My friends are back. They have been languishing in a storage facility with no one to love them. They are, of course, my books. At least, the books that we kept after we gave so many away. Our house was feeling strange without a ton of books.
Not only are the books back from storage, but everything else is too. When we rented a storage unit last spring, we assumed we would sell the house this summer and already be moved into our new house by winter, so we stored all our "clutter" and excess furniture, as well as winter clothes and Christmas decorations. Now that we've taken the house off the market until next spring, we decided we didn't need to be paying that $109 a month storage fee, when we need that $109 to help pay for heating oil this winter. So back everything came. Matt and Sarah were so sweet to help us do the hard work (after all, the boxes and furniture had to be carried up a flight, to a landing, up another flight, to the landing, up another flight, to the landing, then up the final flight, then the length of the house!). Our son-in-law Chris offered his help for the second day, but they had already finished up earlier than expected. Our daughter, Rachel, passed up the opportunity to help. What kind of excuse is being in the last few weeks of pregnancy, anyway?! She's so stuck out in front that all we would have done would have been to put a backpack on her and fill it up. It would even balance her better. Oh, well.
Even though we are inundated with boxes and furniture again, we are happy that our "stuff" is back in the house. We can access it, read it, wear it, decorate with it, or just plain admire it.
Even though we were disappointed the house didn't sell this past summer, we are happy it's off the market for the winter. I was reading a book about the sacredness of the home space, and I stopped to think about that. One of the reasons the constant showings were unnerving for us was that we have always considered home our sacred space, and the endless barrage of strangers traipsing in, through, around our sacred space just disoriented us in some way. It's different when we've had invited guests and led them on a tour through the house. That was fine. But total strangers usurping our home while they made their inevitable judgments on our decorating taste or lack thereof - that bothered us.
We know we will have to go through that again in the spring, when the house will be officially on the market once more. But for now, we are hunkering down for winter, satisfied that our clothes are not mildewing in a concrete storage unit somewhere, and inordinately pleased that that book we need to reference is just within reach.
It will be pleasant to have a few months of reprieve before we jump on the merry-go-round again in the spring.