Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I was thinking today on where I'd live if I didn't live here. The first moment I walked into my home I knew I wanted to live here. I loved the light in the rooms, I really loved the porch light outside the front door that lights up my room at night and I fell for the yard, a yard big enough to plant anything I wanted to plant. I like that I have rooms to be me, rooms to play the violin, rooms to paint, rooms to make my jewelry, rooms to sew, rooms when people visit and my room, my sanctuary.

But what if I didn't live here, well first I think DC. I'd love to live closer to the Best Friend to be where she is watching her turn her dream into something tangible. I miss her. I forget how much I miss her and then whamo it hits me like a ton of bricks and all I want her to do is sit on my sofa with me and laugh as the world marches by. It makes me sad when she's here and says, "Oh I didn't know you painted this or where did you get that?" My heart aches. We have never lived in the same house but if I were to live with someone I think I'd live with her. I chance my voice mail on my cell phone when I was blue at Christmas I had some Joni Mitchell is skating away with my heart thing and then changed it when we were in the car, finding something good and we were rattling on about life and boys and fun. I think I'll keep it for awhile it makes me feel like s he's close.

I always tell myself the reason I don't just pick up and move is because I have a business to pack and why would I move away from my family and then there's my kid, he loves living here. He's at that age now though when he will be moving on and even though I miss him at times I do like living alone and I rejoice in the fact that he has a life of his own and that I have mine. I like playing the violin at 3am if that's what I want to do, listening to Elton John songs or worse, Kid Rock very loud and dancing all over the house singing "Cowboy baby."

I thought today maybe one of those sunny islands in the ocean sounded delightful, sunny all the time and lots of sand, someplace that never got cold that never snowed. This time of the year that sounds a good prospect and then an earthquake hits Haiti and you see that the structure for disaster may not be the best in some third world tropical paradise, not that I would pick Haiti as an ideal place to live in the first place. I thought of living in Hawaii once and watching pure white trash TV, Dawg the Bounty Hunter fixed that for me too.

Then it hit me, home is where you feel loved. Even when you think of some new local, some huge change of pace, I know that I feel loved here. My family comes here for respite, my animals live here, the kittens peeking at me through the banister when I am up and down the stairs. I feel at home most anywhere my friends and family gather. I am not someone who clings to belongings, one thing as good as another. If the house were on fire and I had to get out, I know the cats would chase me and I know where to find a few photos I cherish and the little book suzy made me for my birthday when I turned 40, telling me the 40 things she loves about me. I know where the blue pen is and my special ring is always around my neck. I keep that close. I also have a little pouch with a few of Richie's baby teeth and a key to a hotel room in New York. I found my heart there once, in New York, the birth place of all that is good with the world.

Someone broke into my house last summer, some kids out doing what kids usually do and I handled the situation, scaring them more than I am sure they scared me. Seems the little band of thieves worked for the computer store where I found my new computer and they had been robbing homes. I was safe, the house was safe and it hasn't really changed my life much. I don't feel like a vigilante, shit happens, shit happens every day. I don't hate God because of cancer, I don't hate some lost soul who thought my house an easy target and well the bad things happen and happen and happen, it's just how the chips fall.

Joyous things have happened here, the kittens were born here, I've had a few more than a few stellar parties when Suzy has visited, cooking for people I love and the laughter heard long after everyone's gone home. And then there's my desk. I looked long and hard to find a desk I loved. I wanted to paint there you see, to use that desk as a station for painting and not have it interfere with my work. I wanted to keep paints in the drawers and little sketches here and there and my giant easel a place to perch things I'm working on and leave them here and take a break from work and find it again without pulling everything apart and putting it all away and the time to take it all out again. I looked and looked and couldn't find the desk I liked.

Then a customer writes me months later and she wants me to make her a bracelet. I'd love that, with photos of her husband, you see she loves him. However, they are in a money crunch and she can't afford it, so could I keep her in mind. I encourage her to send the photos, print them put them in little frames and make her a piece. I love this part of my job, looking at the faces people love and love and love. I write her back and ask for an address read to mail it off, money not the issue here, just that I finished this and wanted her to have it. She lives one town over from me. Surprise surprise. I wanted to hand her this piece to see her face, to know that her issue was more about the reaching out part and letting someone take care of you, I am bad at this, really really bad. I get to her house and find out her husband was a cop that was shot. He's doing rehab, still very ill and they are having to downsize their home. I am more and more glad to be there, happier than I have been in awhile, sure summer is clipping along, the longest summer of my life, my throat raging and I felt like I was supposed to be here, right here and right now. I hand her the bracelet and she's thrilled. We talk about painting and art and life and love and she makes me tea in this beautiful little china tea cup. I love china tea cups.

On the way out she asks me if I know someone who can move something for her. She doesn't care what happens to it but she can't keep it, a rather large desk that they never really used. This desk is 8 foot tall, ten feet long, five feet wide, black and beautiful and full of drawers and cabinets for things and a glass top and I am in love. I am in love. If I had found this desk months ago I would have paid any amount of money to own it and I am willing right now to write a check to this dear woman for whatever number she throws at me. "I can find someone to move your desk, how much do you want for it?" I ask her. She wouldn't take a dime but I did make her a few pieces of jewelry that I mailed later and a knitted her a scarf the colors of Green Bay, she loves the packers. She has great taste in desks, that's all I am going to say about that. She wrote recently that her husband is doing better and they are happy where they live now, no stairs to climb. I may visit for lunch one day or see her in the bakery when I am looking for lemon bars.

The desk sits in my home now. It's part of me. I paint there, I think there, I paint and listen for something to bubble on the stove and know the light is perfect for painting. I am working on a few pieces now and was blessed with tons of new paints and brushes for Christmas. I do love my life. At any moment I wouldn't trade my life with another living soul, I just wouldn't. I am happy with the decisions I've made. I love the trees outside my window, towering over my house. I love the music playing downstairs, I love the pitter patter of cat play that sounds like road construction when they are playing. I love my door is open to people who love me, that the mailman will stop in to play with the cats and to have bread and drink iced tea. I love the pool in the yard in the summer where I can sit and read for a few hours feeling the sun warm on my face. I love the flowers and that everyone who loves me knows that love lives here in these walls where I am typing to you now. Anyone hungry here will be fed, anyone weary can rest and anyone who needs to lean into me, into my shoulder will fit a warm place to lean.

I am not ready to leave here yet, but parts of me are packing boxes and wondering of a new life, of a new place to be, of something more. Until then I will paint and plant and feed the little animals in the yard and say thank you, thank you, thank you for all I have and all I want.


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