Unsettled Sunday

I’m up early trying to collect some thoughts and feelings; they’re not gathering into any sort of cohesive picture that allows me to feel more settled here, in this very new place.

I just found a comment from my husband on my last post. He wrote it last night after I was asleep. I wonder if anyone else will find it, read it? It’s long. It’s embarrassingly complimentary and only partially true. Here are some kernels of truth in it:

His card playing analogy, where I am "all in" is true although I am not at all in a playful mood. And what he doesn’t say is that I am not "all in" gracefully. I’ve lost the life that I knew and the new life here is one of too many things in too small a space. It’s gotten to be all about life possessions that are rapidly losing their value. I’m not the sort of person you want at your card party right now. I am often forgetting that I made this life changing choice and I feel resentful, out-of-control and angry. Not pretty (like Hoss).

It’s also true that he has not done a very good job of supporting me in this move. He is being quite the "guy." All those stereotypes about men that are funny in stand up comedy routines are not so funny now. The one liner where a perfectly intelligent human being turns into a mindless doofus who unpacks a garden rake and asks if he should put it in the garage or the two square foot front hall closet. The good one about the guy who connects his small portable television in the middle of a walled castle of book boxes so he can watch Tiger play golf while he "organizes his office."

Left to his own devices my husband would help bring some order to this place but not the way I want it, not at my pace, not with me at the helm. So we are a bad fit at the moment. I am demanding and hostile; he is passively, annoyingly obtuse. A not-so-funny comedy routine.

But then he redeems himself by going out late at night and trading an
electric dryer for a gas dryer with a total stranger in the hinterlands
of Chicago so we can get the laundry going here. It’s a long story for
another day but it involved hauling two dryers up and down three

It’s true that I haven’t written much of anything meaningful for weeks now. That muse is in absentia; hopefully she will be back from whatever island of inspired good cheer soon. I miss her.

I miss my mother. I miss living in the same town as my son. I miss my daughter, who is moving herself from one apartment to another in anticipation of the new school year. I miss Patti and Audrey and Roberta and Judy and Amy. My garden, The birds at the feeders.

Now, I’m starting to cry and I feel as though I can’t right now but maybe in a week or two, when Rich is in Switzerland I’ll let myself have that really good heaving, soul-cleansing cry that turns the page on grief.

I want to go see Bud this coming week but that will have to wait a couple weeks. I want to unbell, uncollar Sophie and let her out to silently, stealthily explore in that feline way, but the look in her eyes suggests she is still mapping a return to the familiar so that wil have to wait, too.

I need to pull it together here. I hear the shower running; my sister Laurel came to help (read "rescue") me this weekend with her husband and my nephew. They are willing to pitch in and do the brute labor of tearing down boxes, haul stuff up and down, drag junk in and out of the same rooms repeatedly. With smiles and support and good will. Remember when I wrote about good sisters in times of need? True again.

Yesterday we all took a small field trip across Oz Park to the Saturday market and got fresh corn and tomatoes and basil for last night’s first dinner. We got bunches of flowers to place here and there in the chaos. Maybe this morning we will go to Chinatown for dim sum.

My friend Gene comes to visit in two days and, as unkind as this thought is, I’m relieved he is not big into stairs; there’s a chance I can clear out this main floor so we can have a good visit and talk about his love life and he’ll completely fail to notice what’s on the floors above. I’m looking forward to that visit.

I sent Bud a bright pink shirt that reads, "Life is short" on the front and "Boats are cool" on the back. I also sent him two new marine spark plugs so he can "go faster".  When I start writing more I’ll tell you all about the pontoon boat that has given his life new meaning this past 6 weeks. THAT is a wonderful story,

My sweet friend in Seattle ended yesterday’s comment, writing that she continues to hold me in her prayers.That thought eased me throught the night and started this random Sunday morning. The Shakers used to say, "Hands to work, Heart to God." And Psalms 84 says, "Yea, the sparrow hath found a house…"

17 responses to “Unsettled Sunday

  1. Hey, you. That note from Rich was pretty wonderful as is yours. I hate it that you feel so vulnerable and unsettled. I first looked at the photos of your new house and I thought: Baldwin, Norway, Heatherdown each more gorgeous than the one before, more peaceful, more harmonious – what will she accomplish this time.
    I didn’t think of all the hours sorting and chosing and arranging but I should have. You just make it look so effortless.
    It doesn’t have to get done all at once. Try to enjoy the process a little if you can.
    I miss you more than I can say, and wish we could grab lunch today. I’d love to hear about your adventures.
    See you soon.

  2. I understand the hassles of moving (having grown up as a military brat) and missing those we’ve left behind. It’s tough but then it becomes exciting as we venture out to discover our new environment. I’m certain we’ll have the pleasure of reading about that exploration.

