It’s hard to believe that in just a few nights this home won’t be mine anymore; I will be sleeping in and cooking in and traveling from a new one. We transfer only a mile and a half away, but still – it is going to feel odd to say goodbye to a house, a neighborhood, and neighbors that we have thoroughly enjoyed. In a few days I’ll be cooking in a kitchen painted with bright colors and drawing a bath in my long-pined for clawfoot tub (or at least scrubbing a clawfoot tub like a maniac); getting used to the sound of highway traffic and sewing while overlooking a wild and lovely back yard.
One of the best things about my life is my children; in this case, how ready and excited they are for adventure. It occurs to me that this Christmas is going to be a wonderful memory for them; not just for the gifts and the snow (both of these in stronger measure than in years past) but for the exodus to 2323 Sumner Avenue. The children have helped us pack, move furniture on to new homes, bake and sew and make ready for all we’ve had to do. They have not been impediments but wee partners in our enterprises.
As for me, I miss my father terribly. A day does not go past I don’t think of him and feel deeply sad. Last year for Christmas we went through this whole Sumatran coffee fiasco – I don’t have the heart right now to tell the story although I do love to recount it, and we continue to purchase Sumatran coffee half in jest over the episode. It hurts me badly that he is someone who has been baldly, abruptly scratched off my gift list. Along with missing my father I’ve also had to experience the changes in my mother, a new widow – many changes, and some of them rather surprising. I count myself as an adult friend to her, someone who can accompany her on this journey in good faith and with love.
I am reminded we used to call my father the Ghost of Christmas Bastard; it was a name Ralph made up. My dad was a long distance runner and this time of year would don a santa hat. He’d be out there busting ass (he was very fast), his thin, gaunt frame carring this silly-ass hat my mom made. He was also, of course, a bastard, a curmudgeon; at turns both elegant, witty and urbane, and the next thing you know he’d be on a semi-profane rant with his mouth open and food in it.
I miss him, just terribly.