big, hard, heavy sigh

Yesterday was extraordinary. Mostly, extraordinarily boring. Partly, extraordinarily hard. And partly, simply extraordinary because I was doing something I’ve never done before, really. With Katie’s help — and Trey’s — I got moved into my new place.

Early yesterday, I repacked my suitcases and dragged them downstairs, and Katie and I packed all my stuff into our two cars. We sat on the couch and I said, with a quivery voice, “It’s always shocking just how quickly I can disappear, completely.” My stuff had been here and there, the downstairs filled with shopping bags, the guest room filled with my suitcases and various things, the guest bathroom littered with my stuff, and then whoosh! It was all gone, and it looked like I’d never been there. And then Katie said, “Mom, that’ll never be true again.” And snap, I knew she was right for better and worse. I went to my new place before she did for a variety of reasons, and the moment I pulled up in front of my house, she texted me “welcome home!!” I arrived at 11:21am, Friday Nov 30, which I’ll always know now because of her text. (She has a phone app that lets her track me — I agreed, because I sometimes get lost — so she knew when I arrived. It was wonderful.)

There were hours of difficulty with the cable guy and the cable box, and even after it was finally fixed and they left, it broke again so I’ll have to get them out asap. Luckily, my telephone works and the internet works, so it’s just the television.

Katie and I took off price tags, cut off hanging tags, picked off sticky labels, and put everything away. I washed all my new dishes and flatware, the kitchen is completely organized, my bathroom is beautiful and mostly done (I just need some art on the walls), and we have plans for tomorrow. After we took a ride to fetch and deliver my new dining table and chairs, we went out for dinner to celebrate, and to allow me to thank them for all their help. It was a very very long day.

And so then I unloaded my dishwasher, I took a long hot shower, and I climbed into my brand new bed, outfitted with brand new sheets and bedspread, and lay my head on the pillows I borrowed from Katie, until I can get some of my own. The place is bare and empty-feeling, with nothing on the walls, no curtains, no rugs on the hard tile floor, but it is mine. When I woke up at Katie’s on Friday morning, I’d been thinking about what it would be like to sleep in my new place, and I was scared. I was scared to do it, to be here all alone, to feel my aloneness for the first time without anyone else around. But it’s OK, and I am OK.

This morning I’m going to the grocery store to stock my refrigerator and pantry. Katie and I were joking: when we finished unpacking, there was a bottle of white wine in the refrigerator, and Hershey’s kisses in the candy bowl. White wine and chocolate in the kitchen, and face cream in the bathroom — the home of an older woman. 🙂 I’ll try to get pictures as soon as I can, including one of Harvey, my guardian horny toad, at home in the garden by the French doors. He doesn’t startle anyone but me, it turns out, but that makes me happy anyway.