Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Homage to the Armstrong Bathroom Makeover Disaster

I did not want to move. Don’t get me wrong I love being in Winston Salem and it is for sure the best thing we have done in our lives so far. But folks I did not want to pick up all of the stuff we own and put it into a truck/our cars/my hands and move the shit into another house where I would then have to dig through it and find places to put it away again. I did not want to do that.

So my husband and I had that conversation. I work 3 jobs. I am taking classes. I cannot help you do this. It is your priority and I have finally given in and acknowledged that we need to be in Winston Salem, but I cannot help you do this. He engaged the help of his father and I said fine. You move it. Remember that I cannot help you.

I knew that the agreement had gone South when I got the call at 8pm on day one of moving van rental. “We picked up the van. Then we bought a chair and went to the house to load the things that are going to my Dads. Now we are going to Dads to unload. None of us have eaten and we’re just going to have to load up the truck in the morning.” Oh Sweet Lord this was bad. It devolved from there to become a 2 week process of exactly what I expected. Picking stuff up, carrying it to the car, driving to Winston, carrying the shit into the house, putting it down, and then milling around in giant stacks of boxes until you find something you need. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

The I Can’t Help You conversation is long forgotten. Saturday we dug out a 4 foot by 6 foot Prickley Pear cactus. This was a remarkably easy task that only cost me one pair of leather gloves. I still don’t know how to get it to the compost facility or if they will even take it once I get it there, but it is out of my yard. I am seriously considering those things that shrink wrap bags of clothes and blankets so you can store them in small spaces. Someone at work had a box of books to give away left over from a yard sale. I checked every title in paperbackswap.com and these aren’t even my books!

We do have a Harry Potter room under the stairs… Now if I could only figure out how Harry makes it into a real sized room that holds all of his shit.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It Is What Makes Me... me.

I’ve been talking to an old friend about the things that make us who we are. It’s where we are from but much more than that. It is where we are and how we got there and the people who sang us their songs along the way.

I am back in a City. It’s a community within a city. It’s the people you know and which streets you use to get where you’re going. It makes a big difference. Do you take the back roads or do you always get on the expressway? Because there are cities within cities and your boundaries define your limits.

People have said to me a million times: I didn’t realize you grew up in town. You don’t sound like you grew up in town.

That’s because I didn’t. I lived in town, but that is only a part of where I grew up. I grew up in farm fields, and county parks. I grew up with my feet in the streams and rivers and the storm drains. I grew up in our family van driving the back roads of America looking for pieces of history and culture that most people never see. I grew up with my friends sitting on the edge of the levee and lying in the leaves.

Sometimes my new City reminds me of home. On Saturday mornings it smells like lawn mower exhaust but this morning it smells like rain soaked lilacs. With a window open I can hear dogs barking and kids playing somewhere down the sidewalk. Other times it reminds me that here, old men speak using accents that my brain lags a good 3-4 seconds behind in comprehension.

Stories swirl around you in Cities. Waiting to be sung.