Wednesday, November 15, 2006

home ownership and other things

This morning I woke up and almost instantly there were thousands of thoughts and things to do rushing through my head. This is usually not the case with me. I can spend a good half hour or so just enjoying the detachment of waking up. With so much going on right now, I'm sure that those thoughts just couldn't wait to surface.

I thought about the new house, and the fact that I need to get in touch with Donna at the bank, that I need to get in touch with Larry my attorney to help me facilitate a few of the things that the divorce called for, and that I need to send some paperwork to my accountant. I thought about the magazine deadline, Lynnette's business cards, Deb's business cards and paying bills. Too much for one little morning mind. I'm trying be still and all these things won't let it be. Tired of fighting them, I get up, get some coffee. (If you're and International Delight fan, don't try the for-Christmas-only chocolate mint. The chocolate settles to the bottom and it's not very minty. Instead, go to Starbucks and get a peppermint mocha - any size.)

And so it's one thing at a time. We made an offer on the house. It is very much what we were looking for. My friend Breeze says that it looks "too normal." Be reassured - that is temporary. It will be so much more interesting than normal once I get in there and adapt the space to me, us, and the critters. And the current owners accepted our offer. We set a move in date for February 1, which is what I had hoped for, even requested. Things do fall into place easily in my world when I believe. There was really no resistance from the other side. I'm sure they're ready to move on.

Sometimes I think that I'd rather spend Christmas at the new place, but it will be much better to have the time to plan, prepare, and move in at a more realistic pace. (Oh, and I need to call the Farmer's guy about homeowners insurance.) I can so see myself in front of that fireplace on cold winter nights.'s not a cabin in the mountains - all in due time.

My emotional reaction to all of this home buying stuff surprised me a bit. I got a little teary, and realized that it gives my move here a sense of permanence. The last couple of years, I lived in "temporary housing." This term, most commonly used in cases where people are displaced due to natural disasters or war, seemed to fit my situation. I was definitely displaced. Though I had most modern conveniences, and was safe and warm, I was not "home." And in some ways, I suppose the cause of my displacement was a natural disaster and a war. So the purchase of a home here in South Dakota with my SO gives me a sense that I will again be "home." It will be in this new place, with a new family, and new pets, a different climate, and a different back yard. But I have found home again. I can only wonder if that is really what we all long for - home, a sense of permanence, security, and a human we can count on to share it all with. Perhaps this is what defines "home." Some would argue that home is really anywhere we have an emotional connection, and that is it where the heart is. I would argue that there's something to be said for the material parts of this - the fireplace, the flowers, the embraces, a solid door to unlock when I pull into the driveway.

I have a little door knocker that says something about peace that I bought years ago and never hung at the house on Castle Hill, the apartment, or here at the SLRH. I've picked it up thousands of times, but never felt compelled to hang it. The saying didn't ring true. I know just where it is. It occurs to me that my new house will be its "home." And that it has been patiently waiting for February 1, 2007 to be mounted to the door of a home filled with peace. How cool is that?

Oh, and one more thing. If you haven't noticed, I added a link on the right side of this page to our Flickr site where I've posted some of our pictures. Drop by and take a look.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

keeping the pace

So I move to South Dakota expecting winter to be brutal. Here I am. It's November, and despite my anticipation, there has yet to be a significant snowfall. Just wait, they all say. And so I wait. In the meantime, I must say I am enjoying the lovely brisk days, clear skies and the opportunity to spend some time outside before the bad weather hits.

My world continues to evolve at a frantic pace with the engagement, and now, the very real opportunity to buy a house. Somehow through all the changes that have happened in my life over the year, I remain peaceful. At least that is my goal. It would be easy to allow myself to get caught up in the whirlwind, but I am resolved to keep myself and my life grounded. Those things that may have been viewed as really huge in the past seem only medium. My engagement for instance, seems only an affirmation of what I've known since the beginning of my relationship with Steve - that it was meant to be. It wasn't long after we met that I realized that one day we would get married. I didn't accept this easily, but found myself, more than a year ago, writing "vows" that might suit us in my journal. Yesterday I found those words that I wrote a year ago, and amazingly, they still seem valid and true. Thoughts do indeed become things. As for the house we're looking to buy, I can easily see the two of us sitting in front of the fireplace downstairs, and brushing our teeth together in the bathroom. And so soon we will move into the white house on 18th St. I'm not sure just how we will get from here to there, but know that we will, and that the flowers in the backyard will bloom and grin as we enjoy their presence.

Walking through the house I got the sense that we might be blessed by the man and woman who lived there prior to their passing. I think they were very much in love, and that this home was a place of peace. And they smile from the other side knowing that as we might love and care for the house much as they did. It just felt right to be there. As usual, I will follow my intuition. Perhaps that is why I remain calm at the thought of this undertaking.

I watched Under the Tuscan Sun last night, and remembered that I always wanted to see Italy. Old feelings came up for me. The reminders of where I've been were everywhere, but looking over at Steve, I was again sure that the decisions I have made over the past year were the right ones.

All of the changes in my life may be hard for some to digest - it's all happened so fast. But time is only a construction of man, and each moment must be lived as if it were the only one that mattered. At this moment, my world continues to revolve, my heart is full, and my soul is peaceful. I am glad to be me - now - with him - in this place, and that is all that matters.

Friday, November 03, 2006

rings and things

I said matter what I've said in the past and all my rantings about never being married again, I said "yes."

This morning...less than 48 hours after I said yes, I am wondering just what the hell happened. It's easier to figure out when I write it out. The only reasonable explaination is that I love, and modern or not, I remain conventional and romantic when it comes to relationships.

I remember the days not too long ago when I reported to the world that I would never get married again, that if indeed I did meet a man with potential, I would allow him only to keep a toothbrush and a clean pair of drawers at my place. I was determined never to allow myself to be in a situation that might result in the total desperation that I felt was marriage.

Then I met Steve...

Tender, gentle Steve, and without a second thought, well maybe a second thought, but with very few reservations, I moved to South Dakota to explore the possibilities of a life with him. Before I knew it he had not only a toothbrush at my SLRH, but I was feeding his dog and two cats every single morning after he went to work.

I was still determined to be unconventional...I figured we could go on living together, enjoying life together, and remain true without any legal documentation. But then, one day, about a month ago, I was on the phone with Lynnette and I admitted sheepishly that I did, in fact, want to be married.

This pissed me off. I wasn't supposed to want that. It was almost embarrassing. How could this have happened? Could I possibly have changed my mind about the durability of love? Could I possibly have reconsidered that a man and a woman could have a lifetime relationship that was good and served them both? And who (couldn't possibly be me), was longing to hear the words, "marry me"?

We went to dinner the other night, and when we returned to the SLRH it was filled with Stargazer lilies, and Steve's hands were shaking as he offered up an engagement ring with his heart.

I was speechless, (but only for a moment as those of you who know me might guess), and the only word in my head was "yes."

(Chris, if you're reading this, don't fall off the chair.)

And so we're getting married. hurry, right? maybe next week? next month? after Christmas?

Unconventional me is a little worried about the size and shape of this thing, as everyone wants to get in the act. From my sisters to his, and the kids on both sides of the family. We have agreed on a few long drawn out ceremony. Cherish, yes...obey, no. As for the rest, I guess we'll have to figure it all out.