire it as a suitor may admire a sweetheart he intends to make his bride. He is ever in love and imagines how her hand will finally feel in his, but the thought of belonging to her, and she to him...almost too wonderful for his heart to contain. What he knows for certain is, she is The One.
June 20, 2014
June 17, 2014
June 9, 2014
- a (large) hope chest so full of fabric yardage and bolts that I can barely close the lid
- a (large) coffee can stuffed full of ink pens, some over 20 years old
- at least two bookshelves full of outdated, uninteresting books that I won't read and suspect no one else will either
- two (large) gift bags of more gift bags and Christmas ribbon that have aged beyond use
- oh-my-goodness...the homeschooling stuff: books, games, flashcards, learning aids, science kits, craft kits, craft supplies, cds, charts, printouts, several (large) plastic tubs containing all work for every kid for every year of their education
Might -- hypothetical
Need -- subjective
June 6, 2014
This house has a spirit and a memory. It keeps all our moments, even the ones we've already forgotten or will forget.
For Squeak, Sprout, and Gumball, this is the only home they've ever known. As adaptable as this family has learned to become, the younger kids have never had to adapt to a transplantation. This home has been our king stability; in the shifting of everything else in life, this house has been our anchor.
2014 has been "The Year of Letting Go" (No thanks to Disney for yet another enslaving pop culture association!). I've learned to let go of my 21-year-old and allow him the fullness of his independence with no judgement or fearful admonitions from me. I've learned to let go of so much of my perfectionism and unreasonable expectations of myself and the kids. (And my husband, too!) I've learned to let go of my resentment and defenses that have done nothing but poison my marriage and rob us of our completeness for far, far too many years. I've learned to let go, too, of my death-grip dedication to Acadiana, which I have come to love and adore even more than I did Hawai'i.
In 2014, God has taught me: If I want to see the next chapters of my life the way He intended for them to be written, I'll have to find it in me to let go of my crude, incomplete visions of the future...let go of the fear and bitterness I've nurtured for the most painful settings of my past. Let go, and go ahead.
This house, I have deeply loved. I'll remember it always, and it will remember me. I may never look back -- maybe I will -- but only to say "Thank you, Home, for holding us so long and so well."
January 4, 2014
I find the natural voice is already there -- I am a mother, after all -- but it's as thin and fragile as a newly spun spider web. Tug too much this way or that, and the thread will snap. The natural voice suddenly becomes synthetic and alien, and away the butterflies go.
research: picture book manuscript formatting, Louisiana publishing houses
- Look at My Hat!, sight word children's book
- Draft 1: bedtime children's book
- Draft 1: regional children's book
January 3, 2014
- Dog, Weldon Kees
I am no growling cicerone or Cerberus
But wreckage for the pound, snuffling in shame
All cold-nosed toward identity. –Rex? Ginger? No.
- Walking with Jackie, Sitting with a Dog, Gary Soto
We find a dog, hungry and sad as a suitcase kicked open
And showing nothing.
- The Dog Stoltz, August Kleinzahler
- February, Margaret Atwood (cat poem)
- 1 letter, 2 min.
- 2 min. association
- prompt: “On the other side of that door…”