It was getting down to the wire, we were closing in five days and so I raced home between kid football games to pack up more boxes. It was then that I got the phone call from my brother-in-law/realtor and my right hand man. He regretted to inform me that the owners of the rental we had signed a lease with had decided to lower the price on the house and sell it instead. Psyche.
Digging out my house search list I prepared for the groveling that I was about to succumb to. We had no time for negotiations, I had to lock in.
I really wanted to stay in denial about the task ahead and play outside with all the other locals frantically getting out into the yellow leaves before the eight months of snow came a-knockin’. Instead, I spent every minute talking on the phone to realtors and driving in my POS mini-van from one rental to another. “Remember me? I’m the one with three boys and a dog. Will you have us? What? You’ll take us back but raise the rent by $150 a month? *&**# I’ll take it!”
The boys got into the game of looking for a home with Tucker being the most dedicated, tugging at my sleeve to drag me in front of the “For Sale” signs littering the sidewalks and encouraging me to look the listings up on the computer when we got home to see the interior photos. Accustomed to finding me in my office, nose to the screen of Trulia.com, a website that proudly states that it is, “For the Realty obsessed,” he plopped down on my lap to ask if the house I was looking at could be a “rent to own” house. My six year old talking real estate.
Then came the “what if” game. “What if we moved into an old ranch house with a creepy basement and no heat?” “What if we moved into a shabby 1 bedroom condo in Aspen that cost us far more than a single family home in Basalt?” “What if we never found a home?” It was tough not having any answers.
I returned to the football field. Brevitt’s game had already begun and as my day would have it Muki sneaked out and raced onto the football field. She loves to play football with the boys and would make an outrageous Quarterback. Depleted of energy, I leaned against the car announcing to Axel and Tucker that I refused to move until the dog was caught and put back into the car. And so she was caught mid poop. Casually walking up to the football moms I acted as if my world was not upside down.
The thing is, life doesn’t stop when you are going through stressful times. It just keeps on going and you have to truck along with it. With three birthdays tucked into the move I baked cakes while packing but as you already know, I’m infamous for baking the delicious cake that looks like a pile of dung and so you can be sure that baking a cake while distracted was no better. I couldn’t get Brevitt’s Decadent Chocolate Cake from The Silver Palette cookbook out of the beautiful Gothic Cathedral tube pan. Don’t ask me what I did wrong. I buttered and floured but the cake wanted to remain in Gothic central so I frosted the half that came out and threw it into the freezer to be eaten for breakfast on Brev’s actually birthday morning and made about three more, just in case.
In addition, a twelve year old boy leads to other issues and so also nudged between packing up boxes was school meetings with Brevitt’s teachers. I sat there listening with box cuts all over my fingers and pieces of cardboard nesting in my hair, wondering if they secretly blamed Brevitt’s distracting behavior on his wild and crazy mother. “Why is he so unfocused in class?” they asked. I didn’t know which one to mention first whether it was perhaps that he was a twelve year old boy in the midst of a move he didn’t fully understand or perhaps, just perhaps, the teachers were not equipped to deal with a fidgety, social, energetic boy. “Don’t worry, he’ll get better,” I promised. “Soon he’ll stop doing stupid things like draping himself on top of the potters wheel in art class.” “He’s very goal oriented,” I offered hoping that would help.
Wade came home from work to find me comatose and lit a fire so that I could lay down on my favorite over-sized rocker and stare out the window to watch the grass in the fields come alive with the onslaught of rain. He poured me a glass of red wine and sat next to me.
Looking around at the design of our house with influences of my childhood weekend getaway home in Vermont, I quietly said goodbye again, hating that it would soon become nothing but a memory, just like the Vermont house.