I am finally coming up for air. Sort of. We moved on Saturday and I am pretty sure everyone who helped us isn’t talking to me anymore. Apparently the straw that broke the group’s back was the emptying of the storage unit on the THIRD van trip whereby a cork bulletin board was produced. A.J. Burke literally called bullsh!t and headed out. Whoops. I used it once and feel bad pitching stuff. Sue me. Then there were the stacks and stacks of boxes labeled “not important”; apparently that is a morale breaker. In my defense, those were labeled in 2008 when we first moved to Chicago and had to decide which boxes had to go to temporary housing vs. storage. Still…
Mrs. and Mr. D unpacked the kitchen and made a lot of repairs. Once they left I stopped unpacking and mourned moving away from Bosworth. I know, I know – grill thief, flower thief, neighbor feuds and other shenanigans aside, I finally felt like I fit in somewhere. It’s pretty much DC all over again…settling down to uproot. This time it’s only three miles, but I am so used to waving hi to folks as they walk their dogs, or watching Ellis run towards freighbors as they make their way home from work. It just felt right and yet we decided to move. Do you have any idea what it takes to maintain a house? Because I don’t and am now absolutely TERRIFIED. I have to put my garbage out on garbage day? Wha…?????
Last night I realized that this is the first time I have lived in a home without constant company since I was a tiny person. From as far back as I can remember, we have always had live-in friends…or almost live in. It started with a home daycare that ran from 7 AM to 5:30 PM. One positive take away is that is I was primed to endure children/adults screaming to the point I can still sleep right through it. Once my mom moved out we had a string of roommates include Dauin (sp?) who slurped his food like no other I have ever witnessed, John K. who got me into the Onion and recently sold out (cough cough) to drive fancy cars or something, and a bunch of others I should remember but don’t because I was a cool high school girl (again, cough cough). Then came college with roommates who clinked their bowls with every spoonful of cereal, spent years sleeping in and tried to convince me that fake meat tastes as good as the real stuff. Post-graduation included a cross country move and another roommate followed up by cohabiting with my usually-better half…all in apartment buildings. While I complained about the constant noises of people living above us, threatened to sue other condo owners in DC and listened to the video gaming, opera/band rehearsals and folks going up and down stairs, I now miss hearing other lives go on around us. It’s just so quiet here. I often imagined our life at home set in a musical where the scene was an architectural section of a building …each family living their lives while simultaneously interconnected with those around them; as an infant, Ellis used to fall asleep to my neighbor Ryan practicing his musical scales. It was somehow perfect.
When I try to communicate this odd sense of loss (I know, we are only three miles away…but in a city, two blocks is different community), people are quick to remind me that we will likely make friends with our new neighbors. While I am sure that is true, I am not anxious to replace my old friends (you know, silver and gold and all of that) and am scared that corner chats will turn to polite waves. I know I am being dramatic here – I am just not one for change…especially when I am happy.
That said, Ellis seems pleased (for the most part…he has been asking for everyone) and Mr. Swirley and I are doing are best to get back to normal (errrr…). How the crap do you hang pictures in plaster without the house crumbling around you? And we warmed up Ellis’ room by stuffing blankets in the window. Classy!
Today I moved all of the downstairs furniture and rugs around (think profuse sweating, straining and swearing…alliteration intended) and unpacked 120000 boxes. Let me suggest that you DO NOT try to drag a 10×14 rug and accompanying pad around your house before rolling it up. If you opt to ignore my advice, at least lift from the knees. Or you can be like my gimpy ass tonight and feel like your legs and back are going to fall off. Mr. Swirley came home and, after looking around the house, told me, “I guess that will do.” Oh, and he thinks the giant rug that I lugged around should go back to it’s original home in the living room. Then I poisoned his dinner. Not really, but I didn’t argue when he offered to go to the condo to clean. I am sure that once I review his cleaning job, I will respond with the same apathetic tone because that is how we do in the dirty Midwest. That’l do.