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Friday and today I spent time cleaning this behemoth of a house. I did not clean the 2,000 square feet in the walk-out basement. I concentrated on the 4,000 square feet of the main and upper level. Vacuuming 4,000 square feet gives a woman time to think.

I think a lot these days. I think about the new house although that does include worry about costs and getting started before the winter. I think with satisfaction about the new things we have to replace our old although that includes worry about completing the inventory for reimbursement. I think with gratitude about the time we are able to spend as a family but there are residual memories of fear for our safety when the fire came. I think about how well I have been able to rebuild our wardrobes for work and play but worry about winter clothes. I think about how I made our closets neat with organizers we can use for our new closets but then I think about not having a closet.

It means a lot to me to not have a house. I bought our first house when I was 19. When I was 29 I built a house for us. Now, all these years later I have no house for us. I thought about that when I was vacuuming. I have no floors of my own to clean. I know that it was not my fault that we have no house but it has always been my job to make sure we have a house and that it is comfortable and in good repair.

I vacuumed with new model of our vacuum that burned. It is smaller which is very nice, but it does mean that detritus must be emptied more often. As I emptied and emptied and emptied as I vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed this house which in one floor is larger than our whole house that burned, I wonder if in my now-deceased house I would have needed to empty so much.

I had to wonder how the new vacuum would have worked old house. I have to wonder how it will work in my house that is not yet born. I have to wonder about the the vacuum and the vacuumer alike.

What will it be like to vacuum in our new house? Will the vacuum understand that we keep this house clean because it is a good thing to do but that I will clean my new house because I love it? Will the closet organizers know that when they were introduced into our family they were intended to live somewhere else? Does being intended for somewhere else reduce the value of being as you sit in the ante room waiting for a life?

Being without a home is like being in the ante room. In more ways than one it is the outer room, but unlike the classic anteroom, it does not yet open into another room. It is just a waiting room.

survey flags on burned land