not all who wander…

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one of those self portraits i see my girl doing, with the phone held out at a flattering angle…

HOLY SH*T! I don’t even know what to say… I saw the door open just a few inches, and without thinking, I followed her out.  I follow her everywhere.

And all the sudden, the door was shut… And she was inside…and I was alone, outside.  I haven’t been outside in years…

I was FREEZING…snow all over the porch, and dark…no good…just cuz I followed her out the open door.

…an open door.  She opens the door often.  When we lived in the apartment, it was muzzy out there…i didn’t need to go out, i could tell what and who was nearby when she opened the door, even from my safety of the bookshelf alcove.  There was that loud crying baby next door whose parents were often angry because they couldn’t understand him…we talked once. His mother left him in his seat, in the hallway while she carried in groceries, while I, of course, was safe, on the other side of the door.  And the old people who lived next to us…old smells.  Upstairs the alarm went off at 6:47 every morning, and she hit the snooze 3 times…every morning.  I could hear her going to the shower, her step sometimes stumbling as she went into the bathroom above ours.  The woman downstairs liked to do her laundry late at night, and I could hear the buttons of her clothing rattling in the dryer, long after my girl was asleep.

now we live in a house. i like the house.  it  has warm air coming out of the floor, and lots of photo(4)places to sleep. The sun comes thru the living room window in the afternoon and makes a fleeting zone of love on the ottoman.  The smells are different here, of course.  And the smells that come from that open door…some make me dizzy, some frighten me, and some want to pull me right out the door.

and so it was…i was trapped outside, and she locked the door- she always does.  So i yelled…and called… and made as much noise as I could.  Finally, after about 3 hours (note: in cat years- 3 hours equals 25 seconds), she opened the door again, and called for me- “Grisham…are you out here?!…Grisham!??” She went down off of the porch into the yard and driveway, calling into the night, her voice panicked. I rushed in the open door and as I sat looking out at her calling for me, washing, and wondering what all the fuss was, i thought i might close the door on her, but I can’t reach the doorknob.

letting loose of safety

A house.  I have a house.  The apartment thing was OK for the transition- sort of like a cocoon is OK…its a place to live, its safe, its uncomplicated, you just wait to grow enough to leave it behind.

I wish I could tell you the whole story of the house…but its long and complicated, and I am pretty sure I would loose you somewhere along the way…and I have tried to write it- several times, in fact, because its so serendipitous…and the timing still blows me away.

dreamhouseI am sure you will remember me saying that I have wanted a house.  Not just any house…I had a list – a dream house list…and it seemed to me that being in a house should be cheaper than an apartment, because you pay for your own utilities in a house.  Well, I was in for “a rude awakening”, as my father would say…it became clear that I couldn’t afford to rent the dream house, if it even existed.

I looked in the newspaper classifieds, on Craigslist, on local bulletin boards, on rental websites, on property management websites.  I posted a “house wanted” ad in a company classified section. I looked everywhere.  I looked at alot of houses.  They were too big, or too small, in a bad area of town, didn’t allow pets, not private, too expensive, too run down, too far out of town, too risky.

Just when I was reconsidering staying in my apartment, because I couldn’t find anywhere I wanted to live, two different houses appeared in my path.  The first one was good sized, bland, sensible, – it didn’t fit the dream house list, but it had a yard, and they allowed cats…it wasn’t going to get any better than that.  I filled out an application, paid the $25 fee, and began to mentally move in.  The other house looked pretty tiny from my drive-by, probably not even worth meeting the landlord for a tour, but the door was purple, there was a porch swing and I felt obligated.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much when I walked in…I had seen lots of houses.  I caught my breath as I stepped in the door…cathedral ceilings, a ladder drew my attention to the right, and i saw an open loft tucked up high in the ceiling corner.  The landlord was talking, but I really wasn’t listening…my mind was trying to reconcile the outside of this house with the inside that I was seeing…in short, it was amazing…fun blues and warm browns, woodwork, an open kitchen with updated appliances…speechless, that’s what I was.  I hesitantly mentioned that I had a cat after I had already fallen in love with the place.  The landlord waved my words away, like a fly, and said, “cats are fine.” ( are you looking back at my long forgotten wish list?)Did I mention it was on a street in a historic area with great big trees.

Because I am impulsive, and make snap decisions that I often regret, I asked if I could think it over. Now you are probably saying, “think it OVER? It has everything on your list…what is there to think over?” But here is the thing- it wasn’t the sensible house, the sensible house had more room, and while it didn’t have many of the “wants” on the list, it had the necessities. It was safe, and uncomplicated… like a cocoon. The dream house has color, and its a little wild and a little crazy…it is going to take some getting used to…

a break from the storm

i walked under an umbrella this week.  It was my first time.  I have owned many umbrellas in my life…decorative ones made of tissue paper that i hung in the corners of my apartment when i was in college, cheap vinyl ones i bought for my girls when they were young, itty bitty colorful ones from my drink that I took home in my pocket, a large lime green beach one that advertises a brand of liquor (i think it was pilfered from a business by an acquaintance)… umbrellas have always fascinated me, how they open so big, how Mary Poppins was able to fly with one, and how they fold up so tiny again… Last year I was given a purple and white one by a testing company as a promotional item which i have faithfully kept in my car …and have forgotten every time it rained.  But on Wednesday when I returned to work after lunch, it was raining.  I got my umbrella out of the car and opened it and walked into the building.

I cannot even describe how peaceful that was… the rain was pouring and I was walking under my umbrella.  I almost wanted to take a lap around the parking lot just to experience it a bit more.  It was like a forcefield around me, a protective bubble…i was safe and dry in the midst of the rain…and unless someone else wanted to step out into the downpour to get to me, i was isolated from interruption.

And really, i am not THAT important, am I?- that someone would come out in the pouring rain to get me………well, unless I was standing out there for an hour or more- like right in front of the school…and they could see me from the windows.  I tend to think they would come get me then…but it would be more because they thought i was a bit unbalanced, not because they needed me 🙂

Which brings me to my point.  The world does not stop without us.  Sometimes i am reluctant to take a break, a breath, a day off, a trip around the parking lot under an umbrella because I think life can’t move at a satisfactory pace without me at the helm…NEWSFLASH… people can cope without me for a bit…and unless I take a break, i won’t get one…and sometimes I really really need one.

So I am getting better.  I think i will get some of those pretty rainboots to match my umbrella…

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