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  • jdettmann

In The House


Remember when I used to write things on this blog? Those were the days, eh? Well, those days might be returning. Things are finally, hopefully, starting to settle down around here, after a few months of complete upheaval. We sold a flat, bought a house, moved all the things in the world, which it turns out we own, into the new house. And we all got sick multiple times, playing Pass The Bacteria over and over until one illness morphed into something else and no-one could remember how to sleep or clean or cook why we even all liked each other once upon a time.

It was pretty horrible. But now, although as I type this my big kid is lying asleep in bed hacking away like a fifty-a-day old man, and my little kid is no doubt brewing exactly the same lurgy in his tiny system, ready to launch it as soon as his sister gets better, I think I will bravely say that things are looking up a bit. I changed cheer-up pills from one that was clearly no longer cheering me up to one that seems to be doing what it says on the box. H is working hard at his new business and is happier than I’ve seen him in a while.

The new house is slowly, slowly going from being a total mess of half packed boxes and random possessions strewn throughout it to being only three-quarters as bad as that. We now are the proud employers of a wonderful babysitter who comes a few afternoons a week after she finishes school to help me out with my demanding little people, and even if all she does is be a non-related witness in front of whom I am less likely to behave like a shrieking banshee, she is worth her weight in gold. But she does more than that: she draws pictures with May Blossom, listens to her ceaseless chatter, helps tidy up and suggests politely that draining a pot of pasta while holding the baby maybe isn’t that safe, and could she please have him. Essentially, she has a young, fresh mind that gets adequate sleep and we love her. Garnet adores her, but he’s not a discerning judge of character. He loves anyone with a face.

And after a month of living with our clothes in heaps on the floor — and yes, ha-ha, that’s how we lived before, even when we had built-in wardrobes — we have now received the furniture that my grandmother left me when she died last year. It was shipped out from the US and then sat in my parents’ shed until we had room for it. Now the nightstand that sat beside her bed for fifty or so years sits beside my bed, my clothes nestle in the drawers where hers did, and H’s clothes are in my granddad’s tallboy. She feels so close.

The first night the furniture was in the house, I went upstairs to bed carrying my full water bottle. (I drink out of a water bottle at night because Gusto likes to tip over glasses with her paw. So sweet. So endearing. So headed for an early grave.) I went to place it on the bedside table but something stopped me. Grandma would have used a coaster. Where in the sweet name of packing boxes was I going to find a coaster? I couldn’t even find my shoes for the first three weeks we were here. Something made me open the drawer in the nightstand, and there was the coaster my grandmother had used for her water glass at night. I put my bottle down on it and I felt like I was home.

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