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I don’t know what I’d do if we ever lived in a new house. A house where there were enough closets to actually hold all of our clothes and other belongings. A house where the hardwood floors were level and didn’t dip and dive when you walked around on them. A house without old wood molding along the ceiling and door frames. A house without exposed piping or a house where appliances didn’t leak or break, but drained and cleaned and worked properly. I can’t imagine living in a place without floor units to heat it in the winter.
I wouldn’t even say that I have a love/hate relationship with old houses. I just love them, and they feel more homey to me than any new house ever would. I certainly see the appeal of a new house though. To have a house with a garage attached to it. I can’t imagine. To have enough outlets to plug in your electronic devices without each one becoming a small fire hazard. No chipped paint, no wallpaper, no cracks in the wall, a house just to be lived in and not to be fixed up. I guess every house becomes an old house eventually, and if you wanted to live in a new house you’d have to move every year or two to keep up.
Oh yeah, I forgot about stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. I’m not sure if these go with any new house or just nice and fancy new ones. They certainly go with the picture I have of our nice, new, non-existent house.
Our dryer is yellow and we have air conditioning units in our windows. Our downstairs is about 20 degrees cooler than our upstairs since we rarely turn the A/C units on upstairs. But its home. Its finally feeling like home to us. Now we just need to bring some people into it to keep us company.
P.S. Have you noticed that every story on NPR ends with a cheesy line to wrap up the story? I think I do that, too.
I spent the weekend hanging up pictures on the walls in our house. I realized that our house is like a mini-tribute to the local artists of Knoxville. See for yourself. I apologize for the cookedness/blurriness/poor lighting of the photos.
We love and miss you, Knoxville.
My former pastor Heath (the one who cried while marrying us) once said that after two years, you are no longer considered a newlywed. When he said that, I remember feeling a little sad, like I wanted to be a newlywed forever. But now? Bring it on.
Two years. We’ve lived in 3 different houses plus one apartment. I’ve started and finished my master’s degree. I’ve had 4 jobs. Gregg’s had 3. We’ve vacationed in Columbia and Hawaii. We’ve been without jobs, without friends, and without a church. But we’ve had each other. With everything that’s changed around us, we have been constant to each other. I like thinking about that.
Constant=Not going anywhere=Loved no matter what=Committed to each other even when you wanna run away
One thought I’ve had about marriage is that it does get easier, like they all say. But its not easier in the way I thought it would be. We still get frustrated and hurt feelings, but the arguments are not as dramatic as we have grown into each other. We keep getting to know each other better. We have learned/are learning to disagree well.
We aren’t getting each other gifts for our anniversary this year. (We did have a mini-shopping spree, taking advantage of Patagonia’s semi-annual 50% off sale.) I’m making Gregg write me a letter. And I’m going to write him one, too. We’re also going to celebrate with Batman and a slow moving trip through the mountains and back to Knoxville. We’ll be headed to our good friend and matchmaker Joey Fizzle’s wedding.
Madeleine L’Engle wrote a book on marriage called Two-Part Invention. I haven’t started it yet, but I liked her last book so much I named my blog after it. In honor of our anniversary, I thought I’d give this one a shot, too.
Its been a pleasure, really. I’m sorry that it took me so long to meet you. Really, I don’t know why I resisted for so long. I was making some kind of pointless statement to nobody in particular. I’ll miss the long hours that we shared together. I’m just sad to see it all end.
At a time in my life where I have very few friends close by, you and your friends have provided great company for me.
Also, thank you for dedicating your last book to me, I really appreciate it.
I thought that you were going to die in the end. And you did, but not in the way I expected.
I just really don’t get what all that drama and discord was/is about over you, your world, and your books. You teach us that good conquers evil, and that selfless, sacrificial love conquers all. Sounds like Jesus to me.
I had to drive Gregg’s truck this morning. No me gusta. He says that he can’t imagine not enjoying driving a 10-year old F-150 pick-up truck. Well, believe it. Along with feeling every bump, crack, and dip in the road, the thing is just too big for me. I can hardly reach the pedals.
AND! Both of the door handles are broken. So, to get out of the car you have to roll down the crank windows, reach outside and open the door from the outside.
I admit, I’m totally be a snob about this. When we were dating Gregg nicknamed me “Bratastic 5000.” Luckily,it was too long of a nickname to actually catch on.
Our dogs love our new house. They love sniffing and rubbing themselves into whatever it is that they are sniffing. They love prancing around (and pooping) in the soy fields that surround our house. (I’m banking on the fact that the soybean farmer doesn’t read my blog, because I don’t think he would appreciate the prancing.)
The dogs have been banished to the kitchen full-time. We have carpet in the living room and bedroom, and they treat the carpet like the grass. Digging up carpet and rubbing fur all over it is not ideal for our rental house.
Look how happy they are, though!
Max is having his 12 week(!) check-up with the vet to see how well he’s healed. I hope it goes well–please, oh, please. I hope we spent our money well with his surgery. We just got to a point where we could not keep him down. We were supposed to give him a much more stringent recovery schedule than we did. You can’t keep a good dog down!
We’ve been in denial about moving. Afterall, on July 1st, we hadn’t even packed box #1. I have been thinking about what we are gaining and, alternatively, what we are losing in our move.
Convenience is a primary thing that we are gaining. We will have a dishwasher. No more scalding of the hands while washing the dishes. We are gaining 15-20 minutes with each trip we take. We’ll be that much closer to the grocery store, work, etc. (We’ll be that much farther away from the Bay and our neighbor-friends.) We’re gaining a garden! (Yeah right, you’re probably thinking. I’ve heard that from you before.) Well, despite you nay-sayers, I really think its going to happen this time. Not only did our landlord say he’s excited and even tickled to have us as his tenants. He also said for us to let him know where we want our garden, and he’ll till it up for us. Yessss! And, I think Gregg is finally over his burned-out-ness that has been plaguing him ever since he finished up Green Fingers’ Farm two years ago. My helper has arrived. We’re gaining a fig bush, a barn, a fenced in paddock(?) not sure that’s what its called, a free-standing garage, aka, storage bin. We’re gaining air conditioning. They’re window units, but that’s better than what we’ve got now which is nothing but fans to keep us cool. And we’re gaining the prettiest 1970’s wallpaper you’ve ever seen.
The Chesapeake Bay. And the porch that looks out over it. A two minute walk to the beach. On our last night in the house Gregg was getting sentimental about our move. Thankfully, he took that sentiment to the kitchen and made us a dinner of bacon-wrapped scallops, marinated lamb, and corn-on-the-cob (Mmmm Mmmm). Then, we sat out on our porch, listened to Bon Iver, and watched a lightning storm. Why haven’t we done this more often we asked? Life just gets in the way sometimes.
I’m imagining that as we move into this new house that our just-us time is over. I had an idea to have a house-warming party and invite all the friends or acquaintances that we have met since we moved here. I don’t think its going to happen because it would be very awkward for everyone. There’s not a lot of overlap of the people we have met here and there around the Eastern Shore. But, I just feel like, as soon as we move into this house, all our friends will arrive. Or, the people that we’ve met, will all of the sudden show up on our doorstep with a prepared dish, laughing about an inside joke that we don’t have. Not going to happen. We don’t have inside jokes with anyone here. No memories or easy breezy conversation. It takes time. Our new house is not going to be a magical fast-forward time machine of friendship. But, I think it is one more step in settling in.
I went into work for training one day last week. I love my new boss. He’s one of those people that compliments everybody all the time, even his patients. He’s very genuine about it (not creepy), and, I must admit, when the compliments turn to me, I soak it up.
I sat in on a meeting during lunch that included the entire office staff: medical, front desk, and therapists. Something happened to me that has not happened in a long time. I was hyper-aware of my height. I’m five-foot-one; the therapists all seemed to be slender, fashionable, and at least six feet tall. Some were wearing heels, some flats, and I was just walking around the room with a craned neck getting introduced to everyone. I had flats on, as always, but I was seriously contemplating making a beeline from the meeting to the nearest shoe store to purchase some heels, or at least some wedges.
I’m never the tallest in the room, unless I’m in a fifth grade class room, which I never am. Gregg is six-foot-three, so I’m used to the neck-craning. Maybe my awareness was due to the fact that they were all women. Maybe it was because I was meeting them all for the first time. It would be one thing if they were tall, ugly, and poorly dress, but, not so. I have a couple of tall friends, and I’m not thinking about how tall they are the whole time we are together. But, seriously, it was like I was in a women’s basketball locker room or the first day of high school, as a freshman, gazing up, intimidated by the seniors thinking, I’ll never be that tall. And, its true, in this case, I will never be as tall as these women.
Thankfully, after the meeting, the one other shortie in the bunch introduced herself to me. She said that she’d love for me to stop by her office some time, blah, blah, blah. Very nice. I said that we shorties need to stick together. I didn’t really say that, but I felt it.
To top off the day, I went to dinner with my parents who had been in town for the week. We went to a nice restaurant on a pier in Norfolk. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands before the meal. After washing up, I looked up to the mirror (you know, to check myself out real quick), all I could see was the top of my head. Really? Seriously? After a day with giants, I’m not even tall enough to look myself over in the mirror. I surrender. I’ll pick up some cheap wedges from Target next week. My mom said that she found some cute ones on sale.