Frankly, I have no idea where this phrase comes from ~ Hope Springs Eternal ~ but it sure fits the bill for my husband and me these days. We just sold our house (in 6 days and to the first couple who looked at the home we’d labored over for the past 10 ½ years).
We are planning a move to GA from WA State. From the land of the evergreens and the Pacific Ocean, the snows and wildlife, to the hot, sandy climate of Georgia. But you see, that is where my daughter lives with her husband and child. Moving closer to my daughter and grandson, and away from son, daughter-in-law and two grown granddaughters, both graduating from WSU, is the name of the game now. Both of my grown children (Allison and Phil) want my husband and me closer to Allison, near Athens, GA where the UGA is located, and where her husband works.
And so it is that we are now living in a two bedroom, two bath apartment, after giving up the five bedroom home with three gas fireplaces and a three-car garage. My husband is not through kayaking in the Pacific NW yet, he says, and also wants to work here until at least the end of October, which is how we have found ourselves pulled from the raging river of transition and deposited here in the same city, in this small apartment.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s wonderful. Small but wonderful. So little cleaning needed. My days of solid housework hopefully gone forever. His days of brutal yard work, gone in a flash. Tools, yard things, patio table and chairs and so much more (including two expensive kayaks and nine boxes of china), are all stored in the garage that came with the apartment. Our cars are braving the elements outside, which so far has been a tiny amount of snow and now rain. Just rain and more rain, which we will have in GA, too.
But for now we have many things in wrong places, like the picture of our china cabinet at the top of this article. Instead of seeing my mother’s sweet floral china patterns in the glass doors, we see boxes of of Oatmeal, Grape Nuts, corn starch, baking soda and unsweetened chocolate; cans of green beans, red kidney beans, garbanzos, applesauce; and packages of egg noodles, Jello and spaghetti. In the open area, where my mother’s silver service used to sit, we have the cookie jar, nuts, and baking canisters.
I tell friends the baking supplies like pecans, walnuts and cran-raisins are in the drawer, while the booze sits in the underneath section, with an occasional tall vase or pitcher. Things in wrong places. That’s the only way to think of it. For some reason it doesn’t seem funny for me to be searching inside the china cabinet for Cream of Mushroom soup for a crock pot meal, but it does strike my funny bone to see my husband making his way around the dining room table in the small eating space, carrying his cereal bowl with him, and opening the door to the china cabinet for his morning cereal.
As I go about business here these final days, I realize I had visions, at first, of feeling blessed to be able to visit the same stores we have for the last twenty-something years ~ Albertson’s, just six minutes away from us, and Walgreens, the PO, cleaners, Starbucks and the Rocket Bakery for coffee and chats with friends. Instead, I find I am getting tired of once favorite places, ready to leave, get the show on the road, move on, move out, move to GA and begin to find our new ways there. New friends, new shops, new routes to and from town and back.
I am eager to look in a drawer in the kitchen to find silverware, gleaming and ready for us to use, instead of the large round glass container in which our silverware now resides. Drawers here are too narrow for the draw dividers in our house. But it is all working. Sort of. I told hubby yesterday as he left for work, “I love this apartment and could live here forever, alone, but I could not live here very long at all with another person, including you.” I think he probably feels the same way. He just nodded.
To me this is a sign that a month of this has already been enough, even though we do have everything we need right at our fingertips. We just do not have the ‘other stuff’ we packed up to find eight months later when we finally get to GA. I miss my large ironing board, hanging on a hook in our laundry room at the house, although it is standing up in the storage closet off the small balcony of this apartment. A friend suggested I give that away. “You don’t need an ironing board anymore.” What? Stop that. Nobody is taking my ironing board away from me.”
I have brought my gardening shoes, the trowel, even my new gardening gloves, and why? I have only one pot to tend in front of the apartment. No strawberry patch to weed. No blue flowering vinca to weed, no clematis to trim. If I want to see the tulips we planted in our yard I’ll just have to drive by the house one day to see if all of the tulips survived our oh-so-cold-winter this year. They seemed like my children for years. I put them to bed in the fall and waited for them to wake up in the Spring, refreshed, ready for their time in the sun.
Again, things in wrong places. My tulip’s are in another woman’s garden. The rose bush we planted for my mother after she died has been left there to adorn someone else’s yard, to offer solace from the patio to these new homeowners, as it did me for several years. We’ll have to find a good spot for a new rose in Georgia, hopefully a pink one, my mother’s favorite color.
So many things in wrong places, including me. But again ~ Hope Springs Eternal. I can already see myself under a warm Georgia sun, slipping into my old gardening shoes, pulling on my new gardening gloves, picking up the trowel and planting a new rose bush for my mother, and then planting a new Cecile Brunner climbing rose on the trellis.
Did I say trellis? What trellis? Will there be one? We’ll just have to make sure of that, won’t we? My trellis, where three robin families have had nests in the last four years, now lives in someone else’s yard in WA State, not in GA where we’ll be moving. A trellis is not something you move, or our ten year old red sugar maple out front, or the ash and the river birch in the back yard. I am missing the trees. Givers of life, always. Givers of creative thoughts and ideas. Givers of everything I want in a new home in Georgia, including shade for the quail I hope we find in our new yard there.
I can see now that I must monitor everything that goes into the moving van for Georgia, to make sure my husband’s yard tools are included, along with the various metal sculptures ~ angels and flowers ~ and his spades, hoe, rakes, and shovels. Yes. We will have a tree-planting marathon once we relocate. Then I think it will feel like home to me, no matter how far it is to the grocery store, Walgreens, PO or even Starbucks.
Every time I am fed up with a shopping center, unexpected traffic, or a particular store here, I think I am tossing that place out of my life and filing that hole with a sense of hope for the new places in GA that we will love every bit as much. I think this is the way it’s supposed to work! I so hope it’s true that hope does spring eternal. I’ve got a lot riding on that!