Sunday, October 01, 2006


The viewings start tomorrow.

By the evening, in my absence, at least four prospective buyers will have noted the little statue of the Buddha on the windowsill, the wooden angel from the cathedral gift shop, the cosmetics in the bathroom, the books and CDs.

Maybe one or two will glance out of the kitchen window at the lime tree on the front lawn - a visual focal point as I have waited blearily for the kettle to boil on countless early mornings.

They will doubtless stare at the family photographs. My sister will grin confidently back at them. My father will smile diffidently.

As I did myself on my first visit to this home twelve years ago, they will draw certain conclusions from such items, pieces of a jigsaw depicting a life.


It's nothing really. I am just one of millions changing habits, lovers, spouses, towns, jobs, religions, nationalities, countries. Being born. Dying. Millions leaving behind a safety, or a danger, that seemingly no longer serves.

This time I am among those fortunate ones who, it would appear, are setting their own course and choosing their destination. And I am supported.


I met some friends for breakfast this morning and on the way home bought a large bunch of red and white carnations, partly for myself and partly to impress. It took ten minutes to prepare them. The process was calming: fill the cut glass vase with water, strip the lower leaves, snip the ends of the stems, place the flowers one by one in the vase.

White then red then white.


Blogger herhimnbryn said...

You sound calm and relaxed....hope you are!

12:21 pm  
Blogger Pauline said...

What a perfect piece of writing - I could see it all, feel it with you...good luck with your move.

1:55 pm  
Blogger rdl said...

Good luck tmrrw. with the viewings. You sound really calm and moving is so stressful. I'm glad for you.

6:10 pm  
Blogger Dale said...

What a lovely post. Thinking of you, Mary. White then red then white. I hope you buy flowers to welcome yourself when you arrive wherever you arrive, too. xoxo

7:55 pm  
Blogger LJ said...

Strange isn't it? Looking at your home to see what others might see? Thinking, these are signs of me.
I like the details you chose when you looked around.
It's like we've all become the prospective buyers and had a little tour.
Best luck with it, M!

1:42 am  
Blogger Wenda said...

Oh Mary, What a wonderful first read of your blog after finding you from a comment you left elsewhere.

4:15 am  
Blogger chuck said...

Wow! You sure put it all in perspective...maybe as a way to take some of the finality out of the move?

GAWD (or...GAWDESS)...moving sure puts one through the emotional wringer (me, anyway).

You DO sound amazingly calm.

6:16 am  
Anonymous pohanginapete said...

Beautiful post, Mary. There's something intensely serene about it — reading it seems to put so much in perspective. It encourages me.

HHnB's right — you are supported. Don't doubt it.

6:21 am  
Blogger MB said...

Such a strange and vulnerable thing to have others peering at our lives and judging via a brief glimpse. I think anyone looking in my house would come to horribly inadequate conclusions. But this post makes you sound quite balanced about it — balance being something attained when you've got bits on both sides! ;-) Good luck, Mary. I love the flowers.

4:42 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks all. I'm not that calm really. I write these posts to talk myself down and to give me some perspective. Writing can sometimes do this.

And in the event there were 7 viewings, not 4 ... Eek.

11:42 pm  
Blogger LJ said...

It's a thrill, isn't wait outside your home like a vagrant while other people inspect it?
I know that's my fondest memory, next to having to stay viewer-ready (meaning that you live as tidily as the recently deceased).
I hope you get a fabulous price - and a beautiful new home.

11:45 pm  
Blogger Edie said...

I thought I detected something rather forlorn in the post…such as nostalgia is. But it is most certainly beautifully written and I did feel that I was in place with you in the moment of time. I wish you well in the new adventure that is ahead.

2:04 am  
Blogger chuck said...

And your Buddha will grace your new
home, along with the wooden angel and the family photographs...Margaret Mead wrote about the importance of personal talismans in making a "new home".

Me, buddha moves with me; and 'my angel'; some photos (and a st.francis garden figurine)...reminds me of Steve Martin in THE JERK when he takes the ashtray, the lamp, and 'whatever'...
when he exits his home after he
has been stripped of his fortune, he says "And that's all I want!"

Which I hope does not trivialize the importance of Margaret Mead's
message [re: making a 'portable home for travel', actually...but I am broadening the application of her wisdom to include 'residential moves' (LOL)].

4:12 am  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

I felt like the camera was panning your house as I read this. How well you conveyed the unique significance of a life, and how easily it is packed up, swept away, altered.

The image of the flowers at the end was stunning.

5:26 am  
Blogger Jean said...

Seven viewings - eek, indeed! Bodes well for selling quickly. All the very best with it.

2:24 pm  
Blogger Stray said...

Wow! Seven? That's amazing!

Thinking of you lots Mary. I've moved house a lot, and it's such a huge upheaval. I still find it impossible to imagine other people inhabiting 'my' space ... good luck and keep breathing :)

I loved this post. I was with you ever stem of the way ...


8:18 pm  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

My Very Best to you on the move and all, Mary!!!

12:06 am  

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