Posted on | February 22, 2010 | 1 Comment
An important anniversary has come and gone and I remained curiously silent about it. February 12 was four years to the day since we moved to this house.
It was even more hectic than your average house move, I remember, because two days later Sweetpea and me were getting on a plane to Blighty for a friend’s 40th birthday celebration. And Sweetpea was sick. And I had work deadlines right up the night before we left.
So, fond memories of that last few days tearing back and forth between old place and new or, rather, new place and old. A gang of friends helped us move our furniture, and one of them took me aside and asked ‘Why did you buy this?’ Because ‘this’ was oh-so-different from the new-build subdivision home we’d just vacated.
And not-so-fond memories of having to clean out the refrigerator mess that the former tenants left, and the musty smell of the place, like some of the closets hadn’t been touched since the house went up in 1951.
It was supposed to be a turnaround property that would make us some money and fund us moving to the UK and semi-retiring. Then came the property slump and a growing love for Tucson and this street and our neighbors, and these bricks and mortar and yard that have become our fifth family member.
Hubby and I have been together a long time. We’ve lived under the same roof for 17 years. Sobering, considering I only lived with my parents for 18 years. And already I’ve lived in Tucson longer than anywhere else in my life.
Marriage never gets easier. A dear friend of mine said to me recently that it was the hardest thing in the world, but also the thing she was most determined to make work. I feel the same.
After so long together, we might drive each other crazy but we’ve also become so enmeshed, in the domestic sense, that it’s pretty laughable. You create your own house rules, your own template of what works and what doesn’t for you. And it’s one that only makes sense to you and your family. It’s only when other people enter the fray – like they did this week when my parents arrived to stay – that you realize how silly or mad or just plain irritating these rules are to the “outside” world.
Like having to give the back door that extra turn of the knob when you close it, or else it’ll swing open again and cold or heat will stream in.
Like making sure the bucket’s in the sink to catch the drips from the kitchen faucet. (We tell ourselves it’s a water-saving device – fruit and vegetables are washed over the bucket too, to collect what might otherwise go right down the drain - but who are we kidding? If the leak was fixed, I bet the bucket wouldn’t even be there).
Like switching on Munchkin’s standard lamp at the outlet only, because this little engineer-in-the-making pulled apart the floor switch to find out how the thing worked (and now it doesn’t).
Like having a piece of rug on the floor by the cat flap, plus wipes and carpet cleaner on hand, so that when one of the cats scoots, clean-up’s easier. (I know, you didn’t want to hear about that one – but hey, I’ve never been one to hold back.)
These are our quirks and our foibles. This is our own little mad world. I tell guests they enter at their peril.