Friday, May 11, 2007

Dancing with whales

A mother's job is to be there to be left.
Anna Freud

I usually start saying my age early, as in, "I'm 46," when it's still January and I'm still 45. Actually I am 46 now. But I've been thinking this week that we've been here six months. Actually it's not really six months yet, it won't be officially that until the end of May. I just went back and reread my blog entries -- what an odd thing to do! thank you so much to everyone, especially Kim, Jess, Mike and my mom (well, are there actually any other readers?) for urging me to continue. I am so glad I have this now, and it's an added bonus that some of you actually like to read my ramblings.

Anyway, I went back and reread them and you know, being in Bardo, that transitional, waiting phase, sure is hard. And I am still new here and it's still lots of change and stuff going on. But it ain't nothin' like what we've been through since, oh, September. I can't quite believe we've done it. We're actually here. We actually have a life here. We have a new car. We have a new house! I have a job!!!! and a job I like, and it's actually what I used to do. Wow. Lily likes her current school and will have a new one next fall. Dave has the time he wanted to putz and do projects, and be the amazing househusband and father he is full-time.

I still worry about Lily and friends and destroying her life by moving her out of Brooklyn, but not as much and I do think it's going to be okay. She's going to horseback riding camp for four weeks this summer, and two weeks of making pottery on the wheel, and two weeks of camp-camp at Bement, where she'll also make paper a couple of hours a day. She is so easy to be with these days, much less mouthy and whiny. She's trying so hard, and we are, too. She loves the Jones Library here in town -- the book group in Tuesdays and the theater group on Wednesdays, which culminates next week in a performance -- and the librarians are just the greatest, looking out for, finding her books and so forth. She still needs some friends but I think she is doing a bit better.

And yes, the house. We are still not in contract, or, p and s they say here, purchase and sales agreement. That and the five percent down will lock us all in. But between the Dalai Lama's visit, the attorney for the sellers' husband being sick, and a construction permit issue, we are still not there. And I am just not worried. It's lovely that our sellers are Buddhists and clearly honorable people. The Buddha talks about Right Association, well, these are living examples of that, I am sure. I just trust that they want to sell us this house and that it will happen easily and smoothly. If this were New York City I'd be beside myself -- a title search when they could sell it out from under us in a heartbeat?!? but it isn't and I am not. I trust it will happen just like we wanted, by the end of the month, in perhaps an unconventional way, but it will happen, nonetheless.

So, if I am to stay in the day, here's the day: We are starting to make some friends, as I say, and we ran into a couple of really nice kids from school, kids Lily likes a lot, today at the town carnival that set up on Wednesday night on the green. Tiny little thing, this fair -- Lily was comparing it to Coney Island at dinner, saying Coney Island was better because it was bigger and permanent, but not in a mean way -- but very friendly. Lily desperately wanted to do a game so I found a bean toss that said every child under 12 is a winner. Sure enough, after her two bean bags went awry of the target, they gave her the choice of blow-up animals the size of her. She chose a killer whale. Her friends chose a crocodile and a shark.

After we got ready to go home we went over to the Black Sheep cafe where our mover was playing some jazz. Jimmy Burgoff plays bass there most Friday nights and moves pianos and pizza ovens, as well as home furniture and other stuff, for his day job. The moving arrangement is also pretty loose by New York standards, just like the house. But I am trying to be one with the Valley and just go with the flow; Dave's on top of it. We're moving June 22, by the way. Guests welcomed.

So at the cafe, pastries were eaten, coffee drunk, town gossip was traded, and the crocodile danced with the killer whale. And of course, we ran into Lily's teacher and her fiance. We always run into her when we are out on the town. She's stalking us: We saw them at dinner in Northampton before the Mary Chapin Carpenter concert in March. A few days earlier we had seen her at Lily's orthodonist; she had an appointment, too. I have decided we are just going to have to be friends, no matter what. Lily would like that, and I do have a soft spot in my heart for teachers. We are going to miss her. She's one of the best things that happened this year.

But enough about all that. Here is the big issue on my mind right now: How the hell do we decorate this place? Do we have to paint our walls certain colors? Get certain carpets? Decide an overall style? We aren't very materialistic. We like to be cozy and comfortable. It's always weird to me that people -- women, usually -- know exactly what colors and all their houses should be. They say things like, "My living room is going to be a pale peach and my bedroom will be a faint lavendar. The kitchen is a summer green" blah blah blah. Every color has an adjective in front of it.

These are the same women who go to weddings and can tell you exactly kind of bodice the bride's dress had and how it gathered and pleated and buttoned and veiled and all that. Don't get me wrong. Some of these women are among my best friends, DeeAnn. But I can't even make it up, it's so foreign to me. Googling "home decoration" is not helpful.

Ideas welcomed.

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