Christmas at the Small House.

31 12 2007

I have been rebuked for not posting, so I will try to catch up.  I’m afraid this will be a long one…

We spent the week before and after Christmas at the Small House.  Packed the van so full we had to take out the center seat.  Looked rather like the Grinch’s sleigh with cake, ham, presents, suitcases, fans, sleeping bags and odd bits and ends of furniture (plus two large rugs) tucked in about the children.
The house was a pleasant suprise- larger than I remembered, freshly painted, and the dreadful ceiling fixed.  Neal left the kitchen for me to arrange, which I did happily for the first two days.  Scrubbed everything thoroughly- nasty black stuff much in evidence.  Neal bleached the moldy refrigerator before I arrived.  He said cleaning it out was a gruesome job and he didn’t want me messing with it.  As Neal is not over-sensitive to dirt, it must have been horrendous.
I could not believe how much cleaning and arranging there was to do considering there were only about four pieces of actual furniture in the house.  Stayed very busy for the entire trip- ripped out the rotten wood under the bath sink, cleaned everything that wasn’t moving.  Bren cleaned the shelf above the hall closet that is the top half of her two-story “bedroom.”  She is quite pleased with it.  She thinks it is as wonderful as an aerie, as mystical as a turret bedroom.  Which is kind of pitiful when I think that she’s been stuffed onto a shelf that is 4 by 6 by 2 1/2 at most.
Donal’s portion isn’t much larger, being half of a utility room.  He will be bunking tightly beside the washer and dryer with just enough room at the foot of his bed to put his dresser.  We splurged on $5o worth of sheet linoleum to cover the holey plywood floor, wiped the spiderwebs off, covered a couple of holes in the wall with plastic and duct tape, and moved him in.
The children are being splendid about the whole thing- Bren loves her “Spider Monkey’s Nest,” and Donal enthusiastically decked his wall with big tin beer signs left by the former owner.  His comment: “I love anything colorful!”
The yard is decent- close to half an acre with trees to hang swings from, sand to dig in, a couple ready-made “forts” in thickets, and a really scary big hole we temporarily covered with window screens held down by chunks of concrete.
Christmas was lovely.  Neal went out late at night and cut down a small pine tree from a vacant lot.  He propped it in a corner and I contrived to decorate it.  Surrounded by presents it looked fairly nice.  The kids were pleased to get some candy in their stockings.  I recieved a music downloader about as big as a cigarette lighter that I am still trying to learn to use.  Also some really nice perfume, so my husband is high in favor.
The last night we were there, as I sat on the end of Neal’s bed brushing out my wet hair, my mind kept racing.  Do we keep visiting for a month and move in on the 1st of February like we planned?  How much will it cost to move enough of our furniture at $60 a trip to gas up Neal’s truck?  And how can I make the house look nice enough to sell when I need to bring so much of the furniture?  Should we buy cheap Salvation Army furniture to get us by and leave the house set up?  How could we- we have no money!  Around and around like a rat on a wheel….
Finally Neal came in and lay down beside me.  We prayed together- a very comforting thing, leaning against his chest and holding hands while praying.  Every time we do it, I can almost feel my trust in him growing larger and larger.  Being married… well, it’s the most wonderful thing in my life.  I love my children with a passion that verges almost on insanity, but most of that love is outward-flowing.  I have to take care of them.  I have to be constantly alert, constantly solving problems.  With my husband, I can rest.  Laying on his shoulder is my safe place.  It’s about the only place I feel safe on earth.
We finally decided that the most sensible thing was to go ahead and let his company pay for our move.  They’re going to pack & move us for free.  So we’ve made a plan for where to put what, shipped a lot of old worn-out stuff to the dump, given some stuff away, and we should be packing to leave by Monday the 7th at the latest.  The movers estimate it will take three days.  I don’t have a definite move date yet, but I’ll post one when I have it.

