Did we leave it like this?

Yes.  Yes, we did.

Welcome home!
The mess awaiting us when we got home.

Normally, I am a very methodical & tidy person who thrives in spaces with order and symmetry.  Lots of clear desk space, paper arranged by color & thickness in nice neat stacks, storage baskets in orderly rows…  Somehow, it all makes me feel more centered and creative, almost giddy with happiness.  It’s as if the state of my brain somehow reflects the space around me.  Therefore, my first thoughts upon re-entering our house after 3 weeks on the road (see previous post) was,

Call the Sheriff!  We’ve been vandalized!

DSC_3281
The last load from the Bay Area being offloaded.

It had been a whirlwind of pack, drive 180 miles, dump (I mean, unpack), drive back, repeat for weeks, since the house sold so quickly after putting it on the market.  Especially gruesome was the last week before Escrow closed.  We were scheduled to have at least 2 days to organize the last loads into some sort of controlled chaos when, almost as a omen for the subsequent and devastating Rim Fire well to the north of us, an 11-acre vegetation fire caused a road closure just a mile away from our place on the only access point into our property.  Thankfully, the Fire Season had been quiet until then & the dedicated, hardworking Cal Fire crews tackled the blaze quickly & efficiently.  But the delay caused another dump & run, instead of being able to unpack with a purpose.

Naturally, after doing nothing but packing for six weeks, we were rather sick of it.  And kind of in shock about leaving our lovely Bay Area home, friends, and lifestyle, too.  (They say once you leave, you can never go back…)  Somehow, we now had to unpack, figure out what DD needed to bring to college in the Rockies that might have both a heat wave and snow in September and also, ugh, pack for the 3-week camping / road trip we were about to embark upon – all in the space of 3 days!

DSC_3235
Not sure why the easel found its way upstairs, but it is still there!

So, it is no wonder that what awaited us after the trip was nothing short of bedlam – I had just forgotten how bad it was. Instead of feeling at home, I was just overwhelmed.  The straw that broke the camel’s back was actually a Q-tip.  I knew we had boxes of them – somewhere.  Probably many somewheres.  After all, there were 7 boxes labeled bathroom.  And 4 labeled miscellaneous.  Surely one of those…   Of course, they were 3 deep and 2 rows in from the 20+ boxes labeled kitchen.  None of which we could actually unpack – we have no kitchen or bathroom cabinets as yet.  Did I mention the house isn’t quite done?

DSC_0017
Not perfect, since much of this needs to be moved into the printmaking workshop, but good enough to be getting on with. Have I mentioned how much I love my Elfa shelves & drawers?

Unglued is a word that works well in this instance.  So instead of finding the Q-tips, I told the DH that I was not working on anything until one room was neat, tidy, ordered.  I selfishly chose my studio.  It was actually a logical choice, since it was the one room that I had storage space to unpack into.  And yes, I needed one little island of calm for myself, to escape to when it became just too immense to deal with.  Not just the state of the house, of course.  Moving away from friends & family, DD off to college so far away, new lifestyle, no Bay Area cuisine…  I guess uprooting myself, even if by choice, is frightening and unsettling.

After nearly 2 days of non-stop, feverish effort, I had my space, my order, my sanity.  While I stayed within my 10′ x 11′ cube, I could find what I was looking for with a sense of peace and tranquility.

Or was that what I was looking for…

Oh, and I finally found those damn Q-tips!

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