Saturday, October 16, 2010
Shock of the New
On Monday night I stood in what had once been my mother's bedroom and screamed.
Then I went around the house and put signs on things that I didn't want them to take.
The next day was more of the same, with a couple of differences. Taking a lesson from the day before, I tried to spend more of my time in the house, keeping an eye on the pickers. This sometimes involved having to be in more than one place at the same time. I began to be more assertive and proactive, trying to define some boundaries. After talking to Sue C_______, I decided to keep the dining room table and a set of chairs to go around it. I decided to keep the apothecary chest, as much so that I wouldn't have to open and go through all the drawers as for its usefulness as a piece of furniture.
Other than that, it was very much like the day before. Panic, work, running around, pictures and tears.
Sue helped me sort through some personal papers and clothes. She left around 3:30, and I thought, it's just me and them, now.
About half an hour later, my father appeared in the yard. I went up to him and said, "I didn't expect to see you today."
He said, "M_____ and I are going to take you to dinner."
It was a nice thought, but not what I needed or wanted. I needed the evening hours to start cleaning up the disaster area that was my house and to start making the place habitable again. I didn't want to leave my kitties alone when they would no doubt be freaking out. But this was not so much an invitation as another one of his non-negotiable demands.
Once again Whitey and Honey had gone into hiding under my bed and had to be coaxed out. Once again Honey went tearing down the stairs, but this time she did not even make it to the bottom. The front hall had been cleared out. She saw the empty space, spun around 180 degrees and shot past me into the dark hall that leads to the guest room. I called her and called her, but she would not show herself.
My father was saying that we had to go. I just had time to quickly get some fresh food out for the gang, and no time to change or clean up. My pants were covered with filth.
I said I'd follow them in my car. My father's wife said, in her heavily accented, sing-song voice, "No, we drive you."
I sat in the back seat of their SUV with my head against the glass, staring blindly through the window and not saying much of anything. They noted a new building that had gone in on the main road. Without knowing why I said it, I said, "There are a couple of nice houses for sale in W_________ with screened porches on them."
My father said, "That's what you said in your email last night." (I didn't remember typing it, or even sending him an email the night before, I had been in a zombie-like state,) Then he said, "Let's go look at them. You show me where they are and we'll take a look."
My heart sank. I thought, Oh, me and my damn mouth again. Now this is going to take even longer.
When we got to town I directed them onto C___ Street and then W______ Avenue. At the very end of C___ Street there is a house for sale with a finished apartment above the garage. Just around the corner there is a nice looking Victorian with a sign out front reading "FOR SALE BY OWNER." My father actually stopped the car, and his wife wrote down the number. I thought, What is going on here?
We drove up the avenue to a brown shingled house that I pass every day. They wrote down the name and number of the real estate broker.
At the restaurant, my father took out a real estate magazine that he had brought with him and began leafing through it. It was only then that I realized that my off-hand comment in the car had played right in to the subject that they wanted to speak to me about.
They are going to help me buy a house.
They leave for Nevada in late October, and want it done before then.