Sometimes I miss my now dead house.
I miss its wide expansive floors,
and banging my head on opened doors.
I miss its cracks and creaks and groans
and how you never felt alone.
I miss its beautiful day light
and how it lit up in the night.
I miss my flower gardens there
I deer proofed them with such great care.
I miss the deer that always came
and ate my bushes just the same.
I miss the crevices of dust
and how they looked when left unmussed.
I miss the maintenance of logs
although they ate my time like hogs.
I miss the laundry with half bath
and how it was a hall at last.
I miss the mess in the garage
and its entry to a barrage.
I miss the cabinet high up
and being hit by a flying cup.
I miss the things about that house.
For some reason I have had Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham on my mind for several days. It is like a song stuck in your head. “I do not like green eggs and ham!” My silly poem is an ode to Green Eggs and Ham.
Seriously, though, I do miss my house. I have written about before and still marvel at how much it bothers me to make the time allocations necessary to live a life while getting one back. I don’t just mean the things, I mean the big picture.
We are getting used to our things. Our bed felt like our bed when we came home from the cruise. We recognize the clothes when the come out of the wash. Curiously we seem more than in the past to be getting confused about what we have and not have. I suppose since we have a lot of things we get lost in the expectation that all of the things we had are still around.
Yesterday we had a discussion about an upcoming trip to Scotland. After luxuriating in 6 pairs of shoes (including slippers) on the cruise, I want to go back to my packing roots and carry a lunch bag with all my stuff for a week. When we were discussing how we might pack as lightly as possible, I said, “I have my new backpack. It is not as nice as my old one but it is pretty nice.” My spouse muttered over his student exams he was working on. I went off and pulled out some clothes that I thought could go in my bag to see how compactly I could travel. I came out of the bedroom with the pack dangling from one hand and said, “I have plenty of room. I could even take some of your stuff. You could just take your camera backpack and we would have room for your cameras and for all of our clothes.” There was a break in the flow of the conversation, a break in the air, really. Then the comment, “I don’t have that anymore.”
All I could do was respond, “Right, what do you have now?” He said he had his everyday camera bag that we took out the door when we left the house moments before it burned.
It is the little things like this that require thinking through and it is the big things like one more appointment to meet over something about the not-house or the house-to-be that feels like a not-house. It is about rummaging around to figure out where to put something and later when you want it because there is no “regular” place for it to go you have to go rummaging around to find it again. Sometimes I just walk off. It is too much trouble. I was without whatever it was after the fire and I can be without it now. So be it.
Our new house seems to be like watching a pot boil. You know there is something going on but for the life of you cannot quite tell what it is and when it is going to show you that something has in fact been going on. Every time I think I see those little tiny bubbles start to form on the bottom of the pot, someone jostles the handle or opens the door and lets the cold wind in and the prescient bubbles disappear.
At this point, I miss my old house but I miss my new house too. Mostly, I want the extra stuff to be over. I don’t want to spend my time shopping for door handles when I could be reading a book. We have almost no random time anymore. Everything is book-ended by some task for fire recovery that is not done, that is worried about, was done but done inadequately or has been done but you don’t remember that you did it.
At times like these I am acutely aware of the global economy and resource balances and I feel guilty about all of the stuff we had and I feel uneasy about replacing it. I also feel uneasy without it. I suppose the key right now is that life is uneasy.
An uneasy life can be wearying. An uneasy life sits on the edge of your seat waiting to see what you will do with your uneasiness.