It has been hard, much harder than I thought, to let go.  I ran into Beverly S. at A.C. Moore.  It is hard to comprehend a world where I will not run into her again.  We’ve never been close friends, but I have loved her since the days when she was the only person in the church my shy toddler daughter would hug.  I still have to say goodbye to Edith, to Betsy, to Beverly R.
We went to our last covenant group meeting at Tex & Ruthie’s tonight.  It hurts.  I have nothing more to say about that, I guess.  It just gol-darned hurts.
I have this persistant impression that no one really likes me- not particularly popular, not on anyone’s party list, etc.  So why, can you tell me WHY, do I let my heart get so sewn up with people?  Maybe I’m just not good at letting people see how much I care about them.  I still have to deliver jars of jelly to P. Abbye and Carolyn, and those will be really hard “last hugs” too.
Feeling very sorry for myself.  Told Neal “It’s hard to move,” and he responded, “Well, I’ve already moved.”  Thought that was rather callous under the circumstances, but it did kind of clear up my priorities.  No matter how many people I love here, my place is with my husband and my husband is already living here.  Time to bite the bullet, old girl.

We visited a new church- Assemblies of God.  They were all nice people.  I liked the sermon, the kids found immediate friends.  It was a nice building, a nice nursery, nice music…. nice nice nice!  But it wasn’t home.  I didn’t know anybody.  I felt like I had more than the normal assortment of knees and elbows and was desperately plagued by my old ailment of wanting to get to know people but not being able to think of anything to say.

Well, in other news…. Webkins are here!  (Whether we want them or not… just kidding.)  Brenna recieved a kitty from Hannah, and the jealously factor was so bad that when I noticed a display of the creatures in my grocery store I immediately bought a koala for Donal and a tree-frog for Mike.  You may notice a decrease in the amount of my postings as I now have to beat my way through a crowd and issue threats to get at my computer.  For the uninitiated (and I can hardly believe there are any) Webkins are stuffed animals that come with a computer access code.  The code allows the child to log on to a site where they can play with their animal, bathe it, feed it, take it gem minining, play arcade games, and build it a house a good deal bigger than the one we’re renting!  Must admit- stifling a desire to possess a Webkins of my own.  I can hardly get my kids to share!

I can download all the Statler Brothers songs I want onto my music doo-hickey.  Spent some time trying to look up old eighties songs.  Anybody out there remember “Electric Blue?”  Hah!   Found They Might Be Giants and had a memory rush of college days and driving all night to a concert that got canceled and nursing a bourbon drunk all the way home.  Now what was that guy’s name?  Hmmm… Oh, and “Raisin in the Sun,” who sang that?  It’s like some kind of  quiz show.  Name that tune…  I also, and this was a REAL nostalgia rush, found Johnny Horton singing The Battle of New Orleans.  I can remember choreographing a dance to that song when I was about eight and Matt was six.  It was our very favorite- that and Snoopy vs. The Red Baron.

Holy smokes, I’m getting old!




3 responses

31 12 2007
Grandma Wilhite

Angela, my brother Gene’s remark about moving is the most accurate I’ve come up with! He said, “Sis, there are lots of ways to move — and ALL of them are wrong!” This after hurting his back while trying to move a “two-people” furniture by all himself.

Moving was scary for me. I didn’t know anybody. I was too shy to charge into a group, and I was leery of joining a circle or a club, for fear they didn’t want me!

I was a bird of another sort. In school, I was a stranger, who had to “earn my way” into friendships. At church I was automatically at the center of things, being a PK. That was fine for Sunday’s, but none of them remembered me on Monday!

The best times were when we moved to Birmingham, where everyone was used to having new friends. And going away to college, where everyone else was new, too!

You are a good friend and lovely person. Give them time: love begets love!


1 01 2008

Wow, Grandma Wilhite is really cool and I miss you already. I am glad that you are letting the company move you. Sounds much easier for you. I don’t know how you accomplish all you do. You are a pretty cool lady yourself. Someone in Goldsboro is going to discover that and you will have friends again. And I will be checking in on you regularly via our blogs.
Happy New Year!

1 01 2008

You guys are like a family of pioneers. It does have a plus side. You are able to find pleasure in the simple things in life. Things like the love of God and the love of family. All else will pass away and be forgotten. The people who have impressed you remain.

Webkins? Never heard of them.

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