Sunday, September 15, 2013

Our room

This was meant to be a picture post, but my computer is grumpy, and I will be if I persevere on trying to load pictures.  Mayhap soon.

We have officially moved out of our house.  We put it on the market near the beginning of August, and it sold within 8 days.  Oh, boy.  Excellent news, but the resulting rush to find a place to live was on.  Funnily enough, no one wants to rent an apartment to a family with four kids.  We persevered through the soul-crushing days of having people look at us like we were dung beetles when we admitted we had four kids, and we finally found a new place to live in a trailer park.  The trailer is new but tiny (well, compared to our house), but Evan and I are able to deal with it because, hello?  We're living in a trailer park!  The cultural significance cannot be overstated.

We haven't finished moving out of our house yet, but we spent Saturday moving beds, bureaus, tables and sofas over to the trailer.  Now comes all the closet cleanouts, and the resulting "Oh, my stars, where will we ever store this??" moments.

It is bittersweet to be almost done with this little house.  As I lay in bed the last morning, Elliott came in to snuggle, and we had a discussion about When Elliott was Little (he always enjoys that).  I was showing him where his cradle used to be, and telling him about the big oxygen tank that used to stand between the cradle and bed.  I started waxing a little nostalgic about that room.

There's still a scar on the floor from the oxygen tank.  It's mostly hidden by the bed (well, until we moved the bed to the trailer), and whenever I (infrequently) moved the bed to sweep, I would be overwhelmed by the thought of how lucky we were that our little boy lived through that whole period.  There's so many Elliott memories in that room-- that tiny little bundle laying on that big bed while I changed the pads on his cheeks that held the oxygen tube in place.  And before he ever came back from the hospital, it was the one blessed room that had air conditioning, so I would sit in front of that lovely cool air while I endlessly pumped breast milk.

It is also the very room that my sweet Lincoln was born in.  I have always thought that old farm houses were so lovely because of the history in the bedrooms-- generations that had been born and died in the same room.  I'm a little bit sad that we are moving out of this house, so Lincoln will never be able to experience that feeling of complete rootedness.  It's also the place where all of Lincoln's siblings held him for the first time, and grinned huge grins at the wonder of holding a fresh baby.

I spent endless hours stretched out on the bed there, nursing babies.  (Which is a giant euphemism for "reading a boatload of books while keeping the baby quiet.")  When nursing, you are sort of captive to a space, so you observe that space so much more than you might otherwise.  I knew every crack in the old ceiling, and the curve of the branches of the neighbor's maple tree.  I could also run my eyes over all the titles in the enormous wall of bookshelves that my husband built for me, a little at a time, as birthday presents.

I also spent lots of time in that room, folding laundry.  Thankfully, laundry is one of the least objectionable household chores, so it could be a pleasant time.  There was usually a kid or two among the heaps of clothes, asking questions or reading books.  Or arguing with the neighboring sibling, just to inject some reality into this rosy picture.  Some nights, after finally getting kids asleep and finishing dishes and walking up the stairs utterly exhausted, that laundry could send me into deep despair when I realized I hadn't dealt with it the way my optimistic morning self had planned.  So, yes, that room also knew its share of stacked laundry baskets, and even the occasional mounds swept right onto the floor.

It's also the room that always had to wait for last.  The whole house was insulated before we got to that room, and it spent a summer completely gutted (but still our room) before it got insulation and sheet rock.  And that sheet rock sat there patiently, getting dingier and dingier, until the prospect of selling the house finally got it the respect (and paint) it deserved.  It's a little sad that we're leaving it just as we finally have a closet again (the last one was hijacked in our bathroom remodel) and some lovely crown molding around the ceiling (to disguise the fact that there we no way Evan was going to try and marry the new drywall to the crazily textured ceiling).

So, bittersweet.  But this morning, I woke up in our "hotel room" (Elliott's apt description of the trailer decor), and I was still laying beside my best friend (cue Evan's sarcastic "Awww...").  It's exciting to think about building our house, though it's also a little nerve-wracking.  (The land is taking so long to close!  WHY are the architects so slow?  Are we SURE we'll have enough money [Ha!!])  And this little trailer sojourn will make us even more excited about our big new house.

The song that's been going on repeat on my head since Saturday is sung to the tune of "Big Yellow Taxi" by Counting Crows.  (I had no idea what the song was until I just googled it, but it was popular enough at some point that there is a line from it engraved on my brain.  Even though I could have sworn I had no idea of Counting Crows music).  Anyway, the line is
"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone.
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot."

The way I've been singing it is:
"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone.
We sold our sweet house,And moved into a traaaailer park."

And that's all for now.


Rebekah said...

Lovely documentation...hardly needs a photo! Love it!

Bethaney said...

I was just thinking yesterday about how much I love my little house and how hard it would be to leave it. This hasn't made it easier. Love this. Even if it made me teary-eyed and emotional.