David Bryne and I probably weren't thinking the same thing when he wrote Once in a Lifetime, but my home looks weird. There's no mismatched end-tables. There are no photos on the eggshell walls. The rocking chair is gone. The clothes hanging in the closets are now stuffed into black Hefty sacks. Even my desk chair, which has all but been glued to my ass for the last twelve years joined the ranks of our microwave, old clothes and Rachel's golf clubs. The house is empty; and when you strip away all the stuff you realize how great a home your house is.
This is not my beautiful house. And while it belongs to Rachel and I, it was always been hers. Her childhood memories are here. It's nearly sixty years old and was built by her family. It's got two bedrooms -- perfect for the two people who occupied it for so long. It has one bathroom. It has a perfectly acceptable little kitchen. It would be perfect for a couple with one child. But we've outgrown it; a classic case of "it's not you, it's me." Next week this perfectly acceptable little farmhouse will give way to a new house. One with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a wraparound porch. Rachel will cry. And while I'm a guy who tries to embrace change (after all, it's brought us iTunes, hybrids, the 24 second clock, and digital cameras) it's hard not to recognize that it will mark the end of an era. The house that we brought home our boys to will no longer be here. The threshold I carried my bride through after our Honeymoon will be gone, as will the tub where the boys take their nightly baths. And all is not lost. The memories will remain and new ones will be created. The laughs and tears will continue to pour in and this time they'll be warmed by heat pump. The tiki-style lawn torch is being passed, and while the house won't always be here, our home will be. And what a home it's been.
"Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was."
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One thing I've learned over the course of moving out has been how awkward some items are to carry. Not heavy. Awkward. Take, for example, a gliding rocking chair. There's a few moving parts there; parts that will swing out and hit you in a tender location if you're not careful. But the most awkward item might be the king-sized mattress. Moving one of these suckers solo should be a prerequisite to Hitman 101. Dragging a large mattress from one room to another can't be all that different from dragging a large corpse through a foreign embassy. Truthfully, the thought of John Cusack hauling that rival kickboxing assassin through the Gross Pointe High School was the only thing that made the experience worth it. Regardless, the temporary house is ready.
It sits off the seventh hole of a municipal nine-hole golf course which excites Miles because he genuinely thinks Phil, Tiger or Adam Scott might stop by for a quick 18. He seems to be pretty comfortable with the idea of moving. When I tucked him tonight he wanted to make sure that his drum set wouldn't be left behind; so there went that plan.
While the house in North Bonneville is ready for us, the work on this house is getting closer. The bank is drawing up the last of our loan paperwork this week and I talked to our contractor no fewer than eleven times today regarding setting up the temporary power. This wasn't his fault...more of a fault of cell coverage. There are parts of the Columbia River Gorge that make up 2 of the 3% that AT&T doesn't cover. That, and that new iOS 4 update installed a lot little gremlins in my iPhone.
The weekend is here (and it's a long one), the house is nearly empty, the 'golf course house' (as it's come to be known) is all set and we're all-systems-go for this project that's been three years in the making.