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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Monday, July 03, 2006

NOT GONE: Or, This is What Friends Are For

So, I spent the weekend crying over the little green house. Gone, gone, gone. But first I emailed my best high school friend, and asked her to check it out, to make sure it was really gone. I went for a little overnight getaway - wonderful - to the Mountain Home Inn on Mount Tamalpais. On the way up, my husband's iPod played the Jackson Browne song that always makes me cry.
Well I looked into a house I once lived in
Around the time I first went on my own
When the roads were as many as the places I had dreamed of
And my friends and I were one
Now the distance is done and the search has begun
I've come to see where my beginnings have gone
Oh the walls and the windows were still standing
And the music could be heard at the door
Where the people who kindly endured my odd questions
Asked if I came very far
And when my silence replied they took me inside
Where their children sat playing on the floor
Well we spoke of the changes that would find us farther on
And it left me so warm and so high
But as I stepped back outside to the grey morning sun
I heard that highway whisper and sigh
Are you ready to fly?
And I looked into the faces all passing by
It's an ocean that will never be filled
And the house that grows older and finally crumbles
That even love cannot rebuild...

---Looking Into You, Jackson Browne

I thought I was going to just shatter into a million tears. We got into our cozy little room and I just cried and cried. My house! Gone! I immediately started planning a massive writing project, in which I would meticulously record every memory of every square inch of that property, from the circular driveway to the mulch pile in the back yard, to the enclosed porch and the laundry room.

When we got home, an email from my friend Cathy. With a photo, taken from her car. "Relax," she wrote. "It's still there -- no worries."

I wanted to break out a bottle of champagne. I danced around the kitchen and hugged my husbsand. "If we can save a bunch of money," I said to him, "I'm going to buy it back." He gave me a sideways, alarmed, are-you-nuts look. "And do what with it?"

I thought about that. Restore it. Preserve it. Rent it out to sweet little families with little kids. Turn it into a little writing retreat. Go there with my friends. I don't know. Anything but let it crumble.

And: Thanks, Cath. I don't know what I would do without you.


Blogger melanie said...

hurrah! I'm so glad to hear this. and I don't think it's nutty to want to buy it back.

Monday, July 03, 2006 9:02:00 PM

Blogger Libby said...

Yay! Not having such a place myself I am fascinated and awed, really, by what it must be for you. I hope you get your wish.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 5:10:00 AM

Blogger gayle said...

What a relief! I felt the pain of your last post so deeply, and am thrilled to know the house is still in the world.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006 10:36:00 AM

Blogger C(h)ristine said...

whew! I was out of town this weekend and got back in the middle of the night last night--and read your posts back to back. Wow! I am so glad your fear was not realized.

Weird parallel event in my life--my parents are moving to Nevada, to a retirement community. They are selling the house I grew up in, the house they have owned for nearly 30 years. I have never thought myself attached to that house, but it will be weird to lose that "homebase."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 2:08:00 PM

Blogger Heather said...

That is how I feel about the house I lived in, in KY, when I was 2 and 3 and 4. White house. Black shutters. Backed up to a mountain that is now a highway.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 2:29:00 PM

Blogger nova said...

Oh, I read your other post and was so sad to find that your house was goneā€¦ And then to come back and find this! Such wonderful news.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 4:52:00 PM

Blogger Bustopher Jones said...

I'm so happy your house is still there! Your post made me want to take lots of photos and notes of the house I grew up in before it ever gets sold.

Thursday, July 06, 2006 11:55:00 PM


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