Monday, June 10, 2013

Closing Doors

Full Disclosure #1: This post was going to be about something else entirely, but I deleted the whole thing and started over because it wasn't ringing true.

Full Disclosure #2: Being a single parent is harder than I anticipated (which is kind of a duh moment, right?)

Full Disclosure #3: Everything in my life is wrapping up in a grand finale and I'm feeling a little bit sad about it.

School is ending. Baseball has ended. Girl Scouts finished for the season and the Spring choir concert has been sung. Even my book is ending (fingers crossed there). It should be ready to go out on submission after this final edit that should be finished today.

Despite the fact that the plan is to leave our beloved Portland for only 18 months, people keep telling me things like "We're so sad because we think you're never coming back." Which makes me sad because I catch emotions like the flu and that only serves to add more fuel to their 'you're-not-coming-back' fire.

To cap off all these endings, I had a random visitor stop by my home on Wednesday. It was a woman in her sixties who had grown up in this house. She'd cuddled up next to the air vents (just like my kids do) and been lowered up and down in the dumbwaiter by her siblings (just like my kids aren't supposed to do). In the basement, she burst into tears when she saw her father's work bench.

"It's still here!" she said and hugged me.

"Of course it's still there," my husband said when I told him. "The thing must weigh 300 pounds and it's bolted to the floor."

My surprise visitor told me this house holds all her childhood memories. As it holds all of my children's.

The rational part of me knows we're not going away forever. It knows this house has seen generation after generation grow up and move out, but still...but still, I find myself clinging to the metaphorical doorframe.

This is just the beginning of something fun and new. An adventure. A suburban D.C. lark. One door closes and another opens. I know all the rhetoric and I've been busy using it to brainwash prepare my children. Which is why it's so strange that this teensiest bit of Portland nostalgia blue has reared its head when I was least expecting it.

I'll get over this, I know I will. Before I know it I'll be keenly focused on all the things that are beginning instead of ending. But until I do, I'm hoping I don't get anymore unexpected visitors who regale me with tearful, wonderful stories of all the perfect childhood memories to which this house has borne witness.


Beylit said...

Yea that would totally undo me. Knowing logically what will happen means nothing when you get all emotional, which can suck sometimes.

Barbara Watson said...

Good-byes are tough, even if they're only until-we-meet-agains. I, too, would be undone.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just keep thinking of the new experiences. You'll get through it.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I cried when we left our last house, and to be honest have never missed it once since then. I knew I wouldn't, but it was still sad to leave it. You'll start feeling better once you're out. :)

Kristen Wixted said...

Oh my goodness I didn't need this today. And it's so well-written!
It's beautiful. It's all beautiful.

~Sia McKye~ said...

No matter how much a person looks forward to a new place, it's not easy leaving the comfortable security of home. Even when packing to go on a vacation there is a moment of reluctance to walk out the door.

Yes, you'll enjoy the adventure of it once you're there and establish another place of family love and comfort. Hang in there.


A Beer for the Shower said...

Things are hard now, but it'll all be fine once you've moved, settled in, and are having new adventures. But it's true, uprooting yourself and going somewhere else is always hard. I don't think I'd have the guts to move out of state. Not yet, anyway.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's hard leaving a place that was so much a part of your life. It will be waiting for you, though.

Carol Kilgore said...

Rachel, Alex, and Sia are all correct. You'll see. And next year you'll share your wisdom with someone else :)

Johanna Garth said...

Beylit, it's so unfair when logic fails us.

Barbara, I know. It's tougher with kids I think.

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Alex!

Rachel, that cheered me up. Seriously!!

Thank you Kristen! :)

Sia, that's true. I always have that "good bye house" moment when we go on vacation.

ABFTS, so true. It's just the transition part that sucks.

Diane, I know and that's what makes it easier.

Carol, exactly!

M Pax said...

If you love a place, it's hard to go.

I spent years living everywhere but Oregon. Now I don't ever want to leave. :) I was nervous when we came over here to the dry side, but decided before going I'd find a way to like it. No one is more surprised than me how much I love it. So yeah, go with the attitude you'll have the best of times.

Joanne Noragon said...

Another adventure for your repertoire. Then your ship will sail home again, Christopher.

Unknown said...

Your husband's comments made me laugh. I have a feeling that work bench will remain there for several more generations. That's one heavy table.

Enjoy your adventure. Your home will be waiting to hear all about it. :D

Unknown said...

No one's making it easy for you to leave -- which is good. In a sad way. But so much of life is about moving on . . .

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Aww! Big hugs for you. I know that visit didn't make this any easier, but obviously this is a house that will remain part of your family heritage even after you leave it. No one can take that from you.

And the workbench sounds exactly like the one in my husband's childhood home. Knock the house down, and that workbench will still be standing in the basement!

Gina Gao said...

It's always hard to leave a place that you've become used to.

Tammy Theriault said... visitor nonetheless. When we visited California, we did the same. We probably freaked them out.

dolorah said...

Endings, even for a short time, are tough for me too.


PK HREZO said...

Oh wow. How sweet. i know just how she feels. I recently visited my grandmother's property after many years and filled with tears when memories flooded thru me.
Are you taking a cross country trip? I've been outta the loop. But just think of the adventure waiting!! :)

Lisa Gail Green said...

that is one crazy coincidence. But it should make you happy to know that the memories are still there, which means your children will remember it with fondness too. :D I know I'm a crazy optimist, at least when it comes to others. I hope everything works out amazingly well for you in everything you do.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, wow - I can imagine how difficult that must be. But as you've said, there's plenty of fun stuff awaiting. new adventures, new friends!

Catherine Stine said...

Such an emotional post! Yes, it's challenging when things end, and even when they are beginning. But change is inevitable. Your work sounds interesting, and I'm glad I popped over for the first time.