I took this photo last week because I surveyed the room after our usual morning learnapalooza and was heartily amused by the disaster we left in our wake. I thought I’d write a post about how learning is a messy business or something like that. I wanted to remember how the stuffed cat had to perch on the table to listen to King of Ireland’s Son, and how the colander kept Wonderboy busy for twenty minutes, and how everything on the table and sofa signified a small event in our day.
But I got busy and didn’t write the post. I came across the photo just now while uploading more baby pictures for a lonesome daddy way out west, and it hit me that that was probably the last such morning we’ll have in this house. A day or two later is when we shifted into hurry-up- and-get-ready-to-go mode.
You seldom do know that the last time is the last time when you’re living it. Later, when you realize, it smacks you in the heart.
We’re in the final countdown now. I don’t have a firm move date quite yet, but it’s sometime the first week of October. As in: two weeks away.
If my house is an iceberg, I have packed about enough to chill a large pitcher of tea.
These past two months, it’s been all I can do to keep the house spiffy for showings. Oh, and write like a madwoman. And oh that’s right, FIVE CHILDREN UNDER TWELVE. So okay, maybe it’s not surprising that I haven’t made much headway as far as packing goes. Everyone knows it’s really hard to pack AND keep your house show-worthy at the same time. I know Everyone knows this because Everyone has told me so. Everyone shakes her head and says, "Oh, honey." Everyone pretty much agrees that I am up a creek and my paddle is buried under, um, an iceberg.
However, Everyone is incredibly, impossibly kind. Everyone drops by with dinner unexpectedly. (Thank you Sally; the meatloaf was delish.) (And Peggy: the meatballs! Yum!) (And Lily, what a meal!) (And Sarah, the brownies!) (And Lisa, the cheesecake!) (And Katherine, the muffins!)
(Apparently, Everyone wants to see me put a little meat on my bones.)
Everyone sends her teenage daughter over to see if I can use an extra set of hands. (I can, and thank you, Patty.)
Everyone leaves a book in my mailbox with a promise of an evening get-together to discuss it, because Everyone knows I am squirrely for some good conversation. (Thanks, Amy.)
Everyone calls whenever she’s running out to the store in case I need milk. I always do. (Thank you for the last twelve gallons, Sarah.)
Everyone calls on his way home from work to see what groceries I might need. While he’s here delivering them, Everyone carries a big heavy rollaway bed frame downstairs for me. In his work clothes. (Thanks, Dave.)
In addition to chauffering Scott from the airport on his visit home last month, Everyone hauls my recycling into town for me. He also brings fresh produce from his garden, feeding Beanie’s cucumber jones all summer. (Thanks, Steve.)
Everyone gives up her afternoon to sort through a decade’s worth of junk in my basement with me. (Yes, I know we’ve only been in this house for five years. We brought junk with us. This time, it stays here.) Everyone gives up another afternoon to sift through the hand-me-downs in my closet: you could build a shanty town out of these boxes. Everyone sees all the clutter shoved in the hidden places of my house, and she loves me anyway. (Thank you, Lisa. You are a gem.)
Everyone is so unbelievably nice. How can I possibly say good-bye?