Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This is for Lois

Michael and Mackenzie arrived late Sunday evening with Icabod and Jasmine in their arms. 

Kenzie is now a seasoned driver. She drove every kilometer of the way. 

Today they're off (with Michael behind the wheel) to find a home and jobs. Those two don't waste any time. 

Yesterday Inform came and picked up our furniture and boxes for France. The place is looking quite bare but I like this. I can see what I have to do. And the place becomes less and less ours. 

After tomorrow - a wrap day for Rob - it's his last shooting day today - he will join me for the final clearing, packing, and storing. 

And Saturday, we shall have a farewell party for house. All are welcome. We should play some dance music. There's lots of room to move around. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm movin' on

Sunday morning and I wake up anxious about nothing in particular but I know it has everything to with moving on, with clearing our house of 26 years. 

This is it. We're moving in less than a month and it feels good, right - we no longer need the space, work, or expense of a five-bedroom house. We figure we will have at least half the expenses without a house and one vehicle. 

But I'm doing crazy things. For 2 days I couldn't find my blush and brush. No big deal really but it drove me cray. Where could I have put them? And then yesterday in the shower, I remembered that I had laid my European document holder on the bathroom counter. After wrapping myself in a towel, I checked and there they were. (Showers are funny places, I often remember miniscule detail or find a good line for a story under water.) 

Another stupid thing I did and more dangerous was not paying attention at a four way stop. I pulled ahead as did a young woman opposite me who began shaking her fist.

I must be more careful.

Getting rid of stuff feels like a cleansing. Rob has told me more than once that we don't have to get rid of everything from our past but I find that there is little I'm attached to. I do want my Mont Blanc pen - a 50th birthday present from Rob, and my dancing awards from my teens, my high school necklace, and a UBC ring that my parents gave me when I graduated from university. And I have filled one liquor-store box to the rim with all our photographic memories. I kept ignoring the very personal stuff in my writing cabin, knowing it would be the hardest to sort through and toss. 

Yesterday, I went down to it with the intention of throwing 20 years of journals in the recycling bin. I thought that all they contained where my private moans and groans. But leafing through one, I saw that they are much more. They tell of my travels - where I was when - the moments that made me anxious and those when I was perfectly content. They describe the times I urged myself not to be such a chicken shit and became more daring, and the moments when I crumbled. They tell of love and hate - where some instance or person sparked my fury - where my guts appear on the page. 

I remember another time that I wanted to destroy my journals because I was afraid that someone I loved would read about the times when I hated them. I think it was Susan who told me that I must trust those who are close to me.  

But I should trust them when I'm alive or rather say what I think rather than leave the other person to guess what I'm thinking. There is a passage, in "Middle Passage" by Hollis: "Radical conversation is what a long term commitment is about. With or without a wedding ceremony, true marriage is seldom achieved without radical conversation. Only... the full sharing of what it is to be me while hearing what it is really like to be you, can fulfill the promise of an intimate relationship." 

But I have been afraid sometimes to say what I really think - to Rob and a few others...  even when I know that holding back is bad, not good, does not promote trust, and can erode a relationship

And so what do I do with my journals? I have decided to delay the decision and store them in our Vancouver locker. I will read them slowly when I return and decide their fate then. 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Interesting Process

disassembling the house we've owned for 26 years. Last Saturday we had a garage sale and made around 1700 - a fraction of the value of the goods but still it felt good to lighten the load we'll take to France. 

What are we taking? Sofa, coffee table, bed, and night tables, 3 boxes of books, 2 boxes of photographs (that cover both Rob and my over-60-years), a dozen Irish linen napkins, a tablecloth, and a few kitchen utensils. Oh yes, and Rob's framed awards and a couple of prints. That's it. Well I have to decide about my journals... some are already in France.

Today or Monday, a truck will arrive and take these goods to the shipping company. Once I have the documentation, it will be on its way to France. 

Yesterday Gill and I went to the French consulate to get the necessary documents for French customs. The experience was strange. We stood outside a locked door with a young couple who told us to press the button and state our business. A man came out. We explained what we wanted. He went inside and came out and ask if we had proof that we'd lived in our house in Canada for 7 months. Yes. He went inside and came out. Do we have documents showing we own a house in France. Yes. He went inside and came out again. Do I have a plane ticket. No. I also need a list of items from the shipping company who have yet to pick up the goods. Come back when you have all the documents. He went back inside.

