Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

When I was a little kid, my mother would say a little rhyme as we returned to whichever house we were renting at the time (in the Navy, most houses are rented ones, as your family will be reassigned in a year or two). As we turned into the street, she would recite, "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again, jiggety jig!"

We are home again, home again from a quick trip to the East coast to help clear out My Beloved's mother's attic and make the painful decisions about which sibling gets which precious item. It's an emotional process in which one tries to balance the needs of beloved others against one's own need to retain some precious objects and associated memories. Monetary values are less important at times like this, and yet in all fairness things need to be balanced that way, too. It's a delicate process.

The house looks beautiful; it has been prepared for sale and the stagers did a fine job. It looks like something right out of Architectural Digest or Coastal Living and everyone ooohs and aaahs over it. But it isn't the same house that has served as home base for the family for all those years.

Sally and her husband, Bob, bought it for a song when he retired in the early 1970s, long before their town became fashionable and the likes of Willard Scott and Jacques Pepin moved there. It was always comfortably "lived-in" and no one worried too much about spills or stacks of newspapers and sailing magazines. It was nice to be able to retrieve that article or back issue easily because it was still on the seat of the extra dining room chair. The back door was never locked and no one ever used the front door. Nothing matched, some upholstery was shabby and yet it all made a harmonious and restful whole, casual and comfortable with a view of Long Island Sound that encouraged one to simply stand and soak it in.

In some ways, it's easier to leave this beautiful designer house than it would have been to say goodbye to our home base. We won't have the house but we will retain all the memories and stories. We'll each visit each others' homes and we'll build new memories in different places, but we will all look back wistfully to the years when we all called gatherings in that address, "coming home."

My Beloved and I flew in to Oakland over the still-green hills, drove to Petaluma to retrieve Cora and came home to pizza delivered to our door. We are glad to be home again, home again, jiggety jig.

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Blogger Louis la Vache said...

The Peanut Gallery is happy that you are safely home!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010  
Blogger Greg said...

Welcome home!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Aw, you thought about bidding on the house? Tempting. Alas.
Welcome home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I am glad that you are home safely and I am sure that Cora is beside herself with joy! Your post made me get a bit teary eyed - so much love there.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

Welcome Back,
See you at the Asparagus festival.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

It is so very very sad to say goodbye to a family home so full of memories. Good luck with the division of things, I hope with all my heart it goes well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Louis, hey, thanks.

Greg, thanks, also.

Cookiecrumb, none of us could afford it - location, location, location - and we don't want to live back east.

Nancy, Cora was _so_ excited to see us and to get back home! She checked out all the places she has hidden bones, sniffed and peed and generally got back to business.

Chilebrown, the year we went to the Asparagus Festival, the Budweiser Clydesdales were there. They are an amazing and impressive sight.

Morgan, I think it will be okay - everyone was being careful of each others' feelings. There may be a few pangs but no eruptions. :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010  

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