Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Today my world underwent a transformation. It started out like any ordinary day; the sun came up, the coffee brewed, the animals were fed and I made eggs for Mac and myself. But then instead of going off in opposite directions to work, we drove together to a lawyer's office and signed the final settlement papers on our house.
On the drive home afterward, the entire world looked different to me. I felt as if I had undergone a complete change in outlook - this same feeling came over me on the day I brought each of my children home from the hospital after their births, also. Somehow the whole world seemed different and new.
I looked around at all the houses whizzing by the car windows and noticed how appealing they looked. The paint colors seemed clean and bright, the yards looked inviting and the personal touchs, door garnishments and other adornments seemed sweet and whimsical, and it made me feel good inside just to see them.
I mentioned this sensation to Mac and asked if he noticed it as well. He smiled and said no, nothing different about all the homes today - he had always noticed others' homes. I thought about this and realized that I hadn't really liked to pay much attention to these things before, because it made me feel like a poor kid with her faced pressed up to a toy store window. It was painful for me at some level to take in and appreciate what most others around me had, while I had no hope of having it myself.
Over the years, I had seen Mac go into other people's homes and transform them into lovely, comfortable, stylish places with his handi-work. While Mac had made our apartment and backyard at Catbird Heaven into a very nice place to live, it just wasn't the same because it was never ours, and we knew it never would be.
Years ago after Mac left the iron workers he had once constructed metal buildings with, he had worked for a residential home builder here in town, and with that crew he built a sprawling neighborhood from the ground up; a development consisting of cute, contemporary Capes and Ranch homes, frame to finish. I could only watch year after year as he brought the dream of a home to life, for everyone it seemed, except us. It felt sort of like attending a feast, but not being allowed to eat, or sitting on the beach on a hot day in front of a beautiful sea where there is no swimming allowed.
But that has all changed now. Near sunset this evening we pulled up to the house...our house, with keys in hand. As we walked around, planning and measuring, we were both struck by the amount of work that lies ahead. The house needs so much cosmetic help, and a bit of structural help too, but we are up to the challenge. As the last rays of the sun poured through the windows and the western sky ignited, we were overcome by awe...we had finally done it. Mac let out an exclamation. "What?" I asked, though I already knew the answer.
"I can't believe I am actually standing in the kitchen of a house that I own." he said, shaking his head and laughing.
"I know!" was all I could say, smiling from ear to ear.
In the months to come I know our joy will be tempered by the realities of making it a home, and the even bigger reality of meeting all the financial obligations that come with it, but I have faith that we will be able to do it. A lot of hard work lies ahead waiting for us, but it will be so worth it.