Unpacked

There are a few boxes here and there, but mostly I am unpacked. 

All the furniture is placed. The dishes are in the cupbord. The pantry is stocked. 

On both sides of every street in my neighborhood are magnificent, well-kept sidewalks on which I now run every other morning. I like to head East, then North past the extra nice lawns. 

It feels like home. 

I’m where I would have been had the last 2 1/2 years not happened. Locality-wise, at least. 

And I’m better than I was 2 1/2 years ago. I’ve loved well and often. Horizons were expanded but I’m closer to centered than I’ve ever been. 

I’m grateful.

I’m grateful for the good and grateful for the bad. I’m practicing gratitude daily in my head and out loud for no other reason that it seems to be bringing me peace and joy. It’s wild… I’ve been told my entire life to practice good habits so that they become permanent. I always assumed that advice was intended for things like exercise or flossing, two things that I often fail at. But here I am, diligently practicing gratitude like I would practice Spanish or the guitar. 

However, I am not perfect. 

I get resentful of the mistakes of myself and the people I love(d). I stumble into a dwelling and I dwell. Music haunts me. Words haunt me.  It all pisses me off. Then that pisses me off, because I am donewithgriefalreadyholyshitenoughisenough.

I recall a glorious memory (or twenty) and am hit with the cannonball that they are and only ever will be memories. I try to neatly refold and place them gently back into their boxes. One day I know I’ll want to look at them again, the real ones and the ones in my heart. I don’t want to burn them or tear them or have them destroyed because they were good. At the time, I hadn’t the slightest idea they were in limited supply. I decided it makes them more precious to me now. I choose gratitude. When I’m all wrinkly and gray I’ll want to revisit those times and things, and be glad that they happened. I won’t be sad. I know this, because I already have older boxes on the shelf. They are way smaller, but still important. 

Inevitably, they will all be on a shelf with other boxes I’ve yet to fill. Boxes filled with love and joy and pain and loss. A lifetime of packing and unpacking. Moving. Changing. Learning.

It’s all horrifying and exhilarating. 

Good morning, Uptown! #nofilter #nokidding

Whirlwind weekend? Check!

On Friday afternoon I got a call from one of the renters I raved about last Tuesday. They were backing out. If you heard something that sounded like a wrecking ball landing on asphalt, that was my heart dropping. I wanted to lash out at her on the phone because I didn’t have a real back up plan. (Super mature of me, huh?) But even the surest things don’t always work out and before we hung up she had told me they had friend who might be interested in seeing my house. More med students. This time, a roster of guys! 

For those who know my address, please leave the 5 attractive, nice, single* doctors alone. :-) They ended up coming by that night and I held my breath all of Saturday waiting to receive their application. 

Meanwhile, my son had a birthday party (separate post to follow) in which lots of this happened:

Then instead of being a grown up and beginning to pack my house, I went to an Iron & Wine show.  Sunday, instead of reading my “How to be a landlord” book I did my taxes and drank champagne with my friend Lindsay who came by to help me pack. Except instead of packing we had two glasses of champagne and swapped traumatic stories about life. You should go read more about her recent adventures here: Alamokie is Okie Dokie. (That’s not really the name of her blog. I just think it should be. Lindsay, you are welcome.)

In the evening the 5 current and future doctors arrived to drop off their information, sign the lease, tour the house and leave money.  Their references ranged from, “Three of those guys are in my small group at church” to “He really is the kind of guy you want your daughter to marry.” I made sure to tell him that one to his face in front of his roommates.  I am still moving to my new house on or before May 1 and still haven’t packed even a single coffee mug. But still think it was a good and productive weekend.   

 

*I don’t actually know that they are single. It just makes for a better story.

Why Monday was so damn great

If you follow me on social media you noticed some intense vague tweeting yesterday. By the end of the day I was getting phone calls and texts from close friends who were beginning to get concerned for my health and welfare.

I tweeted that because a property management had poured a few gallons of buzz kill right on top of my head. I decided a couple of weeks ago to rent out my house and move to a new place, even though I’ve never done anything like that before in my life. Hi, I’m Sheri. I am leaning into the discomfort. Please pass the carbs.

Let me back up, though. The buzz that was getting killed was a conversation I had just walked out of with my new landlord. We were talking about my plans and she was advising me on my situation. “Sheri, you don’t need a property management company. You can do this all on your own. It’s easy!” After asking her a bunch of questions I got a little confidence in the notion. Then, a few minutes later, we discovered that who I’d love to rent my house to was an applicant she was about to turn down for the house I was renting.

One of the four women called me yesterday afternoon and we set an appointment for them to stop by in the evening. I came home last night (grateful I’d vacuumed, mopped and cleaned over the weekend) and raced around the house wiping down counters, making beds and picking up Legos. They arrived, absolutely flipped out at how awesome my house was, were totally fine with the amount of rent I’m asking and said yes to the house. If I’d had had contracts ready they would have signed them. They even have a 5th roommate to loop into their arrangement. This is huge, epic, perfect, exciting news for them. And this is huge, epic, perfect, exciting news for us. They even know the guys who are renting 2 doors down. All of them are current or former students at the medical school 5 blocks away.

 Let me back up again… Late last week I was surfing Craigslist and plugged in a search term for my favorite neighborhood. There’s *never* anything in this neighborhood. Most of the houses are huge and 300k or more and the smaller rentals are hard to come by because they get snatched up and people camp in them forever. But there was a new listing. I clicked it. I blinked. I rubbed my eyes. I blinked again. I recognized that house.

I didn’t need to look at the address. I knew that house. It was immediately next door to the house of my dear friends, David and K.C. The same people who let me wail my eyes out on their sofa 6 weeks ago. The David who used to teach me guitar. The K.C. whose concert I took my kids to on Friday night. Where I sat and listened to this song, with my son on my lap and my daughter on my shoulder. I listened to this song and dropped tears onto their little heads.

 

May those who love is a stranger find in you generous friends. ~ K.C. Clifford

 

 

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