Yesterday, the phone rang. The woman on the line said she had heard through the grapevine that our house was for sale. Neither Tracy nor I know this woman but she lives in the same neighborhood and word travels at the speed of light in this place. Apparently they had looked at our house two years ago when it first went on the market. They were at the point of remodeling their house and didn’t know if they wanted to remodel their own or buy a new one to remodel. They chose the first option and we bought this house.
Two years later, they are wanting to do additional work, but after speaking with a mutual friend, this woman realized that we had done more work to the house than simply remodeling the kitchen. After my friend shared some of the things we had done, she became even more interested, and so she called.
She set it up to call us sometime after 2:00 p.m. today (Saturday) and then come by. It is now 3:04 p.m. and we have not heard from her. So as I sit and wait, I decided to take the opportunity to write about my ambulatory directional issues.
What??? Let me explain.
I have become proficient in walking backwards. It’s much easier to live happily in Denialand when your back is facing reality. I am moving away from my beloved home and friends in less than three months’ time and in order to deal with this fact, I have been walking backward through my life since January.
About two weeks ago I went to Indianapolis with my family for spring break. The idea was to introduce the kids to their new hometown, take in a few sites and do some fun things as a family, and sneak in a look at 30 or more houses. We did all of this and had a marvelous time. Then we settled on the plane for the trip home and everything changed.
It was quite subtle…no flashing lights or thunderous claps rolling across the sky heralded the change in my ambulatory direction, but suddenly there it was: REALITY.
Like an unborn child getting ready for its trek into the harsh, cold world, so have I turned and begun to prepare for the inevitable day when I will have to say goodbye to all my friends, family, and home. When my eyes began to focus upon this new reality, I was shocked at the alarming rate of speed at which it was hurtling towards me.
We returned home from spring break on a Sunday night and began our efforts in earnest to focus on getting the house on the market. We needed painters, cabinet men, new carpet, yard workers. It’s hard to believe how in less than two years we have successfully settled into this house as if we have lived here for 20 years instead. Tracy has made one trip to the dump with junk we have carted around for years, or outgrown, or simply never used. His truck is now loaded with trip #2.
And still I sit here, waiting…with no phone call. It is 3:27. I am tempted to call this woman. I broke my back today getting the house in order. It is in a state of disarray as it is, because of painters being here all week and furniture being moved around, not to mention our sudden impulse to remodel the bathrooms (this involved a hammer and particle board cabinetry from 1967 being smashed to smithereens).
Needless to say, I will be more than a bit irritated if she simply does not call. I do not appreciate when people seek me out and set appointments and then fail to meet them. I do not want to sit in my house all day, screaming at my children every time they look at a toy longingly (“Please mom, can’t I just play with it? I promise I’ll put it right back!” “NO! Now sweep the floor and make your bed again…I see a wrinkle!”) or walk into the kitchen (“WHAT ARE YOU DOING????” “Uh, getting a drink of water.” “NOOOOO! You’ll get drops of water on the counter and then there will be ONE lonely cup in the sink…the dishwasher’s running and i have nowhere to hide it until this person comes so NO…drink out of the hose outside!”).
At least I have put this waiting time to good use. This whole process of moving was preceded by the auction (see my previous post) and then spring break, so I have not had more than 20 spare minutes at a time since January to sit down and write anything but letters and emails. And I’m craving the time of sitting, uninterrupted, for hours on end, writing and spewing forth such monumental literature as to change the very world in which I live! Or at least, writing something that doesn’t sound horrible. I do not expect to have that opportunity until sometime in September after the kids have gone back to school and I have had a chance to adapt to an empty house all day long for the first time since 2002.
Tracy will have an office that he will actually drive to and stay at all day long. HALLELUJAH! We are both happy for this because he needs adult interaction with his coworkers and I would like a little less interaction during they day as I go about my business. I do not want anymore phone calls while I’m out running around, (“Where are you? When are you coming home? What are you doing?” “Why?” “Cause I’m lonely.” “Are you kidding me?”). I don’t know what I do, I just do stuff and I dislike having to explain why I decide to go somewhere when it’s an impulse. One simply cannot explain an impulse.
And still…no phone call. It is now 4:00. I’m beginning to wonder if there was a miscommunication. She talked with Tracy and sometimes he hears “most” of a conversation but misses the details. So I just ask him, “are you sure she said she’d call us?” His response said it all.
“Yeah! Uh, I think. Maybe she said she was finished with soccer practice at 2:30 or it started at 2:30. I can’t remember. Maybe you should call her.”
I feel the urge to start walking backwards again.