The Disposable Shack.
Well, not quite. But now I am thinking it was so unfair to refer to this wonderful home as the Disposable Shack for so long.
It all began… well, actually I don’t remember how it all began. I think it was as we were making the decision that The Inn – our Maine house that was once (in the early 1900s – really an inn, but is not really an inn anymore… anyway, I think it was as we were realizing that we would be in Maine eventually. And the house that became home in 2004 – when Mac was 12, Sam 10, and Gabe was 5 (“going on thixth!” (he had lost a tooth or four)) – became a good house, but not the ‘forever house’.
And there was sort of a tug at my heart at that point. I mean, I know. A house isn’t supposed to be a living, sentient being…
Realists are trying to hold down their figurative forts right now, wanting to scream, “Seriously, Lisa? Aren’t supposed to be living, sentient beings? Uh…. houses are not living, sentient beings.” I hope just one of those sanctimonious realists had to look up ‘sentient’ before pouncing on me. Oh… sorry… anyway….
I know our houses are not alive, with emotion and expression and stuff. And yet…
I kind of believe our homes take on the happenings inside them. That, somehow, the souls of houses are concoctions of all the stuff that happens within… the families that live in them over the years and decades and centuries. How else can I explain the embraces that some houses give when I enter… and why I feel so cold in some, even on a stifling August day…
The Disposable Shack is a warm house. Sure, we have argued here, and been frustrated here. I mean, holy cow, we had teenagers here. “You don’t understand!” was on pre and post-pubescent response autodial for years (along with a few more choice insults and exclamations). But we have also loved here.
And cried and grieved… and laughed until our sides hurt and we feared our breath would be gone forever, it was so hard to catch.
And there were Family Christmas festivities, huge and loud and filled with food and humans and dogs. And early Christmas mornings, a more quiet representation of glee… Grampa in his chair in the corner calling for wrapping paper to put in his huge, deep green trash bag.
And kindergarten graduations and proms and pool parties and pasta parties and friends.
As humans do, each of us discovered a little more about who we are and what our hopes and dreams are here.
Between here and Maine, I began to write… and this blog came to be.
And now you are all stuck with me tossing words, all willy-nilly, out into the universe on a semi-regular basis!
When I was working on this house, I wanted lockers for each of the kids. I’d seen the idea somewhere and loved it. A place for each kid’s stuff… though, honestly, they were really a place for me to toss each kid’s stuff just before company arrived at the door. We actually have four lockers, because there was math involved and three was too few, but four fit perfectly in the span of space we had. I figured, back then, that we’d just use Locker Number Four for brooms and stuff. No biggie.
One day, while at a friend’s shop, I found three tin plaques… each with a different word and, kind of funny, each one was sort of perfect for a certain kid.
‘Wish‘ came home to rest on Mac’s locker… my quiet dreamer, who believed in magic as much as I did (and we both still do). ‘Inspire‘ for Sam, the kid who beat the odds with determination and humor. ‘Dare‘ was Gabe, through and through. And the lockers sat, with their requisite plaques, for some years… collecting lots of stuff, getting rid of not so much. Vertical hoarders. Sad.
And then, years later, the broom closet locker got its own boy. Jack showed up. And not only did he get his own locker… and not only did I wonder if the fourth locker was somehow prescient, on the part of the house, oh so long ago… but he needed his own plaque.
Jack’s is homemade. And his says, ‘Believe’.
We thought, when we put the Disposable Shack on the market, two weeks ago, that it would take a while to sell. It’s a big house, with big lawns and gardens. We were prepared to wait.
And then last night came… and an offer showed up from someone who loves it. And not only did they make a great offer, but they would love to be in for the summer. They proposed closing in three weeks.
At first, JoHn and I were stunned.
But then we realized that, sure, it would be crazy getting ready to go – absolutely crazy – and then we would be up in Maine, at The Inn, on June 1st… with just the wedding in front of us… no need to come back ‘home’ to sell the house, or move. We decided to just put our stuff – whatever comes with us – in storage until we are ready to deal with it. Maybe… we thought… September.
So we signed the offer, and we’ll meet the new owners tomorrow.
Our realtor says we’ll love them.
Today, when the buyer dropped off the deposit check in her office, she said he was smiling ear to ear, and can’t wait to meet us.
So in the midst of a morning consisting of John hustling by me smiling and breathing heavy from moving stuff off to Goodwill and the church, and me laughing and welling up as I find journals from the kids’ elementary school years, I passed the lockers.
The light washed them in such a way that it seemed to call attention to the plaques…
And we have.
We have wished, and wished for each other.
Inspired, and inspired each other.
Dared, and encouraged each other to dare.
And been believed in.
Great job, Disposable Shack.
Thanks for readin’.
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