    I also understand the muse stubbornly not wanting to be heard. It happened to me a couple of months back. Likewise, it’s exciting to have it back, to be dying to get back to the keyboard to pour out my thoughts.

    I can’t wait to read you as I’ve been accustomed: often, with relish.

  3. “…and the swallow a nest for herself…”

    Thursday night jazz after taking in the beautiful Persian bookmaking exhibit at the Art Institute is my prescription.

    Outside ALL in! So true, FG!!

    Now it begins, now we start
    One hand, one heart.
    ~Leonard Bernstein / Stephen Sondheim

  4. P. S. to Rich: Shouldn’t you be cheering Tiger on at the Medinah Country Club instead of walled up in that book box castle?

  5. I’m not sure which brought the tears to my eyes faster – your post, or your husband’s comment. Either way, they’re not bad tears, just tears of understanding and wishing I could help and knowing that I can’t (mainly because I live in another country and we’ve never even met) and just… and mainly because I understand your side and his so well that it hurts to relive them.

    There’s not much I can say. I’m sorry it hurts, but it will get better. I’ll keep you in my prayers, since there’s nothing else I can do, and I hope you’ll get that good, heaving, soul-cleaning cry out soon because sometimes it seems that he crying is the only that that washes the hurt away.

    Sending good vibes, good energy, hugs, love and prayers your way… From one stranger to another.

  6. I read what your husband wrote, and it was wonderful. Having stress, issues, anger, tears over a huge move is so normal. You can still be analytical about it,whereas most of us(like me) would be in hysterics. You are a tree that has been completely uprooted. You will eventually thrive where you are, but it takes a while for those new roots to take hold in that soil.

  7. I feel your pain sugar. Enjoy your Hoss time ^j^

  8. Vicki, your life has changed in so many ways over the past year. Moving is hard even under the most ideal circumstances, and I don’t think we can say that these circumstances were ideal. I’m glad to hear you say that you are resentful, even angry. It takes so much less for most of us to feel that way. The fact that you are not a saint makes me, at least, feel better.

    But, on to more urgent matters: Gene’s sex life. You’ll be sharing with your faithful readers, yes?

  9. I think it’s pretty amazing (and sweet) that in the middle of all the hubbub you found time to send Bud a t-shirt. 🙂

  10. Good post. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    I am also a transplant. I am living a long way from my parents and my eldest son. I miss them very much.
    I miss the area also,culture,food,beach,bay,and familiar places where I was comfortable.
    Huge Hugs and hang in there!

  11. Is it bad of me to say that I’ve been there, a number of times in my life.

    You will carve out a niche for yourself, Vicki. It will take time. You will do it because you need it. You will carve a really beautiful niche that you can’t even imagine right now, because it will involve self-discovery.

    After the heartbreak will come discovery.

    And if you two weren’t out of sorts with each other at this stressful time I’d have to pinch you to make sure you were real.

    I want you real.

    And you know what, Vicki? You really are still very close to Michigan. Your friends are not far away.

  12. Hey, Vicki. Just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you and missing you something awful! I’m glad you had some help this weekend and some company coming, but I second Roberta — lunch would sure be nice. BTW, I have not killed the giant plants, and Adam has blossomed into a true finch lover. He is constantly spending time with the little flock, and I often hear him whistling to them from the next room. Oh, and we have seven eggs … Adam couldn’t be more excited (he’s been marking the calendar trying to figure out when the babies will arrive)! I will keep you posted. HUGS!!

  13. I read your hubby’s comment and it brought tears to my eyes. He is a gem Vicki, even in the most frustrating times, he is a gem.

    It’s hard to move, even if you have a house to move to. It will take time but I know you will put your heart into the house and as it takes on your heart and your personality it WILL become home.

    The kitties will be fine. Our crew is finally situated, each with favorite spaces; content even when I’m not here. Just tell Sophie that Rhett knows where she is and still pines for her.

    So many prayers are being sent your way. I wish there were more that we could do. Just remember, we’re here.

  14. Dear Ms. Sparrow:

    When all is tucked away, it will be a nice large house that you will enjoy immensely. And you will make new friends, and start a new chapter of BCMA. And Hoss will visit and show you how well he is getting along by carrying handkerchiefs up and down the stairs. In case you need that sort of thing.

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit a place to put empty boxes.

    Fond wishes and fond du lac.

  15. I left my comment down below, Vicki. You know I’ve been out of town, or I’d have been here sooner. Give Hoss a big hug from me!

  16. Sending hugs, Vicki!

    You know that moving is a huge life stressor (how many clients have you counseled through such an experience?), but that doesn’t make it any easier when it’s you, I know.

    Soon, you’ll have have it all together and you’ll be able to explore and find wonderful stories to tell us.

    In the short term, we all want more details of Hoss’ love life, please!

  17. You can always drive a few hundred miles south, you know.

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