The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

It just keeps getting better...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A New Groove

"What's been new with you?" Someone asked me this a couple days ago and I stumbled for an answer. I wasn't quite sure the context of the question--did he mean in the last month? week? 24 hours? What, indeed, is new with me? Well, as Teri and I have been known to say--everything and nothing.

We have started entertaining in the new house and that seems to be what makes it actually feel like a home. This is not to say that we are solidly in a new groove yet, but we're working on it.  We realized this past weekend that it has been exactly one month since our celebration and ceremony, sheesh, Life has just been flying along! This morning, as I am sitting at the dining room table looking out over the back yard, I have been thinking of the things I love about the new house so far:

  • Attached garage off the kitchen--3 steps down to our washer and dryer (almost-vintage, but ours and so far reliable) and then 12 steps out the back door to the clothes line.
  • A huge bath tub with plenty of room to roll around
  • Friendly neighbors and a good diversity mix
  • A kitchen large enough to waltz in
  • Warm-toned wood floors
  • The 8-minute walk to work (for me)
  • We can see the full moon from our bedroom windows
  • The sound of clucking chickens in the morning from next door
  • How easy it is for friends and family to find us
  • The joy of sitting on the front porch and watching the world walk, ride and wander by
Considering the past couple months, I don't know if I would have chosen to have a middle-age Wedding and then move into a new house all within days of each other. Heck, who am I kidding?  My optimistic temperament probably would have assumed it would be a an entirely-doable little challenge and while it was doable, it was a bigger challenge than we anticipated.  Would I do it all over again just to get to this new groovy phase in life?  Hmmm....maybe....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Community and Cookies

Yesterday marked our one-week anniversary of being in our new home.  We just found out this morning that we inadvertently left a few items behind in the dryer (show of hands for how many people have done this?  I think I've done it at least three times in my adult life!) Strangely enough, it seemed like an odd jolt to have to go all the way back to the old house and neighborhood to retrieve them.  Teri and I are working on feeling settled in this new version of our lives.

This past weekend, we were invited to a little barbecue by our next door neighbors and we got to meet several other folks who live on our street.  Breaking out the shiny new cherry red KitchenAid stand-up mixer we received for a Wedding gift, we used it to make cookies to take to the party.  Gooey chocolate chip cookies in hand, Teri and I traversed the fifteen steps it took to get from our front steps to our neighbors and felt ourselves slipping into an entire new community.  One of the top ten things were looking for in our home search was a feeling of neighborhood and connection with neighbors and this time the universe provided.  We had a little taste of neighborliness at our old house with some fantastic folks and friends who lived on nearby streets and we wanted more!

The aftermath of the move has been a little bumpy as we struggle to find places for all our treasures and get back into a post-Wedding, post-move rhythm.  There is work to do and just general personal care to tend to.  After so much upheaval, both Teri and I are feeling a bit ragged.  We can't help but feel that a life without checklists and trying to find a misplaced sweater would be lovely.  There are new sounds to get used to, new details to absorb (What day is the garbage picked up and what time does the mail get delivered?) and there are all the little daily elements to learn.

We baked a pie last night from apples on one of our backyard apple trees and made note of the fact that this oven runs a little hotter than our last.  We are remembering to lock our side gate at night and learned how speedy it is to ride to the nearby DariMart by bicycle for ice cream.  As we sat with a bunch of our neighbors on Sunday night, we also learned other things--twenty years of history: who lived in the triplets' house before they were born; which houses tend to have trouble with bats roosting in the chimneys; which neighbors take in all the stray cats; and who else commutes by bike or foot.  We are starting to discover a new culture and as students of such things, we find that to be just groovy.  Now if we could just remember which light switch is for the garage and which one is for the dining room!

Friday, September 2, 2011

On the Other Side of the Move

It has been almost three weeks since our ceremony and we are, at last, reasonably settled in our new house...August has been intense.  It seems ages ago that we were baking cakes and barking orders at visiting relatives.  Now we are getting used to new "house noises," meeting our new neighbors and unearthing yet one more box of books that needs to find a home.  The amazing fact that we have survived so much upheaval is not lost on us but, seriously, what were we thinking?
Our new-to-us house is a typical, post WWII West Coast one-story: Two bedrooms, little bathroom with an ample tub, living room that leads to kitchen that leads to dining nook and an attached garage that is too small to park a car in, but just right for bicycles, camping gear and the washer and dryer. When I stand in the kitchen, I get the strange sensation that I am standing in my grandparents' kitchen since the layout is exactly the same--the location of the sink in relation to the stove, refrigerator, cabinets. This house feels completely different than our last one and we like it!

Last night, as we were sitting in the living room after taking a good walk down to the river, over to the rose garden, and back through the neighborhood, Teri mentioned that in this house, she has the overwhelming sensation of being right in the middle of life.  Whereas our old house felt like it was tucked into the edge of things and surrounded by trees and neighbors we couldn't get to know, the openness, airy-ness and nearness to downtown makes it feel as though we are pulsing along with a new rhythm of now. We are living in a community.

Change can be good for the soul and experiencing change with a partner can be both extra-challenging and extra-invigorating.  This move was completely different for me than any other move I've done (and I've done plenty!) Teri did so much of the organizing, packing and coordinating that I truly didn't feel like I had to do it all on my own; I just let go of so much and let her be in charge.  I did the finding, negotiating, phone calls, truck renting and address/service changing but dividing up the tasks and such was seamless.  That isn't to say there weren't cranky moments and disagreements, but all in all it was fun.  Imagine that, a fun middle-age move!

So, with the garage left to tackle and the art-on-the-wall negotiations remaining, we are through the bulk of the move and we have left the "practice house" for good!