Friday, February 11, 2011

A Day at Home, or The Delayed Post

"Ah! West and Wewaxation at Wast!"

On Sunday I wrote my first blog post from home. Of course, I had no internet connection, so I couldn't post it, and now much of it is outdated. The part of it that hasn't changed is that, in the more than two months in which the move has been happening, Sunday was just the second day that gave me some down time in the house. I wrote the blog post knowing that it would be pointless; but I just desperately wanted to use the study and the computer for their intended purpose, a day in which to actually live in the house.

Of course, I did still make a run out to the old place, just to check on the level of the heating oil and to throw a load of yard ornaments into the car, but that took just a couple of hours from beginning to end. As I wrote on Sunday: "There's no reason to spend any amount of time there. When I walk through the empty rooms, it feels as if the house is haunted, and I am the ghost."

I wrote a few paragraphs about the virtues of the new computer, which is danged virtuous, I must say, now that it's connected to the interwebs and has some of my old files successfully moved onto it, especially including my novel in progress.

And I wrote about the quats, who "almost can not believe that I am here. They have spent so much time alone in the last two months that my being here during the day is a novelty for them. They've been following me around, soliciting attention. Honey even climbed into my lap while I was typing this."

This was all the more true on Tuesday, the day that I spent waiting fruitlessly for the Fairpoint service guy to show up.  Because I was expecting him, I couldn't very well go out and get another load moved, so by default I had a whole uninterrupted day in the house. Again, the cats really seemed to love having me around for a change, and I enjoyed myself doing the bit of settling in that I could. TCM was running Seven Brides for Seven Brothers that afternoon, so I let that play on while I cleared boxes out of the laundry room and moved them to their likely destinations. 

Brides is one of the wonkier musicals I've ever seen; this was not the first time. The first time was years and years ago when I spent much of the summer visiting my maternal grandparents in Bloomington, Minnesota. My cousin Charlie and I were good buddies in those days, and he moved in to Grandma and Grandpa's place for the summer as well. At night we slept on folding cots in their finished basement. They had a television down there, and we watched the late movie every night, in the dark. This was the first time I saw Karloff and Lugosi in The Invisible Ray, a terrific SF-horror programmer. And, of course, Seven Brides, which we both thought was hysterical. When Howard Keel sang "Bless your beautiful hide | Wherever it may be!" we both rolled around laughing and laughing. It became one of our running in-jokes of the summer.

So, it was a good day, until Fairpoint ruined it by never showing up. Still, it's all come out in the wash.

Tomorrow will be a big day. Perhaps, please, the last of the big days.

The auctioneer is coming out to the old house, bright and oily at 9:00 AM, and he will clean out the last of the antiques. While they are working in the house, I'll load up my car from the barn.

I have written a note to the new owners, pointing out some things that they ought to know and some things that they might want to know. I have already taken most of my keys to the old house off of the two keyrings I use, and put them into the envelope with the letter.  Tomorrow or Sunday, I will add the remaining two keys to the envelope, seal it, and take it down the road to my neighbor, whose son-in-law is one of the new owners.

After tomorrow, I don't expect ever to enter that house again.

-- Freder.

1 comment:

  1. And so it goes -- and, in fact, it's probably the way it should be. The last time I went to the family camp at Moosehead Lake was for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary, almost exactly sixty days before my father died. Never had a powerful urge to go back, even that last summer, when my mother had sold it and was vacating at the end of August. It was my dad's place and he was gone and I was done with it. I understand the people my mother sold it to have built a whole new camp on the property, which is their right, of course. Years earlier, I drove past the old family house in Bowdoin one time, maybe 18 months after my folks sold it -- some of the fruit trees in the front yard had been cut down and the back end of a car was sticking out of the garage, with the garage door pulled down on the car roof, and you could see the shutters needed painting -- looked very Dogpatchian. My father would have had a conniption if the house had ever been in such a state while he owned it. But, of course, it wasn't "our house" anymore, and that drive-by brought the realization squarely home. No matter how quickly we pay off a mortgage, we never really "own" any land -- we just borrow it for however long a period. After all, we come and go, but the land remains ...


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