Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Loved Ones Far and Near....

So this blog has been quiet for the last few months, purposefully so, as a grand decision was made to move back to the States.  The main reasons primarily being family - aside from parents and siblings living here and feeling far from them, one sister recently had baby number two when I had only seen baby number one once.  And then there were the finances.  And…more importantly…housing. 

I’m buying a house.

No tiny shack, though equally no McMansion.  All 1,068 square feet of modern architect-built rambler on an island in the middle of the Puget Sound that’s a haven for writers and artists…and all for $195K.

I’ve kept mum a bit on the house and only still barely talking about it and won’t write too much more at this point until the deed is done, the ink is dry and the keys are in my hand, but in the end for a house I’ll own I will be paying $350 to $400 a month less than I was paying in Bath for a one bedroom flat rental. 

It was a no brainer. 

But what it meant was leaving a life behind.  A life I wasn’t completely ready to leave.  A life full of friends and laughter and wine and intelligence and trading that in for a house and being closer to family.

But the tradeoff meant an estimated two months living at my parents’ house.

I love my parents.  They’re interesting, quirky, intelligent, lively, opinionated people whose said opinion I value highly and the opportunity to be close to more often was a primary motivating factor in returning to the Pacific Northwest.  But it also meant, as a woman who just turned 40 in October, who hadn’t lived in the same city as my family for over 12 years, I would be now living with my parents.  In a small room.  With my dog.  Another sibling had moved home to finish her degree and was in the active grind of job searching, so the house would definitely be full.  And to say that the whole scenario filled me with trepidation would be a bit of an understatement.   Not for how they'd do...but I’m used to my own ways, my own time, my own schedule, my own life.  

And so I moved.  Crated up the dog, boxed up my belongings, said my farewells and took another leap of faith. 

Which as we all know, I’m big on leaps of faith.  

I didn’t offer on the house I thought I would, the small blue one with the trees growing through the deck that looked like a fairytale writer’s retreat.  Its beautiful pictures belied a weary house in need of more TLC than I wanted to muster and a lackluster interior.  But I did offer, the day after I arrived, on another house, a  little green cottage with slightly Scandinavian exterior and an almost modern Craftsman-style interior with a high ceilinged living room and a huge bank of windows that looked out into a ravine of pine trees.  The house I’d thought would be mine didn’t call to me, but this one did.  I do believe houses choose people…. and so this one chose me. 

And then the waiting game began.  Dealing with finances and mortgages and earnest money and inspections, agreement extensions and banks.  In a house hunting purgatory, waiting for the paperwork to be approved and for the boxes to be unpacked. 

But in the last week or so as Christmas has arrived the limbo of my life has started to wear me down.  Again, so grateful and thankful to be with family for the first time in ages, but realizing also that this holiday season was passing me by.  As my friends posted cheerful holiday pictures on Facebook, friends literally worldwide, I sat in my room working or walking Otis on the beach, occasionally watching TV, trekking off a meager few times down to the city to see a couple friends or sneaking an extra glass of wine after the parents had gone to bed, feeling like a naughty child.  It wasn’t that the company wasn’t good or I wasn’t happy to be here…but I’ve been stuck at the starting line of a race I’m eager to take, waiting impatiently for the flag to be dropped.  Waiting.  Not choosing.  Not doing.  Just waiting.  

I’ve never been good at waiting.

And so as my friends were busy, flitting here and there, I’ve felt time just ticking, watching the second hand turning, hoping it turned faster.  I know in my head it’s temporary.  I know it’s only a week or so to go before I can get going.  And in the next few days I know I’ll again begin to feel a sense of momentum as I can once again start to plan and organize and dream with a feeling of reality.  And I know these moments at home are actually things I’ll cherish, precious time spent with people I love.  But at the same time feeling greatly a loss of all the things, and all the people, I’d left behind.  And the sacrifice felt like it was becoming hourly more acute.  Thinking of my friends merrily together.  Thinking even of siblings near and far with their children and their families.  Feeling spread and torn apart and wishing there were  many of me that could be everywhere and always.

And then they called me.

A group of merry revilers in Bath.  Santa hats and paper crowns and sparkling antlers.  Who had been slightly overserved but were all ever so charming.  And who wished I was there as much as I wished I could have been.   They cheered me with their joy and their silliness and, especially, their rousing rendition of the Pogues Fairytale of New York, which they said to have been dedicated to me. 

I’ve decided to choose which lyrics they meant most heartfelt. 

But in that moment I was loved by my friends.  And missed.  And not forgotten.   

I move a week from Friday.  So, again, the waiting more or less is ending.  And starting tomorrow the limbo also more or less ends and the doing begins.  

But I needed that.  I needed them. 

So thank you Santa, you two sparkly reindeer and you two crowned fairies.  For caring about me.  For remembering me.  Thank you for my soliloquy and for, as I said, the best Christmas gift… for being my friends and for sharing with me your Christmas cheer.    

And in the end….it was a very merry day.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! I just found your blog and I'm so glad. I realize that this is an old post but I needed to read it and I think it was Fate. I've been struggling with the decision to move back to the Pacific Northwest because it's as if a piece of my soul is there and won't budge no matter where I go. Your house looks lovely and I hope to read more blog posts......