Monday, May 26, 2014


Bungalow in Hawthorne!
Oh, life.

She and I are caught in a maelstrom of uncertainty.

My home of nearly 15 years (the longest-serving residence I've known in my life) went on the market last Monday. A week ago today. A steady stream of potential buyers have come through since then. But no offers yet.

Selling a house is a stressful bit of business. Add to that the oppressive anxiety bearing down on us by uncertainty at our jobs. Maty does better than I do. I wish I could find some of that serenity that I've known from time to time. But it never comes when I look for it. It seems to show up unbidden and unexpectedly, of its own volition.

Hawthorne is a hot neighborhood, so interest in the house has been high. We're living in the "museum," as it were. We've spruced the place up, hauled away detritus, donated entire shelves of books to the library and stocked the donation centers of Good Will stores. Now, we wait. And when a realtor calls and asks to show the house, we scramble to put things away and dash out the back door.

Oh, life.
The other day, during one such incident, we drove to Laurelhurst Park and sat by Firwood Lake. The sun shone proudly, and sunbathers laid out in the open lawn next to the water. Ducks prowled the picnic tables, heedless of the park-goers. People don't actively feed them anymore, so they search for crumbs near where they see people sitting.

We sat in the sun and watched them.

Part of the anxiety is that our contingency offer on a brand new condominium hangs in the balance. The new place is less than 2 miles from here, still in the neighborhood. It's smaller than our house, but more than enough for the two of us. And there's room for at least one more person should that become necessary.

The condo is everything we could want. Low maintenance, comfortable, and in inner southeast Portland, where we love living.

This weekend, we let the realtors have the run of the house and went to the beach.  We needed to get away.

Rocky Bay
Saturday, we walked on the beach for a while, and I stood ankle-deep in the water. I traced the curve of the earth on the horizon and listened to the calming crash of the surf. Like Pacifica's endless waves on the beach, peace washed over my angst, and then pulled back. I found myself fighting back tears and I felt foolish about it. I tried to hide them from Maty, but she sees everything.

"I'm sorry, honey," I said.

She smiled. "You're a good husband," she said. "But you're crazy."

Stopping by to see Bob and Gertrude
Yesterday, we took the long way home. The realtors were holding an open house in the afternoon and we didn't want to intrude. So we went through Salem and stopped to see Grandpa and Grandma Metzger where they're resting in south Salem.

We'll get through this.
Oh, life.

All of this worry and angst is the result of loving people. If I didn't have anything to defend, I could laugh at it all. But I do love my people. And therefore I have to defend them. And therefore, I must suffer the knowledge that everything I love is not mine and could go away at any moment.

Maelstrom. Maelstrom.

No comments: