I haven’t found time to write all week. I’m a little off my game and way too intense. It’s all about the work of getting ready for sale. My house, quickly becoming “the” house, will go on the market March 15. Ok, there may be some wiggle room but around then. I’ve been in the basement all week sorting, tidying and chasing cobwebs. Stuff. All that stuff that I put to one side after finishing my big basement cleanup 7 years ago. I didn’t know what to do with that stuff then and unfortunately, gremlins didn’t steal into the basement and take disposition into their own hands. In truth most of that ‘stuff’ should go into the trash with just a bit that might be useful going to St. Vinnie’s. But how to trash a statue of the BVM, won in a third grade catechism bee, whose base is so chipped she doesn’t stand anymore? If she was small I’d put her on my meditation altar but she is tall, would dominate the eye candy and would fall over. I make piles, then divide the piles, clear out the trash piles, stuff the St. Vinnie piles into bags and put those in my car trunk, and then repeat. Piles of stuff are slowly diminishing, moving boxes are mating and begetting.
I have a single column multi-page list of tasks that need to get done before the house goes on the market. It is not complete. Some of the tasks take a long time—redo master bedroom closet; some tasks take seconds—put old camera on side table. I make the list so I don’t need to remember the tasks, I don’t need to worry that I will forget what I’ve been told to do, what I’ve thought I should do. I randomly choose tasks to do because I would get bored taking them in any particular order. So bored my activity might grind to a halt. I pick what I am interested in doing in the moment. However, the tasks take on their own order—arranging bookcases prompts packing books and occupies me for days. Spackling picture holes in the walls before painting, requires art to be removed from the walls. Art taken down necessitates sorting for size for more packing boxes. Yesterday, when all the art was down and sorted awaiting boxes, I looked up to see how the house was changing. Like a person respectful of the animal they kill for food, I begged pardon of this building that homed us through years and tears. I am undressing it, taking its finery and stealing its charm. I touched a sadness, loving and losing this home, the last place that I lived in with David, the place that taught Julia home, this place where I opened myself to needing community. I breathed into the notion of growing, changing and moving to where I will grow and change more, I breathed into the notion that my realtor is right, that I am clearing what to me made this building my home to make room for someone else to imagine doing the same thing. I admit to being a little scared that there would be no intrinsic charm in this building. I admit to needing to trust a professional a little bit.
On the Julia front: after advocating for a year and a half for useful test modification, Julia worked on a take home essay on Othello in English and will be studying for an Earth Science test this weekend using the modified test. The take home essay done over three days and worked on during guided study hall, with a respite provider one evening and with me for another. That’s a lot of support for one 500 word essay. It is a writing leaps and bounds over what she could do last year.
Earth Science prompts the question: why test? Specifically, I didn’t see a need to memorize facts when I went to college. I accepted it in law school and hated every second and I don’t see the need now. Julia, crazy studying for days and days for the Earth Science final last term, garnered a C by the skin of her teeth. It quite a victory for her but I questions whether it was a good use of her time. I just don’t know. My query is colored with my struggles with testing. David never minded testing, he could do it with eyes closed. This morning I ponder, I would love to have a deep and long conversation (with wine and long into the night) with someone who had some idea of the why here.