Sunday, December 9, 2007

On Your Marks, Get Ready….

(still nuts unpacking; posting this one, written mid November):

On hearing that the septic tank was in the ground and that one small inspection stood between me and putting down tens of thousands on my new house, I understandably, developed a few butterflies. These might have been a new species - each specimen felt like it was a foot wide, fluttering in my gut. Yes, I have been pushing and working very hard to get this to happen, and yet -- do I know what I’m doing?? I am making a huge commitment… it feels a lot like the nerves I got just before my wedding (and considering how that turned out, it should have told me something!) -- can I trust that this will end better?? Me and the house, til bankruptcy or nursing home do us part. I think it’s an excellent sign that the former owner is in a nursing home -- this is a faithful house that does not chase people away… but am I too young for commitment? I barely have gray hair!

Yet here it is, the week before the “I do’s”, and I am starting to label boxes and bags, “First Truckload”, “Second Truckload”, etc. I am trying to conserve the tiny sliver of bath soap so that I don’t have to open a new one before the move, and yet I am buying large extra pounds of stuff that I imagine I won’t be able to get outside the metro area (at least as cheaply), like gluten-free flours (I just bought $63 worth). And of course, not wanting to open any of them because they will be that much harder to move. Conserving and/or stocking up -- I feel like a PushmePullyou! I broke down and bought a few more tools yesterday -- not wanting extra things to move (and lose), but fearing that once I move to the house, or even before, I will need them to fix things and then will have to detour a half hour or more out of my way to buy what I need. This new place is just close enough to drive back and forth a few times, but not nearly close enough to run back if I forget a tool. So I’m watching the gas prices, planning the first immediate tasks and gathering the boxes that match. And there are precious things that I am torn between moving first to be sure they don’t break, and moving last to be sure they are safe (the new place will still be empty for a week or two).

And I think it’s probably much simpler than I’m making it, but I also realize that keeping busy is very effective in distracting from the terror. I believe that’s why weddings are such big deals. If all you and your fiance had to do for the months leading up to the date was stare at each other and say, “Do we really want to do this?” most marriages wouldn’t happen. It’s only because the woman is so distracted by the party favors and gown colors that she doesn’t see how pitifully ineffective and even reticent the male has become. And why is it that my taste in houses runs the same as my taste in men? I keep getting fixer-uppers! But I digress.

I can’t blame the house for the septic issue, and it has withstood the rain that came in with October and shows every intention of staying… so the next step is to tie the knot and then… oh, the list is so long that those butterflies begin to gallop up and down my spine, fluttering in my braincase until I can’t even read the list! Tear out the rugs, clean every surface, cover shelves with shelf paper, take up the plywood that covers the gravel in the garage…come to think of it - a house will stand for all this change a lot better than a husband. I’d hire a service for all of it, but suddenly I have two weeks and one of them is Thanksgiving week! I’m lucky to get the movers… so Plan B has become, “Do whatever the minimum needed so that the strong guys can move the heavy furniture where you want it for the next six months, and then do everything else later.” And I’ll be so exhausted that I suspect that “later” might be after Christmas.

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