There are days when I feel like my house has been whipped around in a Kansas-style twister and crash-landed in a strange, far-away place. In fact, from time to time I feel like the one whose feet are sticking out from under the house.
Fortunately those times are few and far between, but I’m smack dab in the middle of two colossal undertakings that have me wondering if it’s time to summon the flying monkeys.
First, we’re moving. Rob, our four munchkins and I have lived in our current neighborhood for 22 years. Our house is the center of our world; it has welcomed family and friends, exchange students, neighbors, wedding showers, political functions and the occasional religious proselytizer. It has seen us safely through many a stormy night, literally and figuratively, and it looks spectacular with Christmas lights.
But we’re moving on to another chapter in our lives; we’re down to one child at home, and we’ve always longed for a little more elbow room (no offense, neighbors). So when the opportunity came to build a home we jumped at the chance. (We were checking out the progress the other day and here’s what it looks like now, from the back.)
While that’s all wonderful, and I know we’ll love it in the end, for now we’ve got more than two decades worth of stuff to sort through and make decisions about. To help with that we’ve hired a home “stager” who, as best as I can tell, walks around clicking her tongue saying things like “… no, no, no this won’t do. It’s all gonna have to go.” Apparently my décor isn’t quite up to snuff. What that means is that I’ve got to rent a storage unit and hire movers to haul all my stuff out before my house has its big unveiling on the real estate market.
Before all of that happens I’ve still got to get the entire house re-carpeted, the porch painted and the 10,000 nail holes filled in the walls from all the family photos that the stager disapproves of. (Remember when we were in our first apartments and filled those holes with toothpaste??? Apparently that’s considered tacky these days.)
Meanwhile, I’ve written a book that will be published this summer. If you’ve never written a book before I understand why you might think that, once its written, your job as the author is pretty much done. In fact, my job as the author seems to be growing exponentially. I go back and forth daily with copyeditor-types and artsy-fartsy designer-types that have endless “helpful” suggestions (read: demands and deadlines) with which I must comply to keep everything on schedule. And for some strange reason it finally occurred to me that I need to hire a publicist, something that seems entirely foreign. (People like Paris Hilton have publicists, right? Not normal people like me.) But there are too many tasks and the learning curve is too steep for one middle-aged mom to handle alone, so hire a publicist I will.
Fortunately for me, amidst all the chaos is my faithful husband and partner of nearly 30 years. Rob stays cool as a cucumber, even when the winds of change are blowing at gale force. He is calm and organized, but even more important to my mental health is his eternal optimism that everything will work out exactly as it should. As one who plays out worst-case scenarios in her head for a hobby, his sunny assurance is my guiding light.
Between now and August (-ish) we will have sold our current house, moved ourselves and all of our belongings to our new house, launched my book and embarked on a book tour (I haven’t the slightest idea what that entails, hence the publicist). If I could click my heels together and transport myself from this strange far-away place to the comfort and security of my old life, I’d have to take a pass. Because it seems to me, even though “there’s no place like home,” home is wherever your crazy dreams take you, even if it’s over the rainbow. And just so long as I’ve got my loving family by my side, I’ll bid Kansas a fond farewell.