I was so nervous! I mean nauseous nervous.
It was all I could do to hold back the tears and keep myself together.
We've been waiting for this day for ages, it seems. And it arrived with yet another reality shift that gut punched me like Ali going for the heavy weight title. I think I may be in shock.
At just after 4 p.m., the son of our Realtor knocked on the door and handed me the keys to our new house. I had to sit down. I had to take a deep breath. In just a few short hours I would be seeing the house for the first time.
I have lived in thirteen different houses during my life. This house will be #14. Of all those places, I have only chosen one for myself; the one I left to move here. I was so happy in my crazy house on Butler Avenue. So proud of myself for being able to buy it. And so thrilled that I got to pick it out. It was a moment I will never forget.
My daughters picked this house. Of course, they conferred with me during the process, but I got to actually see it for the first time today.
I unlocked the door and, together, Tracy and I carried Bizz over the threshold. Which begged the question: Why do grooms carry brides over the threshold? None of us knew and I will get back to that a little later.
We entered our new home for the first time together. It's lovely! Relief washed over me along with a sense of being home again. It was the same feeling I had when I first walked into Alegria on Butler Avenue five years ago. The kitchen is kind of small, but it's functional. I can see us having feasts and celebrations there. I can see us laughing and crying and loving and comforting and encouraging each other there. I can see us being a family there. I can see us prospering there.
The house is relatively clean. But the previous owners left us a ton of stuff to deal with. Every cupboard we opened had something in it. There are bags of toys in the rec room. There is food in the fridges and the freezers. Nick-nacks, speakers, stereo equipment, tools, a vacuum, step stools and ladders, roller skates... Even a guitar!... are littering cupboards and closets. There is a ton of garbage, too. We all wondered what they took with them.
Among the useful items are lawn mowers, a fantastic patio set, glasses and some outdoor storage bins. But seriously, all this stuff kind of left us feeling a bit put out. It all has to be sorted and distributed somewhere. Somehow. We really didn't need - much less want! - the extra work.
We won't be moving in for another week yet. I'm both loathing and longing to pack and schlepp and sort and organize. The added work of dealing with the detritus of the previous owners' lives is a bit of dark cloud hanging over us. But we will find a silver lining in it. Yard sale!? Might as well get something for our efforts.
In the meantime I am going to focus on being home at last. Sharing my life with Tracy, Bizz, Nolan and Jo is going to be fantastic. (It already is.)
Now back to the aside about grooms and brides and thresholds...
It seems that back in the day, many marriages started out as kidnappings. The only way a bride was going to cross a threshold was to be carried. The current tradition, however, seems to stem from the Medieval European custom of carrying a bride over the threshold to demonstrate the bride's reluctance to lose her virginity. But other cultures in other areas around the world also practice this gesture, not as a means of force or a show of modesty, but rather as a superstition. It is believed by some that carrying a bride across a threshold will ward of evil spirits and thwart bad luck.
Our version - the double chair-lift carry - was just us being goofy. But if it thwarts bad luck and wards off evil spirits... Well, so much the better for us.