Thursday, December 31, 2009

The long and winding road

Funny thing about clich̩s Рthey bombard our vocabulary even while being held in contempt by lovers of language and literary nobility. They have, however, woven their way into our vernacular because they have merit. They are born from repetitious truth.

With that in mind may I say, “My how time flies.”

One of my last clear memories was sometime early in August when I decided to sell me house. The remainder of that month was lost to combat against cobwebs and dust bunnies, hours spent with brush in hand and paint in my hair, scouring and scrubbing that left my weary bones in need of a Calgon moment.

September was my month of upkeep. Fluffing the pillows, wiping the counters, and chasing down pet hair in an attempt to keep the home front ready for that last minute viewing. The lawn must be trim, the windows sparkling, the bathroom spotless. I fell into a vortex of cleanliness that led to exhaustion which was compounded by fitful sleep as I worried the place would never sell.

In early October an angel walked in the door. “I love it, I’ll take it,” she said and I barely had a moment to revel in the good news than the onslaught of inspections began. This was a harrowing month. My home was 80 years old and while charming and full of character, she was also showing every bit of her age. I think I held my breath for about 45 days waiting for some awful defect to surface.

I squeaked through multiple inspections by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin and was a wreck as I waited for the dreaded gas utility visit. When that last inspector gave me a “pass” I did a little jig in my basement as he backed away in horror. I would have kissed him except he really was quite sweaty.

With the reality looming that I soon would not have a place to live, I launched into a frantic search for a rental. All the anxiety up to this point was suddenly a minor blip compared to the ordeal of finding a clean, safe, affordable new home. Not to disparage all landlords, but why don’t they clean up decomposing mice before they show the house? And don’t they realize a fresh coat of paint would certainly help justify the exorbitant rent.

After hours and hours on craigslist I lucked upon a tidy ranch; fresh, bright, a little bland but it would be a nice place to call home. It had everything I needed and a few bonus features: good location, space for a home office, nice kitchen, pristine bath, fenced yard, and a large breezeway for a 3-season garden room.

I moved the day after Thanksgiving. The relocation went smoothly without a single horror story to tell. While I do not pine for my old house, I soon realized what creatures of habit we are. The emotional upheaval was amplified by silly little things – having to sleep on the other side of the bed, mistakenly driving home to the old place, the frustration of finding my way around a new grocery store.

While the past few months remain a blur, the feelings of time lost were swept away as I realized in an unexpected moment how magically everything came together. The disorder of my life was replaced in a nano second by the richness of a fresh perspective.

So as I am propelled into another decade I ardently embrace one more cliché – “Out with the old, in with the new.”


Note to Friends from the Blogosphere: Honestly, not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. I wonder what delight and silliness and drama is filling up your lives. I miss you; I miss your creativity and your generosity of spirit. I send heartfelt wishes to you all for a new year filled with comfort and joy, peace and goodwill.