My old Vancouver home

Posted on 23 May 2008

I have always loved my little house with its unpretentious air. It never mattered that I didn’t have the time to paint inside closets, clean the eaves, and weed the garden. As long as my bookshelves were full, candles lit the table, and my children were well, I was content.

I pause here. Is this true? No. I thrive on discontent. But there have been moments of real happiness and those moments, in my mind, always involved my mind – when I was stimulated, thinking, learning, and felt competent, useful, needed. (A perfect house was never a priority.) 
Or when I was traveling. I didn’t travel – or not much – until my fortieth year and since that time, I am happiest on the road. I love traveling alone. I loved traveling with Gill. Once – when she was much shorter than me – we were Italy and because of a series of circumstances, we found ourselves on the road and I did not know where to go. 
“Pisa,” said Gill.
“Verona to see Romeo and Juliet’s balcony.”
And so we went, staying in cheap little hotels and once-in-awhile splurging on something better, usually something with one star and a bathtub.
Where am I going with this early morning blog? My mind is drifting. I was going to write about our house… the house we have lived in for 25 years. No one wants it so far. The other day a couple came to look at it and were in and out in two minutes… and I took this personally, knowing that I was being stupid. And now all I can do is find fault with it – the scratches on the floor, the musty smell in the basement, the area until the eaves that is rotting… and the garden where all that our friends helped us clear is once again pushing up through the soil. Damn dandelions and blackberry bushes, I curse as I take time off from the work I’m doing on my computer to try and show a cared-for property. 
I know that I’ve got it all wrong, that this is an exciting time, that we will look back and laugh at our angst and aggravation – when we are living our dream. 
When is the big question? 
And so I force myself to stay put, work, make a bed, weed the garden. 
I fear that we are stuck, that no one will buy our house and that we’ll go further and further into debt, and that I’ll never be organized and at peace with myself. 
I laugh here. I am alive. How dare I complain? I am alive. I love my life. And yet, I smoke. 
Bang, bang, Maxwell’s silver hammer came down on her head…
My thoughts are racing as I sit here and write in a small coffee shop, enjoying my morning coffee.  A man with a dog sits at the next table and we have a brief conversation. “I’m doing something wrong,” he mutters. “I’m too busy.” I tell him that I know what he means.
I realize that this is the first time in a long time that I have written in my journal.  I see that I will have to force myself to take time out and write out my discontent. 
I feel so much better. 

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