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people actually care about that stuff?

February 24th, 2012 by

There are two of us building this house, obviously, and if it does nothing else the process has been teaching us that we are, in fact, different.  In some ways.  But what I’m learning is how different I am, apparently, from many other people who build houses.  silverware drawer

Yesterday we re-started (long story behind that “re-,” since Fred is now being designed and built by people other than those with whom we started out) the design of the individual rooms, and while we were talking about the kitchen folks were asking where we wanted things.  It dawned on me that my own laissez-faire attitude toward the exact location of each item in the kitchen was unusual when our wonderful builder asked me where I wanted the silverware drawer and I said something like “I don’t know, wherever.”  He seemed genuinely surprised that I had not only obviously not decided this long before but that I was not passionately invested in its exact location.

Here’s what makes no sense to me; people are being bombarded by their own government in Syria; the Republican presidential candidates seem determined to send women back to their kitchens barefoot and pregnant (read The Handmaid’s Tale if you want an idea of what their vision of utopia would be); and perfectly nice people are being deported from the U.S. or their children denied a public education because of where they were born…and I’m supposed to feel deeply offended if I have to walk two more steps to get to the silverware?

And this amazement isn’t shared by anyone else who’s ever built a house?


on the road (again)

August 8th, 2010 by

The doctor had good news, and once the little laparoscopy wounds heal up we’re on our way.

I can’t wait. If we could be there now, I’d make it so (apologies to Star Trek: Next Generation fans). Toughest part is staying put and giving the body time to recover. There is so much to do: get the mover lined up, get our RV here to chauffeur our three felines to their new home, get rid of a few more things we just don’t need to move.

Thanks to my bestest friend, a woman I’ve known since 10th grade (that makes us both, oh, 29) at Euclid High School, we found the perfect guy to drive our RV from NC here to us in CA. He’s a champion truck-rodeo driver and an all-around sweetheart with a farm in Tennessee.

The movers are almost set, just settling on a definite date.

Tomorrow we go in for my surgery follow-up, and barring any surprises we’ll get this baby on the road. Oughta be just in time for the South’s second-most-beautiful weather, fall, when the leaves make the scenery a riot of fiery color.

medically thwarted

July 24th, 2010 by

We had everything set up.  The movers, the utilities off here and on there, the new rental house ready to accept its new occupants (us), the RV to take across the U.S. with our three furry kids in it so as not to traumatize them with a TSA experience in an airport.  (Cats hate having to take the laptop out of the bag unless they can climb into the bag themselves.  But they gloat about not having to take off shoes.)

The anticipation was nearly over, the move imminent.  Then I had to do something silly and go see the doctor when my body acted strangely for its age.

Now we’re on hold.  For a short time, we hope.  If all goes well, the thing found on an ultrasound will turn out to be benign, they’ll cut that sucker out of me along with the other nearby organs I no longer need or use, and we’ll be on our way in a month or so.

But in the meantime we have this suspended thing going; some boxes packed, pieces of furniture marked with pink Post-It notes as headed for the Salvation Army’s good works.  We are paying to rent two houses, trying to keep the post office from returning the mail that’s started to come to the new one so our housesitter can send it to us.

The surgery that will tell us when we can finally move happens in two days.  Tenterhooks until then.

emotional furniture

June 12th, 2010 by

We all know about emotional baggage.  (If you don’t have any yourself, then those old Kodak Moment commercials must have actually rung true.)

I’m here to top that idea with emotional furniture.  Bigger than baggage, often uglier, and generally likely to hold more—more stuff, more emotion, more sense of how-could-you-get-rid-of-me.

Two pieces have traveled the country with me, from Wauseon, Ohio (yes, it’s a real place), to Boston, Massachusetts to Alabama, Georgia, and California.  But the trip stops here.

As we clean up our California rental house in preparation for the move to our North Carolina rental house (in preparation for finally building A House Named Fred), we are shucking the unnecessary stuff, and finally I’m ready to chuck these things.  One is a solid cherry secretary that was…my mother’s?  My grandmother’s?  I don’t even know, which makes it that much sillier that I’ve carried it around all these years.  Same with the hutch.  Neither of these things matches the style we’ve come to love, of clean simple lines and contemporary sensibilities, and both of them tie me to unhappy memories.

So they’re going to the Salvation Army, along with the bedroom set my mother gave my ex-husband and me for a wedding present which has sat in our guest room for years, now, mostly unused.

There’s a freeing feeling to getting rid of old stuff you never really liked anyway.  Especially when it’s in preparation for building a dream.