We’ve been busy these last months; a lot of things have happened. We’ve also been not at all busy and doing our part by sheltering in place. The three of us have looked at one another quite a bit in the past four months. If I was a person who draws, I have no doubt that I could easily draw my husband and the boy, and probably the fat ass cats, too. I am not such a person, but you catch my drift. We’re always together. And we’d probably be utterly sick of one another if we didn’t have an epic backlog of TV shows and YouTube videos with which to occupy ourselves.
But there have been some accomplishments of note. On the less impressive end of the scale are these: The boy and his older brother have become legendary Call of Duty players, and I have compiled the save file to end all save files for my Sims 4 game. Alas, no one will ever know either of our names because of our video game accomplishments, but at least we’ve so far managed to steer clear of The COVID with our time-wasting enterprises.
On the “holy shit!” end of the spectrum are these: My husband quit the job that has been killing him for the past decade and a half, we’ll be first-time grandparents in less than a week (and we live five minutes away), WE BOUGHT A HOUSE (a first for both of us), and moved a few hours northward to a small town just south of Springfield. Our neighbors are the friendliest of friendly social distancers, our house is lovely and seems to be structurally sound, and if it weren’t for the fact that my dear mama is still marooned down south in a town full of drug addicts and sleeping every night with a gun under her pillow, I’d be feeling pretty darn good about my life right now.
Okay, well, that’s not totally true. There’s also been some family drama in the last year. My sister is off the radar. She’s staying we-don’t-know-where with we-don’t-know-who doing we-don’t-know-what. We all fear for her every day. We’re all heartbroken and angry, though I think we mostly try to hide the anger for my niece’s benefit; I figure if anyone has a right to it, it’s her. Her mother was the most important person in her life for the entirety of her life, and as much as I also relied on the steadiness and love of my sister, I know it’s best that I shut up and let the kid have room to feel what she feels. She’s 16 and mostly silent on the subject, but I do what I can without saying anything. I turned her on to a writing program that she can password protect. I let her have free use of my ever-joybringing ukulele whenever she comes to visit, and I even give her the harmony part when we sing together. If I could think of any way to help my sister beyond being there for her child, I absolutely would, but my experience with this particular type of devastation is extensive enough that I know better–whatever happens has to be her decision. We can’t do anything to save her until she’s ready to be saved.
Anyway. Yeah. All that wonderful went fast in an ugly direction, didn’t it? Amazing, since I haven’t even waxed political yet.
We really are ecstatic about the house. It’s been a learning experience from start to finish and we’ve only been here for a month. In case anyone is reading who needs the info, I’ll say this: hire your own inspector or bring someone along who knows stuff when you go to look at the house you’re thinking about buying. Since we’ve been here, it has sort of been one expense after another. For example, we knew that at some point we would need to replace or shore up the moisture barrier in the crawlspace and redo the grading around the house to prevent the house from taking on moisture. What we didn’t know was that the house already had a significant moisture issue. According to the readings on our Nest thermostat, for the first almost month of our residence, the house was at 80% humidity. This is oh-so-not good. At the moment, we’re down to 61%, which feels worlds different but is only made possible by the fact that we replaced the entire HVAC system a week ago. Can I just tell you how much we didn’t need that expense on top of everything else? Also, once we started looking around outside, we realized that in the next year we’ll need to get rid of three full grown and diseased/dying trees. In short, there are huge lists of things that we have to think about as homeowners that never even crossed our minds when we were renting. I mean, we still love the place anyway and we’re thrilled to have gotten it (especially considering the killer interest rate we landed), but jeeeeezus.
I swear, I just want to hang my family pictures on the wall and be able to say definitively that yes, we are finally settled in. But I’m saving that particular milestone until after our much-anticipated and already beloved grandson gets here. Obviously, he’s going to need a place on the wall that looks like it was planned and not like his grandma got in a hurry to decorate and didn’t think things through.
I leave you with a lovely picture of my future grandson’s sister, who already calls me “nanny” because she knows it makes me all soft and I’ll do whatever she wants.