Endings and Beginnings
I’m in the heart of my parent’s move from my childhood home right now, both physically and emotionally. This is the last day I will get to stand in my old bedroom and look at the wallpaper and carpet I chose as my Bat Mitzvah present (hey, wait a second, these people buying the house get MY Bat Mitzvah present?)
It feels a little bit like losing my grandmother, when I realized that I had to ask her all the questions I may possibly want to know in my life time because she wasn’t going to be here down the road. And while I had this realization and it kept me up at night, wracking my brain for questions to ask, I also knew that there was no way to predict what I’d want to possibly know or how many times I’d wish I could be in touch with her again.
And at the same time, this is nothing like losing my grandmother. A house is a static place, not a living, breathing human. I walked through the rooms with a video camera and Josh set the 12 minutes of footage to music. I loaded it on my iTouch, a virtual tour of my childhood.
I am trying to remember the layout of the rooms and the places where we were standing when certain announcements were given. I told my parents I was pregnant in that kitchen. I found out my great-grandfather died when walking through that door. I took my engagement photos on that deck. And yet I know that moments will pop up in the future when I can’t remember the colour of the flowers on the wallpaper or the size of a room and it won’t be on the video because I didn’t think to train the camera on the space in question. And I’ll have to simply let it go and understand that there is no way to return to the past. This is, obviously, much less about the house and more about saying goodbye to all the spaces that hold reminders of past people and events.
There is a small hiding space that creates a bubble between three rooms: the guest room, my parent’s room, and the laundry room. This space is tiny–probably under three feet by six feet–and it is usually empty except for drying laundry hanging from a hook. I used to bring my guitar into this space and sit on top of my foot stool (back when my ass was small enough to balance on top of a guitar foot stool). It was my crying space. I don’t know what it means if the first thing I think about is that I’m going to miss the sad places in the house.
I will also miss the happy places: the kitchen table, the living room, the space behind the sofa, my bedroom closet. How I once stood at my bedroom window and watched a boy I liked show up for a date an hour early and just ride his bike around the cul de sac, waiting for the right time to knock on our door. Our old television that I could turn on and off by screaming at the right pitch. The time we threw disappearing ink on my cousin as he came down the steps, dressed for an interview at a law firm. Meetings with my sister in our bathroom.
I am saying goodbye to a house.
I am also saying hello to the new book. But wait, you think, Life from Scratch isn’t coming out until December 1, 2010. Isn’t this a little early to be saying hello to the new book? Well, life has sort of been in high gear for the last few weeks because my book was chosen by Mediabistro for its book club.
Which means an event in New York on August 17th and a reading and new galleys printed. Which means creating the book site and throwing out ideas for the cover design and edits and tweaks and all sort of loose ends.
Which is 2000 kinds of cool, but also a little crazy because it was unexpected. Calliope received an email from me in the morning, and by evening, we had built this site together over the phone. Seriously, this woman is amazing and brilliant, and as Lindsay did for building Stirrup Queens, Calliope held my hand through the whole thing and didn’t even laugh at me when I started panting that building a website was too hard. If you ever need website help (especially headers), you should hire her. It’s worth every penny to not have to bang your head against the wall.
And if you were wondering what the hell my book is even about (and you can go on the book site and read an excerpt right now), from the blurb on Galleycat:
Nine months after Rachel Goldman’s divorce, she gives birth to a cooking project as well as a blog that helps her find her voice that was missing during her married years. Life from Scratch is an enjoyable read about not only learning how to grab your own happiness, but also, how to fry your own egg. An amateur chef and popular blogger herself, Ford is the author of the award-winning website, Stirrup Queens. Her blog has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten motherhood blogs.
The reading is open to the public as long as you RSVP and I believe you will go home with a copy of the uncorrected galleys. A collectors item! You can RSVP for the event here. And then let me know you’re coming.
So…goodbye and hello.