Sunday, September 7, 2014

What the...

Where did summer go? One minute I was blogging here, the next it was September and I was--am--in my brother's basement suite. Temporarily.

What a summer. After two years of Limbo--and yes, that's limbo with a capital L--the house sold, we packed all our belongings into three storage units, moved into our camper, and viewed a gazillion houses in an attempt to find a clean, affordable home in a safe community within 30 mins drive of hub's new work location, some 700 kms away from his old one. Three months and three offers--on three different houses--and we finally did it. We bought a house!!

We don't get possession for a couple more weeks, hence my temporary refuge under my brother's roof--and main floor. And it's very nice.

I--and child #3--are the first "tenants" of the newly renovated suite. Brother and sister-in-law decided to take the suite--the entire house, actually--down to the studs and start over. They finished the majority of the total makeover just in time for me and child to move in. And the results are spectacular, upstairs and down. And after a month in the camper, the suite is truly palatial. More, it has cupboards, and sinks, a full-size fridge and stove, a microwave even. And a shower! All the creature comforts one could hope to have, and more...bro hooked me up with TV!

I am particularly giddy about the TV. I had a stove, fridge and sink in the camper. I also had a bed, and storage, limited as it was. But what I did not have was the ability to scroll through the channels at my leisure and watch absolutely nothing. Like now.

I am on my computer, writing this post, and the TV is on. Indiana Jones. And I am barely paying it the attention it deserves. But it's there. White noise in the background. Familiar. Constant. Comforting. Reprieve from the silence that seemed to swallow me up like a moonless night enveloping a lost child.

That's been the hardest the last couple of years; the silence. With hubs on the road and the grown children gone and the almost grown children frequently out and about, I've spent a lot of time alone. And it's rather lonely.

Cliché though it may be, the TV provides a voice, a presence, distraction from the knowledge that time is an express bus without stops and I don't have the pocket change to secure a seat even if it did pause long enough to let me board. Which is why I can't wait to move into our new home.

It's nothing like our last home. It's smaller, older, and is without expensive upgrades like granite, tile and hardwood. In fact I am sure the carpet is original, as is the stripe and floral-print wallpaper, and oak cabinets "refreshed" with white latex paint. And I love it.

It is a home with character, a home where love did, and will, abide.

You can see the love in the custom roll-out drawers in the kitchen, and the custom spice racks built into the home-made pantry doors, all crafted by the now deceased husband for his wife who was recently moved into a care facility by her family. They had owned the home from new, and their love for it, and each other, remains even though they're gone.

The embroidered pillow in the bedroom closet acknowledging 50 years of marriage, twelve years ago. The spotless washing machine, and custom Kitchen Aid Mixer cupboard in the Island fitted with a mechanical shelf that levers the mixer out and fixes it at counter height (another handmade gift from husband to wife). The immaculate and elaborate landscaping, carefully shaped shrubbery, and manicured lawn. The deteriorated fascia and fence. The plywood shelves in the garage. Pink laminate counter tops. Symbols of a long life, and respectful, if not happy marriage; two people content with what they had; a husband that did his best to make things easier for his wife. Some things abandoned due to age, and infirmity. A house.

A home.

I feel honored to be given this chance, for hubs and I to be the second owners of this house, to make it our home, a secure place to live out the next chapter of our lives; to love, and provide a stable base for, our children, and eventually--hopefully--their children. And, with luck and good living, great-grandchildren.

There is much we must do to make this house ours--clean, paint, replace the flooring--and some we want to do (update and upgrade the bathrooms/kitchen), but a few things will remain, like the pantry doors, mixer shelf, and roll out drawers, reminders that life is short, and a home happiest, when in it, love abides.


Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action. ~Mother Teresa

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