Last week I felt as if I could see some light at the end of the tunnel; we would not spend the rest of our lives moving from one house to another, and I before long I would once again be able to honor other commitments and pastimes (such as composing blogs). Although I believe that ultimately nothing but good would come of all this, there have been moments in which I have regretted ever setting this ball into motion.
Relocating is painful on so many levels. Disruption of routine, domestic chaos, and the cosmic joke that now that you are leaving, all that was broken is finally being fixed. And then there is everything that literally comes tumbling out of the closets.
A lifetime of being acquisitive is exposed and I find myself in a state of atonement. Privately, I am glad that most of my collection has been culled from thrift stores, (recycled goods, money to a good cause, and the fact that much of it will go back to where it came from), and that books are my greatest vice. I am seriously considering the virtues of minimalism but remind myself that even Donald Judd had a capacious library.
The dust will settle.
A week ago I took a break from this process for an appointment at the Benson Henry Mind Body Institute with Dr. Ann Webster. In two weeks I will begin the program she leads to help patients cope with their cancer diagnosis. It is my expectation that I will learn some new techniques for derailing stress.
I also had a very special date with a new friend, Jackie, who had served as a member of a panel at the same conference where I’d first encountered Dr. Webster. I had been taken by Jackie’s words and presence, and contacted her through the site on Etsy, belle hattie, where she sells handcrafted bags.
Jackie and I went out for a late lunch (pancakes, actually) and chatted about, well, everything. We have an astounding number of commonalities. Curious stuff such as a shared belief in certain rituals…we were meant to meet each other and I’m only surprised it took so long.
And now (see above photo) I have truly taken a break from it all to come to Bethesda for a few days in honor of my friend Sally’s birthday. Sally picked me up at the airport in Baltimore on Sunday morning and we stopped at a farmer’s market in Dupont Circle. Dinner was margaritas and fish tacos (she is one of those people who just whips up terrific food like it’s no big deal) . Yesterday we went out for a pan asian lunch, shopped at Ikea and had a treat of ‘tropical’ ice cream at a little cafe in Silver Spring where I had my first saffron and soursap cone.
After a delicious meal of grilled chicken, we took a walk on the historic Towpath along the C & O Canal and the Potomac. Fireflies were winking on and off and cicadas buzzed overhead. We spotted two beavers in the canal and heard an owl. Nature in the midst of a densely populated urban area: I love it.
Last night was movie night with popcorn and The Swiss Family Robinson as Sally’s daughter Ella struggled to stay awake (so did the grown ups) . We succumbed shortly before midnight. They left the house early this morning for a doctor’s appointment, but I slept in and am now finishing this blog far from the pressure of unopened boxes and my own calendar. Luxury!
Sally and Ella will arrive home shortly, and we will wish my friend her official Happy Birthday. And then a few short hours later, I will be back on a plane to New Hampshire. What a lovely break it has been.
Linnea – traveling, unpacking and trying to settle in one place…. I’m struggling with exactly the same thing myself! It’s been a week since I arrived home in St. Vincent, but I haven’t been able to accomplish much in heat and through the attacks of mosquitoes. The place has changed while I was away and I’m trying to reorganize things to make the whole place more comfortable (well… for me). So, friend, I really feel you!
Too much – when we were visiting DC last month, we visited the Farmer’s Market at Dupont Circle and we strolled (just a few blocks) along the C&O. I thought at the time, if only there was time enough, and strength enough, I’d walk the whole thing.
I’ve also finished those house projects just prior to selling. And you look around the empty house and wonder why you are moving now that it looks so nice. Here’s to settling in at the new place – is the pool open yet?
Looking forward to hearing about your new program.
Linnea, I’m so glad you were able to get away for a little respite, and a change in perspective, maybe.
Each night after I’ve gotten into bed, I speak out loud my gratitude for whatever gifts have come to me that day. That Tuesday evening, I was grateful for the perfect pancakes, our conversation, the walk along Charles Street (after so many years), our visit to Good, the sax man playing somewhere over the rainbow, and the good fortune of finding a remarkable friend!
I hope that the dust of relocation will settle sooner rather than later for you. I know that’s a whole lot on your plate in so many ways.
Thanks for mentioning my shop. Sewing for me is an important connection to my mother and grandmother, and food for my spirit.
I look forward to seeing you again. Safe travels back home to your family.
Another convergence. A dear friend had recommended that I consult with Dr. Webster (who is a friend of his) but in the midst of too many trips to Boston, and with the help of a wonderful local psycologist I have, so far, been able to cope with my cancer (most of the time, and mostly through denial, which she suggests is appropriate for now). When I spoke with Dr. Webster on the phone she sounded lovely, and I do think that I will, at some point want to consult with her. I hope you find her helpful.