Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The One Where We Start Over...

Lately, I find that I have become obsessed with starting over.


It started (of course) with The Unpacking. One at a time, each box is completely unpacked, and everything in it is Put Away. As in, put where it will live from now on. And if there isn't room to Put It Away Correctly, then all efforts grind to a halt while we sort through everything, to determine What Must Go Away.

It has been slow, dreadfully slow, and only three rooms are fully complete at this point: Twink's room, the kitchen, and one of the two bathrooms. Everywhere else, there are boxes, and the living room is still a depository for All That Which Will Be Sold (in the inevitable yard sale) and the game room contains All That Which We Want To Keep But Have No Room For.

On top of it all, we need to remodel at least one bathroom, widen the hallways, and somehow fix the front porch/front door all to be more accessible. It's only a matter of time before someone around here is in a wheelchair, and it needs to be done. How it will happen, I have no idea.


I suppose it is only natural to dream of running away to a new house. To leave behind this one, that is falling apart around us even as I type this. The Wrench and I have fought a losing battle for the last 10 years with trying to keep the house from tumbling down around us; Twinks health has been our first priority, always since she was born. Now there are holes in the porch ceiling, and the fences are falling apart. The paint is fading, and on the north side of the house, the wood siding is all messed up.

The worst part is that we got caught in a predatory loan several years ago, and now actually owe more than the house is worth; the interest rate is so high that it resembles credit card terms. We literally can't afford the house, but we can't afford to sell it either.

And now you know why I dream of running away...


Even as I watch the house crumble around us, I push forward with this new-old beginning that we are trying to create for Mom, and indeed for all of us. There is no other choice. It must be done, and so as always, we will try to comport ourselves with as much dignity and grace as is possible. The experience has certainly been cathartic. As the afore-described unpacking has been taking place, I have taken this opportunity to clean up, and clean out. Since this all began, I have learned that all of the "stuff" that I thought I *had* to have to survive really is optional. The reality is that we have allowed our "stuff" to expand to fill the available space.

You know me. I love a good spring cleaning. This is just a bit more, um... extreme, that's all.

Probably the most interesting side-effect of all of this has been how we (the four of us) have adapated to living like this - squeezed into a handful of rooms, working together daily to make what progress we can, all while trying to live as "normally" as possible. Meals still need to be cooked and served, laundry still needs to be done, Twinks must be chauffeured to and from school every day, and The Wrench still has to go to work everyday. We really are far more adaptable and flexible than I thought we would be.


Starting over is never easy, and that is - at it's very essence - what we are doing here. We have created a whole new family; we are creating a whole new way of living. Rooms are being repurposed, furniture is being shuffled around. Everything old is new again; the rules have been thrown out the window, and we are flying by the seat of our pants now.

Change can be refreshing, or scary. It can be sad, or joyful. It can bring heartache, or help erase it. As we are learning daily now, it is all in how you decide to handle it.

Hopefully time will prove that we have handled this well.


alpharat said...

I think it sounds like you're making the best of things as you can. Taking it in stride, step by step, going through each task methodically. Time is gonna show that you all wethered this out in the best way possible, and life will go on contentedly for the four of you.

Suldog said...

Keep your chin up, keep swinging, keep a stiff upper lip... I could give you more platitudes, but I'll just let you know that you're still in my prayers each night. Oh, just one more, I guess: This, too, shall pass. So, hold onto the good times being had here, because there are some, no doubt, and take comfort in the fact that the bad will fade.

Chuck said...

Good luck, Thimbelle! I was in a similar situation with my house in Las Vegas right after my old company went out of business...but I hung in there and I was able to sell the house for a profit a couple years later after renting it out for a while. Keep persevering and I'm sure you'll make it through also.

teneal ann said...

It keeps getting worse, you know? I'm thankful for your assurances. I know it'll get better. But somehow it's hard to keep my mind on that.

You'll make it through your tough times too, though. You're a great person to help your mom so much, and I bet the Twinkie likes having her whole family all in one place.

Thanks for your comments, always. - Niecey sort of person, Tenn