Last week, the sale of my home at 344 Pommel Gate Crescent was finalized.
In spite of careful planning, a six-day gap between the house closing and me relocating to Halifax had left me homeless. My next door neighbour offered up temporary lodgings.
I hauled my suitcase to 342 Pommel Gate Crescent, seven years of occupancy at 344 officially over, only to find myself constantly crossing back and forth across my former front lawn. Reasons included the fact that I was still rooting through stuff hastily stashed in my other neighbour’s garage on closing day because, no matter how many boxes were packed and moved, stuff magically reappeared out of nowhere, and I had to stick it somewhere. And then there was my dog, Bella. She kept trotting over to the house, patiently waiting at the front stoop whenever she was out for a pee.
Done, but not done. Gone but not gone.
It there anything worse then hitting stall when you’re raring to go?
It had started months ago, a nostalgia sweeping over me whenever I went around town, sometimes making me misty-eyed, sometimes making me bawl.
I lived in a good-bye state-of-mind.
Friends booked time to spend with me as the launch of my grand plan inched closer. I lunched and dined to the tune of an extra seven pounds.
I don’t think any of them really believed I would leave. Neither did I.
Leaving seemed impossible. I’d been firmly rooted by three sons whom, I believed, must grow up in one place, Waterloo through the babies to men drill. It went like this… toddlers to toys to summer camps to cracking voices signaling impending change to teenagers with beer bottles clanking in knapsacks on the way out the door Friday nights to departures to schools to the beginnings of careers and then to quiet.
Three sons, mostly launched, not returning to Waterloo. And way too soon, empty nest cliché. Me living in a big ole house rattling around solo. No partner to ease the transition or at least distract me with all the things we could do together.
I hyperventilated for two years. And then I decided to run away from home.
Temporarily fish sitting for another neighbour, kitty corner to my former home, each evening, while I waited for the shrimp concoction to thaw so I could feed the fish, I looked out their the bay window at 344, perplexed by my odd detachment.
I’ve had a lifelong ache for home. Even as I raised my sons, I’d sought out people and situations, sticking myself in the ground in Waterloo to see if the idea of home might take.
Leaving the house that for seven years I’d called home, what I knew was what home wasn’t. Not a house. Not a city. Not a person, job, money, relationship or situation.
The last day of this homeless period, I woke early. When I opened the door to my room, there were two teeny, red, sparkly slippers sitting outside the door.
What is it Dorothy said? There’s no place like home. What is that place, anyway? A hope or a dream of the somewhere at the end of a rainbow?
Dorothy had figured it out. Time for me to try to do the same.