May 20, 2004

I want this.

I'm not even sure why.  It's likely a set up.

Yet, I want it.  Go figure.  What can I say?  I'm shallow.

I'm beginning to ease into the idea of safety after such a long, long time of managing one crisis after another.  Eric said he felt like Job, tested and tried and ultimately, the subject of some great joke among the powers that be.  I loved him for saying the name as "job" instead of "jobe," a nod to one of my favorite movies, "Popeye."  Even the people who made the movie "Popeye" (the Robert Altman version) didn't like it, but I did. 

We got word on Tuesday that the sale of the house was closed and done and today, the paperwork on it arrived.  We still have to deal with the issue of rent on this house for the time we lived here before the sale completed, but that will work itself out.  Overall, it's finished.

I felt the relief of being finished with a situation that was just a major pain in the neck, but Eric was like a new person.  I don't think either of us realized how heavily it was weighing on him until it was over.  Now, I feel myself going into the familiar post-stress slump.  My "way" is that I hold the faith and remain fairly stalwart through pretty much any given crisis, then when it's over, I have an exhaustion roll over me that is like no other.  I think about the only thing I can compare it to is the unbelievable fatigue that comes after the endorphins of having given birth wear off and you're left with the postpartum wipe out.  It's hard for me to move my body, hold my eyes open or think clearly.  I want to sleep for hours and hours and hours.  I'm irritable and don't want anyone to want anything from me.  It's like I've given all I've got and now I need to rejuvenate myself before I can go back into the "giving" mode again.  I need a vacation.  I want someone to do everything my kids need done, clean my house, massage me, ask me if I need anything and bring me drinks with umbrellas, maraschino cherries and liquor in them. 

Mostly, I'm just tired.

I go outside and breathe in the air.  It's so clean and fragrant with the evergreens aggressively pushing their scent, reminding me that I'm a guest in their world.  It's like living in a Christmas tree lot.  I remember last Christmas, all I wanted was a swag of cedar for the house so I could smell the very scent that is always around me now.  We ended up getting a whole real Christmas tree, and I don't know if it's because it had been cut for a while or what, but it didn't have a lot of scent to it.  This is the real deal.  I feel the sun, gentle on my face, knowing it's sweltering down in Sacramento.  I hear the jabbering of the blue jays, the gay jays, Marvin and Ellis.  Two hummingbirds buzz past my cheek (reminding me of "Silver Streak," "Did you ever buzz sheep, Steve?") and race with the dragonflies that are visiting from the little creek down the road.  I hear a woodpecker hammering away at the telephone pole he's been working on for a week now.  The mailman waves at me as he drives past, not in an official USPS jeep, but in his own vehicle, as  usual.  I see the tiny, delicate footprints that belie the size of the gigantic raccoons that amble up onto my porch (so bold right by the door!) at night to eat the cat food Creep left behind.  He sits on the other side of the porch and looks at them with a yawn, unruffled as always.  It is, as my father-in-law describes, "Heaven."  I laughed when he told me I had "gone up to Heaven."  "Bill, you make it sound like I DIED!"  But it is Heaven; one I didn't even know I needed until I had it.

The struggle it took to get here, including the panic of learning that our beloved rental home was being sold, was well worth it.  It's now been about three months since we first found out that this amazing change was taking place in our lives.  It all started with the phone call in February from that wretched realtor telling us that the house was going on the market.  Our lives turned upside down and I don't think either of us felt safe again until now.

So many people worked very hard to make this happen.  The first mortgage broker, an EOS reader, did everything within her power and was so sad to tell us it just wasn't working.  The realtor who was showing this house, who also became our realtor when we were buying it, went above and beyond the call of duty.  The mortgage broker who took the torch from our first one accomplished the impossible.  Eric's mother and father loaned us money to help us pay for the closing costs.  They also went above and beyond to make this house our home.

I received a continuous infusion of love and support from the EOS staff and readers.  They were Burgess Meredith to my Rocky, getting me all spruced up again before I had to go out there and fight another day.  You folks kept me propped up so many times.

Soapbabie gifted me with a new demon head door knocker.  : P

Maurine sent me food when we were allllmost out!

My coven gals finished up the decorating when I couldn't hammer another nail or eyeball another picture placement.

Karen kept checking on me through her own crisis, always a fixture of love and support.

This was a group effort, there is no denying it.  I literally could not have done this without the love and support that poured in from so many people.  I am in awe at it all.

So here we are, almost through May. Eric supposedly gets paid within the next week for the work he's done for the company.  They have already invested a good bit of work into June's paycheck.  They get paid every 25th of the month.  They have several avenues for other work as well.  The company they are doing the housing developments for now has several others projected and they have been invited to bid on those as well.  They have a contract awarded for a state job that will require him to be gone for several days in September.  They also are up for a job funded by the FDIC that involves driving to all of the ATM's in Sacramento and installing a simple piece of software in the interface to each one.  It's all coming together.  I think about how this time last year, Eric was living with the continued uncertainty of layoffs and he had a dream of owning his own business.  He found partners and now, after months of trying to draw it all together, he's there.  It's an amazing accomplishment for a 27-year-old man.  I am so very proud of him.

He has wanted to own his own property as long as I have known him.  It never much mattered to me. I preferred to rent to avoid the headaches of home ownership, but I have found that I do need the stability of home ownership, now that I know that as a renter, you have no security.  Your home can always go away.  I didn't know I needed this, so he wanted it enough for both of us.

I am praying that this is the beginning of a calm point in a very long and stressful journey through poverty and uncertainty.  The outlook is good and with any luck, we'll be sorting out the new financial situation and having enough to get through.  Crisis is like burnt toast.  Even after the offending charcoaled bread is gone, the smell lingers for a while and it's hard to tell that the source is no longer with you.  I can feel the burnt toast smell slipping away and the air that remains smells a whole lot like Christmas trees.


To all of you.