Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Down here, as well as upstairs, the walls are now shorn, floors all over the house are festooned with boxes, half of them open, half of them not. Four huge bike boxes have been transformed into files for umpteen pictures--art prints, posters, needlepoints that have sadly lost their places, momentarily, in our lives. The place is a grand mess, and will be until, finally, we're out of here.
People think we should be greatly nostalgic about leaving the beautiful old arts-and-crafts home we've lived in for 27 years. Maybe we are simply keeping our upper lips successfully stiffened. Maybe we're sitting on all the emotion, not letting it get to us, but I don't think so. We've been thinking about moving for so long that the anticipation of finally doing so simply outshines the gloom. I'm sure I'll gulp once or twice, but I certainly haven't yet--and both of us are getting REALLY anxious to get the heck out of Dodge.
There will be no basement in the new/old farm place near Alton, Iowa, where we'll call home; so there'll be no Stuff in the Basement either. Maybe I'll have to retitle. Maybe not, branding being the beloved marketing tool it is, right? Maybe I'll just lie.
There are myriad tales of gangs of farm neighbors doing harvest for fallen friends--some guy has cancer, and a column of combines sweeps by on a Saturday in October and gets his beans in in one fell swoop. Mercies like that happen every year around here, every harvest. It's called neighborliness, and it's part of the exceptional cargo of blessings small town life carries along almost thoughtlessly.
Last night, my daughter came in with some kind of hot dish from her babysitter, an angel of a woman who conjured up a blessing while tending a whole brood of kids yesterday. My son-in-law is in the hospital. That hot dish was a gift from above. Don't know what it was. Doesn't matter. It was a blessing.
We've had tons of offers of help as move, as we leave this place--trucks and trailers and sturdy backs. Good friends dropped by last night and offered to help my wife pack dishes. Honestly, neighborliness feels as healthy as the corn crop these days, and the corn is already more than knee-high, even though we're a couple weeks shy of the Fourth of July.
Don't know how much help I can use, unfortunately. Moving is stubbornly personal work, it seems, although if we were made of money we'd just call in United and leave the mess to them. Every day--even though we're three-quarters finished--holds a thousand persistent rituals: "Do I really need this? Should I try to sell it? Ah, poop on it--just chuck it and be done with it. But I really can't. What if I need it?"
Roundy, roundy. You know.
Still, it's an immense blessing to have friends. It's not that I discount them, but maybe I just don't acknowledge them enough. So this morning, my morning thanks, are for the multitudes who've volunteered their time, their vehicles, and their deltoids to help us move, to help us.
Just to help. Sweet.