Monday, May 17, 2010

A very Happy Anniversary

Anniversaries aren't very exciting for anyone other than those involved, I know.

But here we are!  One year later!  That's right, we've been in this house one whole year. 

One of my favorite mental games is to wonder about all the things that can change in a year. I've done this since I was born I think.  The good, the bad.  Of course, the bad stuff usually just takes one day, in my experience, one moment.  There is a minute in your life where things look like they should, explicable at least, and then in the next second: smashed cars, crushed hearts, obliterated dreams.  Rarely are these things like the slow train wreck you just can't stop.  No.  My destiny is to be blind sided by bad. 

This good stuff: slow and then sudden.  Last year, I was gushing to my friend about our sudden reversal of fortunes (as I cleaned out her garage's moving boxes for re-use in our fifth move in less than one year).  I told her I felt like I'd won the lottery.  And she gave me this look.  She shook her head.  And she said, "Three hundred resume's isn't luck.  That's called, 'It's about time.'"

So here's how this good thing happened: a budget shortfall forced a move to a one bedroom on Aurora, Seattle's prostitution strip, while we awaited our move to Pullman.  It was a safe place, with a coded entry and a nearby park.  I pedalled my bike all over Seattle then, Blue strapped on the back, because I still had my car phobia.  And as I'd ride toward Green Lake, I always passed this house, a huge bungalow on a huge lot.  And one day, I turned to Huck and said, "To whom does one have to sell one's soul in order to get something like that?  I'm ready."

Pullman.  Working.  Impoverished student family.  Food stamps.  Holey shoes.  Couldn't even shop garage sales.  But it was suffering for a purpose.  Beans and rice with a side of meaning tastes just fine, even on your third dose of the week.  We bought a house with the money I got from the car accidents, and that made everything better too.  I could've spent it on other things: a good car (no one could have faulted that), furniture (again: appropriate), living expenses like decent shoes, but we got a house. It was not a nice house or a big house or in any way something that would have appealed to me before I'd spent half a year in the Aurora apartment, but comparatively, it was a great place.

And then last year happened.  See prior posts. And that money from selling the old house carried us through.

And now here we are!  And I didn't even have to sell my soul, rather, I think I found huge chunks of it along the way.  This is my house.  I still feel as if I was born to live here, as if this is some sort of culmination of destiny, that I am here in this place, full of magic and life and joy.  It is a place that you can't see from Aurora.  I never rode past it on my bike.  I didn't know it could get even better than that corner lot bungalow in a city with too much rain and traffic.

A year: three cows (witnessing the birth of one), nut trees galore, an orchard, chickens, raw milk (yogurt and cheese).  Knitting and it's circle.  A book group.  A couch.  A Hoosier.  A 3000 square foot garden is finally planted.  The learning curves have been many and steep (see all former blog posts about cows, butter and knitting projects).  As far as my garden is concerned, I'm calling it "The Year of the Mistakes."  I get to make as many and as terrible mistakes as I can muster this year (I already have!) and I don't get to be bothered by it.  How could anyone know everything when they're just starting anything?

There have been struggles.  Mostly revolving around how this place was slightly out of our price range, combined with needing a new fence and all the other things we wanted to set up right away, the slow growing opportunities we'd like to reap ten years from now... another era of triumphant first fruits.

So...the bubbly is chilling: Mountain Dome 2004 Brut (I could have paid 6 times my usual wine price for that, but since we know the owners...I only paid 4 times as much!  But it's still cheaper - by far -  than a babysitter and dinner out)  And after Blue's umpteenth softball game tonight, we will pop the cork, and marvel at the results of 8 years, a hell of a lot of work, and a little luck tossed in at the end.  And what 8 more years of a hell of a lot of work will bring (peaches! walnuts! maybe even a working lawn mower so I can put the scythe down!) 

I know... this is life... it ain't all peaches and cream.  Duh.  Been there.  And there's stuff ahead I'm probably glad I don't know about.  But damn it, for all the shit this world chucks at us, and is poised to chuck, I'm going to let that champagne linger long on my tongue. I'm going to feel every bubble.  Savor the long fermented success.  And appreciate any old smile the fates care to flash at me. 

This good stuff has me honestly welcoming changes for once.  We all know life is change and it's been hard for me to get used to and enjoy.  But these days, I find it exciting: new opportunities constantly unfolding, new ways to do things, to relate to the world, to grow, to find sweet spots, to learn how to avoid pitfalls.  Now that I've found my physical space on this world, now I feel firmly, physically rooted like a tree, I find I now have the where-with-all, the internal power to turn myself to the task of finding my spiritual bearings, defining myself, my terms of engagement with life.  This is a thrilling time for me, for my family.  A one year anniversary and yet we're only on the cusp of the good life stretching out before us.

Thank you for sharing this moment.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written! Congratulations on the 1st anniversary and all those to come!!



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