Cry me a river.


Loutree                                                                                    Photo by Kathy Quirk Syvertsen

If one more person makes me clean my house, yell at my kids, yank them out the door and loom somewhere for an hour and then REJECTS this house that I love so much, I am seriously going to lose it.  How can all these people not see what we see?  We bought this house when it was blanketed in vomit-green shag carpet and floral wallpaper.  The kitchen was putrid – plush brown carpet flecked with crumbs from an old man’s lonely dinners, pheasant wallpaper and a big chandelier (if you can call it that) that looked like it came out of Bronco Bill’s Saloon and Whorehouse.  

But we saw.  The house spoke to us.  The land spoke to us.  This is a beautiful foursquare with the stark, simple lines of the prairie, the warm woodwork of the forest.  Its bones are strong – it feels organic yet sturdy.  There are old stories written in the grain of the wood.  The way it sits on this hill is quiet, noble and austere.  You look outside and it’s a wall of living green.  There are owls and foxes, woodpeckers and raccoons.  Minnehaha Creek dips into a deep gorge in front of our house and the trees shimmy and murmur as the water flows on by.  It’s beautiful.  It’s peaceful and bucolic.  The Parkway is like a spine to this city.  You hop on with your bike and you can go anywhere.  

And we’ve been so very happy here.  This is the home of our babies.  Every one of them learned to walk on these smooth wood floors.  This is where they rolled down our hill, ate popsicles on our steps, sat in our laps in Adirondack chairs as we cheered on the marathoners, the triathaloners, the Harley guys, the Vespa guys, the antique car guys out for a Sunday cruise on the parkway.  How many times did we watch the bats flick around in our piece of sky – the space  between our blue spruce and our basswood tree?   The spruce is growing like a teenage boy – when we moved in it was as tall as Doctor Dash, now it’s a towering giant, reaching at least eighteen feet toward heaven.

I’ve cried three times today.  I am so sad and so stressed.  I feel like a desperate impoverished woman pushing her daughter to sell herself.  Go house, please just go.  I love this house, but I need to sell this house.  It’s not about the cleaning anymore.  It’s about not having a home.  We can’t relax here.  We can’t cook big feasts and let the kids run around with cookies and yogurt.  We have no sanctuary, no haven.  My house is a shelter, yes, but it is work to be here.  We have nowhere to decompress and just be the messy, dirty, humans that we are.  I used to love to throw my kids in the bathtub with their muddy feet and hands, watching the water turn brown as evidence of their day of fun.  Now I just think about where I left the Clorox wipes, about cleaning that ring of grunge off the tub before I forget. 

I can’t stop crying.  I am going to flood Minnehaha Creek with my tears because I am truly losing my mind. 

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