We’ve gotten a bit of a reprieve from being evicted, even though the paperwork paints a very dire picture: we received our 72-hour pay-rent-or-quit notice Friday night. That doesn’t mean we have to be out in three days; in fact, it gives us more time because a court date has to be set, and even after that we should still have at least a couple of weeks to move out.
Which means we’ll still be here for the holidays, if not for very long afterwards. I don’t want to be a stinker about all of this, but we still don’t have a place to live and we’re not going onto the streets a minute sooner than we absolutely must. That gives us one more Christmas in this big old house full of memories, even if there’s not a single decoration in sight and we’re going to our son’s for the holiday itself.
So much of our lives has happened here. This is the home where the kids finished growing up, the home that once welcomed our first grandchild, the home where holidays and birthday parties and anniversaries were celebrated. It’s the yard which sheltered our big above-ground swimming pool, the garden where tomatoes, pumpkins, and flowers grew. It’s also the place where Will and I fell in love all over again. I wonder sometimes how either of us will be able to bear leaving here.
But it had to happen sooner or later. We are two older people who don’t need three thousand square feet of house, and although I wish we didn’t have to go under these circumstances, we’ve known for a long time that we needed to downsize. We have been rolling around like two small peas in a very large pod, and it’s the right time to start living a little more simply. No, make that a lot more simply—we don’t feel the need to entertain big groups of people anymore, and we certainly don’t need the amount of furniture and other possessions we’ve collected over the years.
This is what I meant when I said I wanted out of the rat race. The pace of the life I had to live in order to maintain all of this was soul-crushing, and I don’t ever want to return to that. I can’t return to it. That last full-time job was my undoing, and there’s no going back to pick up the pieces that were lost when life as I’d known it for so many years ended. I didn’t know that at the time, but it’s been made very clear to me over the past six months that the “productive” part of my life is over…..and that’s not necessarily all bad.
Maybe one day when this uncomfortable phase is over and we’re back on terra firma, I’ll want to give back to the community that has nurtured us all these years. Maybe I’ll volunteer at church when I feel well, where they understand that I’ll hide myself away when I don’t. And who knows, maybe I’ll find my voice someday and be able to write for a modest living.
In the meantime, there’ll be one last Christmas under this dear old roof, and money is coming in to help us find a new one…..even if it’s only a room in the inn.