We did not see inside the consulate.

On the way there, there was a dead crow in the middle of the road. Another stood beside it, as if in grief, and when my car approached, it hobbled to the side of the road. When I returned, 3 hours later, the poor bird was still standing guard over the mess of feathers.

Meanwhile, Michael and Mackenzie left Port Hope on Monday sometime late afternoon and are on their way here with all their possessions and 2 cats. No one has heard from them. My parents are anxious. I sent an email asking them to telephone collect.

I am feeling disjointed, like this piece of writing.  

Friday, July 10, 2009

Leaving home

Double click to see pictures full size. 

After Maggie dropped by and let us put the SOLD stickers on our "For Sale" sign, we escaped with my cousin Avril to my friend's Suzanne's property beyond Mount Currie. It's so beautifully quiet and idyllic here. Both Rob and I feel a sense of relief that we can pack our belongings and move on. We're not sure what we're going to do beyond going to France when the money is in the bank and thinking about our options. 

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Need I say more?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Can you believe it?

The young couple who want to buy our house have asked for another 48 hours to get their finances in place.

By some miracle, Rob was home yesterday around 2:30 and so we paced together hoping that the end was in sight and that we could begin to do some serious packing. I ironed and watched several movies on my computer to keep myself calm. Rob entertained himself on his computer. 

We had been told that we wouldn't know until after the couple finished work and had time to visit the bank - most likely five or six pm - if the deal was to complete. These hours passed without word. We ordered Chinese food. We paced some more. It wasn't until after eight, that we received their request for more time. It wasn't until after ten that the paperwork was done. 

Of course we gave them the time - after all, we gave the last couple an extra 48 to find their deposit. 

I want to stamp my feet in frustration.  

Feet stomping reminds me of the flamenco dancers, I saw on Friday night with my cousin and Marlene and Steve at the Playhouse.  There were three women soloists and one man. I preferred the women and I especially liked the last performer, Isabel Bayon - a 40 year old Spanish dancer -  a wisp of a woman, which surprised my cousin and I who both imagined this "living legend" would be fleshier, more voluptuous. Still, she stomped, kicked, threw back her head with the strength, hauteur, defiance, of a larger woman who imposes her presence, who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to ask.  And there were moments - like those where her hand swept over a breast or where she turned her back to the audience and crunched her skirt in a fist at her bottom, raising the hem just a little that spoke of wantonness.

And still I wanted more heat, more passion. Perhaps one needs to be a tavern, a dance hall, a more intimate space, to experience flamenco; and not in a tiered seat looking down. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

How long has this been going on?

Since January 27, 2009 - although it feels longer as we had the house on the market for several months last year. In total, we have dropped our price 401,000.

When I hit an emotional low a few days ago, Rob asked how I could complain when I have a house in France. I wonder what one is allowed to complain about when one is as rich as I am (not monetarily.) Later he admitted that he had sunk to the bottom a few days previous.

Think about it. For five months you have to allow a large number of strangers into your home. They can roam where they please, open the doors to your closets and cupboards, pull out bathroom drawers, and examine whatever because you are not there. 

If you were brought up as I was, everything must be spotless, including under the beds. The beds themselves must be without a crease. The bathroom and kitchen sinks and faucets must sparkle. All dust must be gone from the furniture. The garbage must be taken out daily.  And then there's the garden... 

Yes, I did have a month off. Yes, Rob did have to wake half an hour earlier on work days - sometimes 4 am to make sure all was presentable for viewing. And yes, I do resent that three in my family and a good friend were able to sell their houses or apartments within a couple of weeks of listing. No, that's not right. I don't resent their success. I envy them. 

This is terrible. I keep wondering what is wrong with us. Are we such low-lives no one wants our prized possession? Is it our prized possession? I don't know but it is our most valuable one (monetarily.)

We have another good offer, subject to inspection and deposit. The subject-removal date is Monday, July 6th. 

Does the waiting get easier?