Monday, April 18, 2011

Wonderful weekend

We had a wonderful weekend.

We hiked in the woods, exploring the paths around our new home and eventually finding our way through the forest to the Great Brook Farm State Park ice cream stand. (As Rick says, what are the odds that our two sequential addresses in Carlisle would both be within walking distance to Carlisle’s two ice cream stands, respectively?) We hosted our new neighbors for drinks and appetizers (and both couples brought blossoming plants as gifts, so the house remains filled with floral fragrance even as last week’s beautiful bouquet is dying off). I went to church and had no responsibilities once I arrived: just sat and enjoyed the Palm Sunday/Passover/pre-Easter/Holy Week sermon. We pulled our bikes out of winter storage, dusted and oiled them, pumped up the tires, and the kids and I did a little ride down the street and back. I ran a total of 9.1 miles: 5.1 on Saturday and 4.0 Sunday. We loafed in the hot tub. We visited with my parents and checked out the new calf, now christened Alice. I even filled our birdfeeders.

Exercise, nature, church, friends, family. It really doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

It wasn’t quite as decadent as I’m making it sound. I did some housework, too. I cleaned all four bathrooms (how our mission to downsize ended up in one additional full bathroom for me to clean is still not quite clear to me) and vacuumed the rugs.

But it felt good to be doing housework. For months, all my household time has been consumed in issues related to moving. First there were months of preparing for open houses and showings. Then we packed, and cleaned some more. Then we arrived here and spent two weeks unpacking. During most of that time, I neglected ordinary housekeeping routines because there was so much else to do.

As of Friday, the last box within our living space has been unpacked and disposed of. There are still untouched boxes in the garage and basement – items we either don’t need right away, like holiday decorations and winter sports equipment, or items we don’t really need at all but will never get rid of, like all of my old journals and my grandmother’s wedding dress – but there are no more cardboard cartons cluttering up our bedroom or kitchen or living room. Emptying the last one out was like seeing the last snow bank melt in the spring: gone, finally, gone.

So much of everything we have done in recent months has been consumed by the enormity of moving. Specific circumstances aside, this is true for any move. It’s just so much work.

And for that reason as well as others, I was so grateful for the joyful normalcy of this past weekend. Grateful to be cleaning sinks and tubs instead of filling boxes. Grateful to be out walking on a forest trail with all four of us and the dog together.

Much remains still undone, both in terms of housework and personal work, but I went to bed last night with a sense of completion and, yet again, gratitude. Normalcy is so often the best reward, bringing both joy and relief. Both emotions filled me as the weekend came to a close.

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