Empty Shelves and Empty Closets

shelves 0819
My emptying shelves. Here you can see what a hopeless case I am: The poster is from 1980; yes, that’s a boombox; the plant was a gift from Julia decades ago when we worked on a play together; I got Fudgie the lion when I was 10 (fear not: Buggy and Piglet are already packed); the piece de resistance is the Winnie-the-Pooh lamp that has been bedside as long as I can remember. I remain unrepentant, and it’s all moving with me.

I had a horrible day Thursday, after getting the news about Mr. Baril’s death. I did not expect that, because there was nothing surprising about that news, but boy did it throw me off my game. Maybe because I thought I could just go about business as usual, and it turns out you just can’t when you lose someone you have known for almost the entirety of your life.

Perhaps I should not have gone to work, but for some reason people expect to get paid on pay days, and because I am not really managing anything in my life efficiently these days, there were plenty of back-logged projects needing attention. But at about 4 p.m. all I really wanted to do was go home, and I probably should have exercised that option.

People’s kind thoughts through this blog were much appreciated, and my Skype lunch went a long way toward cheering me up, even if Fred and Wendy were late due to the “bureaucratic nightmare of American healthcare.” I am so there with my salsa sibling; I finally put a call into the PA I would like to take over as my primary care person, and now I have to wait until next Thursday, because she’s out of the office until then. Good thing I just take prescriptions for fun and not because I need them.

And on my way home from work I ran across Linda, who was leaving for the day from her job with the school district (her new boss is my sister, who was in town but never mentioned this to me — it fell to Linda to provide me with a comprehensive update of Tia’s schedule).

It quickly became apparent to Linda that I wasn’t okay, and when I told her I didn’t understand why this was hitting me so hard — he had been in hospice, after all — she said, “It’s because it’s so final.” I was unlikely to see him again once he moved to Lakewood; and I had only visited a couple times this year even when they were here, but now there definitely won’t be any more visits, or even word about how well he is or isn’t doing.

And I wonder if this reaction wasn’t mixed with change in general. The Barils definitely needed to not be in their house any longer, but I still get a little sad every time I drive past. And as shelves in this house empty out, it’s probably impacting me more than I want it to.

Our electrician — we did not get inspected yesterday, and that’s my responsibility — on Wednesday didn’t have to say anything, but he was effusive in how beautiful our new house is, so I’m taking it as a sincere compliment and not just something he says to all his customers. It is going to be a nice house, but it’s also going to be a big change. And I don’t always do change very well. (You should have seen me the day I bought my Geo Tracker. “I’ve never seen such a case of buyer’s remorse,” a friend said to me as we were taking it for an inaugural spin. I wasn’t really regretting the purchase, and that car made me very happy for 24 years, but I didn’t embrace the purchase with the open arms one might have expected.)

We did not get inspected yesterday because on some day this week, when Lynn and I went out to the house around 7 and Shawn was planning to be there with his son/apprentice for another hour, I told him it wasn’t imperative that we get inspected on Friday — we just don’t want to be homeless come Aug. 16.

Yesterday Dusty said something to Lynn about my shower giving Shawn fits. It’s given everyone fits: the plumber wasn’t happy; Dusty’s guys (both of whom have since quit, probably because they had to put this shower together without usable instructions — okay, really both of them moved away, one to be with a girl, the other to get away from a girl) hated putting it together; and now it’s causing Shawn heartache. I had better love this thing.

I had the thought earlier this morning that maybe by now the company has come up with better instructions. They told Dusty back in March that they were planning to have real English instructions “in a few months.” I couldn’t even remember the brand, though, and had to hunt through my inbox to get to the website. Gone are the reviews that said, “This was hard to put together”; in their place are 10 reviews on how much everyone loves their steam shower, even though 60 percent of those give it 4 stars, not 5. But I haven’t gone any farther than that.

Now our inspection is scheduled for Wednesday, I am led to believe, but Dusty gave Lynn the go-ahead to put stuff in bedrooms and half the garage, as long as we leave paths for the inspector. This will be the electrical inspection for the entire house. I don’t know what that means for the floor outlets Lynn has asked for over and over but gained no traction on.

Soon enough, this morning, we will put Lynn’s dresser and the contents of my closet in the truck and start populating spaces to make our new house our new home. Simultaneously, this will have the effect of making this home less ours. And I’m pretty sure that’s making me melancholy, if not outright sad.

But one foot in front of the other, right? Lynn is off work today (the federal government does this weird thing where they essentially “fire” her for five days on the anniversary of her hire in order to keep her from becoming a full-time permanent employee eligible for full benefits), and she has been buzzing around me with boxes and bags while I’m sitting here telling you all this, so I should go do my part.

Empty closets await possessions in the new house. Lynn took this picture, so I can’t tell you what that is on the shelf. Fabulous prize — maybe a boom box — for the best guess.

guest closet 0819


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