Friday, July 18, 2008

Jiggitty Jig

Today is our last full day in this house. I'm not even saying 'our' house anymore. While I'm teaching summer school today, Joe and a couple others will be packing up the last of what we want to bring. Then tomorrow the truck arrives at 4:30 to be loaded. We leave when it leaves and head down to Toronto where we will await it's arrival just a little after 10 the following morning. By noon Sunday, we should be completely moved. Not unpacked. Not settled. Just moved.

We moved into this house a different couple. We had two dogs. I walked on two legs. We loved the quiet of the area and the sense of 'distance' from anywhere else in the world. But one small catastrophic illness later and everything kind of changed. We had purchased a house that was accessible, ramps and all ... on purpose. We wanted friends in wheelchairs to feel comfortable. Oddly, no one ever visited us who used a wheelchair. The ramp has been used only by me. A gift for others was a gift for me, that happens a lot doesn't it.

Then, of course, Fred and Eric died. They left such a hole in our lives. The house was still here, they were not. The house did not comfort us. Our memories did, the stories we told did. Home is created in a house, home is not the house. We realized that was we talked about our future here in this place.

But this all sound maudlin. There were so many other times here. Laughing. Company. Food. Loosing a drunken guest into the dark night and calling the police to search the neighbourhood. Serious get togethers to talk about plans and organize work projects. Counseling several individuals with disabilities who came to see our house, this office as a place of peace and comfort. And of course, Ruby started walking inn our kitchen. The place is chock a block with the times of our lives, such as we lived them here in Baxter.

I look around at our home and I see it for what it is. A lovely place. A good place for a family with children. But that's all it is. I don't feel a sense of loss, or even much a sense of regret. I have always liked where I lived but I've never found home in a place. I feel at home in the car with Joe driving while he's explaining, badly, something he heard on the radio. I feel at home when I'm deeply engrossed in something at my office. I feel at home when I sit quietly in my wheelchair under a shade tree and reading.

I am not leaving my home. I can't do that. "Home" is in my pocket, it travels with me. People often ask me how I can leave home for so long and do a 4 week lecture tour of the UK, or a 3 week jaunt through the States. I make noises about the stress of travel. All true. But, I've been at home shopping at Tesco's. I've been at home in a Residence Inn in Kansas City. I've been home sipping tea on an airplane. If I have my love and my passions with me, if I can call out and have Joe hear me, then I am home.

I'm taking boxes with me. Full of stuff. But home won't be found there. I'll have my things, but what I'll really have is a brand new slate, ready to record brand new entries. Because, after all, life is simply a series of blogs. Wouldn't ya say?

Here's to Yonge and Bloor!

Home again, Home again, Jiggity Jig.


FAB said...

Okay, I'm all teary eyed.

I wrote not too long ago that home is more than bricks and mortar, you just expressed that so much better than I.

Thanks for sharing as openly as you do, there are moments when reading your words truly warm my heart...

theknapper said...

Enjoy every moment of this new chapter. So happy that you're ready to create your new home!
Home is where the heart is.

Nicole said...

Welcome to your new home! ;)

wendy said...

I'm nodding my agreement...which you can't see, of course, so I thought I'd write too! ;-)

I, too, find "home" where my partner is, where my pets are. Family. It's wonderful to know that it's portable, isn't it?

Enjoy Yonge and Bloor!

rickismom said...

Home is the place where you feel at ease, cherished, and able to do things as you wish (again, if you are not hurting others). Family, and especially one's spouse, is usually the biggest factor at play.
I feel at home on the trail in the rockies, sipping coffee in solitude in my favorite armchair at "home", and sitting with my offspring around the table.

Stephanie said...

Beautifully said! Made me think, as you seem to do on a daily basis! I am so grateful for you and your blog! I'm now a chewing the fat addict! :) Congrats on your move and the new chapter!!

qw88nb88 said...

I hope you have many years making great home memories in your new place!


Kei said...

I love the title... it has come out of my mouth more times than I can count!

As I read your post, the song "You're My Home" by Billy Joel played in my head~ one of my favs that I've sung many a time when traveling around with my hubby.

Here's to the new chapter of your life.

gracie1956 said...

"Home is in my pocket," have given me my new favorite thing to say at my 12 step meetings. I promise I will pass it on and even give you credit the first three times...after that it is mine! You have become part of my "home"...a little odd since I've never met you face to face. I've also never met Jesus or Bill W. or the guy that invented air conditioning face to face but they are sure a big part of my life...LOL...Your entry today filled my heart. THANK YOU!

Woman at Mile 0 said...

So true. Thanks for writing it down.