Furniture

August 7th. Today was a glorious summer day in the 70’s and 80’s. When the end of unbearable heat was tangible. When the approaching fall seemed like more than a rumor. I have two weeks left of my season off, and right now that seems exciting.

I think this is my year of settling in to my school and my role as college professor a little better. I’ve been handed so many different courses to juggle and new syllabi to create in the past two years, and this reality has given me a broader perspective on the different courses in my field. It has been a baptism by fire, and the flames have mostly been put out now. I don’t feel like I am living in a “perpetually burning building,” to quote Tennessee Williams.

Today, was also the day that Eric and I found out our new house (which comes to settlement on August 31st) appraised for lower than it was sold for. This is very good news for us since the sellers are abiding by the appraisal and lowering the price. So, it looks like we’ve crossed most of the challenging thresholds with home purchase. Man, it’s just a biotch of a process, if I can be honest.

Two old pieces of furniture were just purchased and picked up by local families. And there’s something about getting rid of anything old that is truly freeing. Furniture carries so much weight in our emotional lives. A young mother just bought my old nursing rocker, which I couldn’t part with for a long time. And as she and her husband drove away with it, my stomach clenched. I suddenly had a string of images flip through my mind, like all those movie montages we’ve all seen hundreds of times. For a number of endless minutes, I relived Asher’s entire first year. Then, tonight, a couple and their two sons left with the first couch my husband and I purchased together. It was the first thing I can remember ever being “ours.” And now, it’s theirs.

For whatever reason, the release of these items and the heart pains they’ve produced make me love my family and my life even more. I am so blessed to be moving forward. And even though I know we don’t need a new home to do this, for Eric and I, changing addresses has been monumental in providing a scaffolding for our personal growth.

On one level, this move means a house with four walls that don’t connect to anyone else’s. It means a little bit more breathing room and a lot more peace of mind. No next door neighbors hanging out in front of our house regularly. No cars pulling up to their parking spot three feet from our front lawn. No imagining how many children must be running up and down the neighbor’s stairs or how many elephants they must have as pets.

Yet, there are so many things I love about this house. It’s actually a relief to be leaving a home that I really love and not one I am trying to get away from. Especially when our next home is a place I want to be more.

I feel like I am supposed to say something brilliant or poetic to end this entry, but I am just going to say how grateful I am to have this life. Some of you know what incredible financial struggles Eric and I had not long ago, and how starkly different our fortune seemed just a few short years in the past. Others of you know how many challenges moving to a new town brought for us, as a couple with a one-year-old baby. We weren’t even used to being parents and hadn’t recovered from the after effects that new parenthood has on a happy marriage. When, we moved to a foreign state and left family and friends behind. Left 12 years of growing rooted somewhere. It was like learning to walk again.

I want to tell you more, but it’s getting to be that time. You know what I am talking about. That time, when your kid is in bed and your spouse is home to spend a brief period of time with you before you both sleep. Good night.

I wish you many upcoming days of releasing whatever weighs on you.

 

 

 

 

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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

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