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Friday, March 30, 2007

Angels Singing

Today, our house formally listed on the Alaska Multiple Listing Service. Tomorrow, between 3 and 4pm, we will vacate for the house's first showing.

The house looks great. She is baring both cleavage and thigh most appealingly. Many thanks to our stellar realtors, Mary and Ron Stephens, whom we first met 3.5 years previous, when we relocated to Anchorage.

Mary was almost killed last August from a brutal car accident during that month's torrential, record-breaking, birch-beetle-exterminating rains. She still walks gingerly and tires easily, but a better realtor, one cannot easily conceive. She is both business-like and motherly; generous and trustworthy. Ron, her husband of many years, is one of her "assistants", and is a great complement, particularly when it comes to moving furniture. Evan thinks Ron is "cute."

I awoke at 5am this morning. Staring ogle-eyed at the bedroom ceiling, I thought about today becoming "official" and feeling despair over the lack of "exciting" homes in our buyer-price-range. So, I got up early, watched movie trailers and the latest "Ugly Betty" episode, and tried to muster some degree of hope and trust for my and my family's future. Really, the only house I have loved so far was one Bruce didn't care for and is now sold.

Bruce managed to "find" some annual leave from work in order to look at some houses this afternoon with Mary and Ron. We met at 1pm at a listing that Mary had hand-picked for us. I prayed on the way to the house, asking God to "prepare my heart"; to help me not compare every house to our current home; to not lose hope.

Upon crossing the threshold of this first house of the afternoon, I fell in love. The tightness around my heart loosened for the first time in what feels like forever, and I truly felt it was a home I would not feel any regret over moving to. Bruce loved it too. I felt in that space the kind of light and space that I feel in our current home. I think I heard angels singing.
So, tomorrow we sign an initial offer, and get the ball rolling.
I told Bruce that if this all falls apart, I will be in a place of despair that he has never-before-now seen during our entire marriage. Though an exaggeration, it must be admitted that this particular house is a rarity, and meets almost all our criteria. "Love" is what I wanted to find; but "love" puts me in a state of terrible vulnerability. I am thankful for a husband who can, simultaneously, be both passionate and dispassionate, and help me through this process.
Driving home this afternoon, for the first time in awhile, I didn't feel an enormous sense of loss pulling into our driveway, and seeing the face of the beloved house that has been a cocoon of renewal and unearthly joy. For a time, I had come to believe that I could never "love" our next "new" house; that nothing we would find would measure up to our first Alaska home. And I had grieved over this. But was willing to live with it. I figured it was the next step in my spiritual evolution.
But now - I wonder - could it be possible? To "love" again? Perhaps. Perhaps.
If you remember, say a prayer for us: that God would keep His hand on us during this crazy time. That if this new house isn't "The One", that I won't collapse; that my hope will remain centered on Him who cares little where I live; but rather, how I love.

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Movin' Right Along

Life moves along. Some days go by slowly. Others are a blur. Such is the progress of a week. Or a month. Or a year. Or, so I've been told, a lifetime.

Some nights I crawl into bed so weary I cannot bear to think of another day. Other evenings I lay sleepless for hours, my mind alert to every psychic or physical whisper.

Life progresses. It is truly a rollercoaster: long, grinding upward motion. Then, a period with nothing but thrills. My daughter Sabrina might draw it best as the looping strand of curly hair in her latest rock-star drawing. Or perhaps Jack could do it justice as a track for the Line Rider.

All this sounds like a great set-up for a deep metaphysical discussion. And boy, I sure would like to go there. But I have worked hard today and frankly, the idea bores me. I would rather thumb through my three new books (Anne Lamott's newest "Grace (Eventually)", "The Painted Veil" by W. Somerset Maugham, and Maureen Corrigan's "Leave Me Alone, I'M READING.")

Having just returned yesterday afternoon from two weeks in Seattle , our house was a bit "dry" this evening, so Bruce enticed me to make the sojourn to Value Liquor on the Old Seward Highway by the enticement of two new books along the way.

The reason I ended up getting three was because Borders was having an "educators sale"; 25% off the total purchase for "educators." With suspicious eagerness, the cashier accepted my reluctant explanation that I only "volunteer teach", and I got the discount! Happy day! A bit of corporate grace - unmerited favor dispensed from the boardroom! I took to heart Pastor Jeff's exhortation from this morning's church service about the important of receiving grace. In this case, I was MORE than willing to receive it. Besides, three is my favorite number.

Later, at Value Liquor, I purchased the typical alcoholic trinity of beer, wine, and ginger ale (for the previously-bought J.D.) I treated myself to a six-pack of Moose Drool, as a memorial to the recent inabsentia ungulate hauntings of our front yard. Also, the last thing I saw before I turned out the lights last night was a moose dining in our neighbor's yard. Welcome home!

Anyone reading this already knows we are selling our house to downsize and hopefully cut living expenses (to fund our Borders and Value Liquor habits, obviously). So I don't want to go into that in any detail. Suffice it to say that upon the plane touching down in Anchorage yesterday afternoon, Bruce found his sanding-machine and spent the remainder of the weekend sanding and staining the staircase handrail and kitchen-counter trim. With the new carpet, the house smells all chemical-ly and fresh. We will list by the end of the work-week.

It was a brisk 3 degrees this morning, but warmed to 27 or so later in the afternoon. Despite remaining below freezing all day, the potent spring sun is evaporating and melting the snow. I traversed the back deck in bare feet to remove some thawing dog poo, and figured I'm only a few degrees from the first sunbathing of the season. Time to shake the dust out of my shorts and sandals. Beautiful beautiful beautiful! Sun so bright that I had to wear sunglasses to dust the windowsills and blinds.

What about Seattle, you ask? Seattle was a hoot. Our family and friends are fabulous, and it was a gift to see those that we did. What more can I say?
How about this?: thank God for valium and functioning airplane stabilizer-motors.

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