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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Big Divorce Adventure

by Bridget Stuart

Message to my blog buds: you may not have noticed, but I'm not in Texas anymore.

Farewell, Texas cops who give me actual speeding tickets instead of smiles; so long, big rolling estate with a swimming pool which cost about a dollar and fifty nine cents; bye-bye fake Christmas trees and scorpions in my shoes; sayonara SXSW Festival and the bluebonnet hill country. I'm back in Massachusetts with the kids, but without the Professor. No, he hasn't gone on to that big university in the sky, he's just…in Texas, and plans to stay there. Have fun, Professor.

…as I plan to do.

The kids and I have returned to our picturesque little New England fishing village on the rocky coast. This village is chock full of tiny houses so humble, so simple, so charmingly ramshackle and shabby, that their prices would gag a Gates.

But we need to live here. This is the only home the kids have ever known, other than the brief Texas fling. It's where we have all the friends, schools, and support we need to start again without the Professor. And so begins a new adventure: how to pretend to your kids that this whole radical downsizing thing is really, actually a whole lot of big time fun.

"Mom?" My older son asks, looking around the living room that is smaller than his bedroom was in Texas. The floors are covered with carpet tacks and someone's incontinent pet was clearly without any reverence for the hardwood, if the large black stains are anything to go by. "Is this…poverty?"

Ha ha ha! Mom launches into an explanation of "Location, location, location" compounded with the virtues of a huge lot with room for expansion (an expansion that will happen when Mom suddenly starts pulling down the big bux)--all delivered with a jittery smile.

"It'll be GREAT!" I laugh. "You can help me pick out the colors, and figure out what to do with the furniture, and…"

Silence. In fact, my younger guy is giving me that sideways squint which means he's figured it all out. Scary, I tell you. And they haven't even seen the hole in the floor upstairs yet--the one where a toilet is supposed to be.

The good news: contrary to popular reports, Massachusetts is the friendliest place on earth. In accordance with this friendliness, it contains some of the nicest plumbers, electricians, contractors, and other such talented people (yes, some of us have *useful* talents) on earth.

Stay tuned!

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10 Comments:

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

Ah, Bridget, a new house feels strange no matter what the size. If you are surrounded by loving friends and family in Massachusetts, the house will soon feel like home.

 
At 10:58 AM, Anonymous gin said...

Don't get me started on plumbers.

Oh, wait, you already did.

Now, I love my plumbers. The good things about them is that they're pleasant and they do what they say they're going to do, when they say they're going to do it. Which is not true of all tradespeople. So I love them for it.

OTOH, I really wish I didn't have to call them so often. It's really not a good sign when all you have to do is mention your first name, and the receptionist says, "Oh, please tell me you're not having problems with the furnace again."

There are definitely places, unlike the local pub, where you don't want everyone to know your name!

Good luck with your own collection of tradespeople.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger bridget said...

Thanks Diane and gin! Diane, I just went this morning to meet the floor installers and the insurance adjuster, and they all told me what a great house I had. Really nice location (heh heh, see?) and lots of potential. So I felt affirmed. Too bad the kids don't have the long perspective. But they will. I'm concentrating on getting it to look nice, while doing the major repairs, so the kids will walk in when the work is done and feel uplifted!

gin, I love the plumber I've chosen but I hope I hope I hope I don't get that kind of real close relationship with him! Good luck with your furnace!

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I know all the house stuff is frustrating, but it will really feel like yours when you're finished. The little guys will come around in time.

 
At 2:01 PM, Blogger Sandy Blair said...

Ah, the joys of moving with kids. The good news: they adjust quickly, particulary as they re-establish themselves in school and community. As for the contractors and the $$ they charge: all you can do is pay and pray they do it right the first time.

Sandy, calling back her plumber because the shower head joint is leaking...again.

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

OMG, did he really say that? "Is this poverty?" Too funny. I think you're on the right track -- give him plenty of projects, even if it's stuff like picking paint colors. Think of the sense of accomplishment and process he'll get. In some ways, he's lucky. He'll learn lessons early that will always stand him in good stead.

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Good job, Bridget. Look how far you have come and you have a roof over your head. Congratulations! And believe me, the kids will follow your lead. If you're excited and happy with the house, then they will be too! I love your house already. Send pictures soon!

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger bridget said...

Trish, Sandy, Kiki, Theresa, thanks so much for stopping by!

Trish, those words of encouragement are meaningful. I may print out this comments page and put it on my fridge, if that's not too goofified.

Sandy, i know you're the voice of home-buying experience!! My plumber seems like an angel--he told me to call him from the Lowe's and gave me a step by step instruction in real time of what to buy. I am VERY lucky. Good luck with the shower head. Maybe it's just a washer problem...

Esri, YES, he did say exactly those words. I felt a huge punch of pathos while at the same time a wild desire to laugh. I did manage to mention how rich we are, not just in possessions, but in love and family and friends...

Theresa, great idea! I should have taken "before" pix of the house and posted them, but at least I can do intermediate ones. Thanks! Get ready for the shudders!

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Bridget,
Your son's comment reminded me of something my brother said to my mom when our family moved from the Maryland suburbs of D.C. down to Louisiana. Now, he was only five at the time. He asked when we were moving back to America.

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger bridget said...

mo h-- ROFL! I love it!

 

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