We made it home. The drive we expected to take ten hours stretched to twelve. Most of the delay was because I-80 was turned into a parking lot outside of Elko while road crews doused and removed a burning semi from blocking both eastbound lanes. It was strange to stand outside of my car talking to others who were also outside their cars on a road where we all usually zip by at 80 mph.
The trip was long and I was already over stressed and anxious when it began. A fact Kiki noticed when she took a turn driving and I alerted to check the road every time she made a course correction that was a little sharper than expected. Her driving is fine, my brain was in hyper alert mode. It had been all weekend. (Events in the news did not reduce this anxiety. At all. Grief upon grief.)
We got home near midnight, and I shuffled my tired self through the garage into the kitchen. A waft of cool clean air enveloped me. “Oh it smells like home!” I said. Which is a nice parallel because the smell of my Grandma’s house was one of the first things I noticed when arriving there. Except now that Quincy smell is all tangled up with hard work, hyper alertness, and anxiety.
There was this moment, after all the coming-home chatter had died down. After all the hugs had been exchanged. I was looking at one of my blank, white walls. This house I live in is not quirky. It is not interesting. It is a cookie cutter home built in tandem with twenty or thirty other homes in my neighborhood. I have the exact same floor plan as many of my neighbors. In comparison to my grandparent’s house, my house is boring. In that moment, surrounded by the cool smell of home, I realized I like my house better. It is mine. The roof doesn’t leak. I have almost twenty years of accumulated living in my house. I’m about to embark on a process of remodeling sections of it so that I’ll like it even more.
After spending all weekend with a base level grief that I have to participate in giving up my grandparent’s house, it was a relief to realize that the home I’m keeping is the one I’d rather have anyway.
Today I’m unpacking and trying to remember what business tasks I should be doing. I unpacked some of the things I brought home.
After I removed the layer of grime and dust everything was much shinier.
This picture does not cat the way that the light shines through the colored glass. It is beautiful and makes me happy.
And there is a little space in my office given over to Grandma and Grandpa. Them together older and younger, vases from her, and a wood plane that I remember Grandpa teaching me how to use.