We have tipped past the halfway point of June, blown from Mother’s Day through the last days of school, and on past Father’s Day. I am sitting in our new house on a little ledge in Eden’s room, where people must have sat on and off for the last 64 years. It’s a tall step, really, that leads to a cupboard in her wall, but it invites one to sit. From this little bench-for-one, I can look out the window at the Magnolia tree, the black sheen of the wet street, and the bright grass drinking in the rain.
My voice sounds loud and echoes when I speak here. We have not moved in yet; the house stands empty as slowly these walls become a more familiar space. I'm here to wait for a plumber who will rescue the walls from springing with pinhole leaks.
For twelve years of marriage we have neatly dodged the full-blown home-owning responsibilities -- renting, owning a condo, renting again. But now here we are. Some days (especially the rainy ones and days when five people traipse through the house jotting notes and giving estimates) it is mildly terrifying to realize that we are the adults here!
Right now, a sump pump buzzes on and off at the bottom of this house in a make-shift hole someone once drilled in the driveway. A few plumbers last week glanced at it on their way in, and said it's in the wrong place, will freeze up in winter, is squirrel-y at best. Yes... Ben put it in... It's an attempt to stave off the rainwater that rose in the basement during the last storm and left a muddy pond over the concrete floor. We found the water (or really, I should say Ben did) and for the next few days I talked about going over with Eden and a mop. But I didn't. I couldn't, actually, begin to imagine how to make that much water and mud disappear from inside the house. I found, though, that saying decisive, helpful things to myself like, I think I'll get a mop and go over there today, or proactively finding a bucket to bring, made me feel a little better until Ben and my brother Max went with a shop vac (so the mop wouldn't have done much good anyway) and sucked it all up.
And so now, with an air of certainty and confidence, I am off to meet the plumber (who, I might add, just pulled up with a big sidekick in a little beat up teal car, in slouchy clothes with no trace of a company name on anything) to tell him all that I know about the scabbed galvanized pipes hiding behind the walls and what, in my experience, I think should be done...