Ah, yes. I remember this day. The day our house arrived “completely finished” on the back of several tractor trailers.
We were so full of hope then.
“Thanksgiving will be a little sparse this year,” I laughed naively. We wouldn’t be unpacked, you see. It was the middle of October and I figured by the time we moved in and got somewhat organized, I couldn’t possibly have found the huge turkey roaster and Dirtman’s grandparents’ dishes, which were among the first things to be packed.
That was when the man from the housing company reluctantly informed us that there were certain things that couldn’t be done at the plant to finish our house, due to having to drag it up a gravel hill.
We were oh-so understanding. It’s the price one must pay to live in a wooded secluded area. That’s okay, we assured him. So Christmas among the packing boxes would be a little chaotic. But, hey, we’ve waited this long just to get to this point, what’s another few weeks?
“I hear you want to be in here by Thanksgiving,” our electrician said as we took him around the house a few days later.
All he said was, “Hmmm.”
Easter would be at our new house! I announced at a family gathering shortly after this. Wouldn’t the nieces and nephews enjoy searching for Easter eggs in the woods? I had this insane idea that, in addition to the two gnomes we had already purchased, I’d scatter several more around the land and place eggs next to each one for the younger kids to find. I had a whole story concocted for them.
I remember someone joking that maybe we shouldn’t make plans for the house until we were actually in it.
“It had better be done by then,” Dirtman snapped. “That’s almost five months from now. That’s plenty of time.”
We both laughed in that hysterical way that is one step away from insanity, the kind of laugh that never quite reaches your eyes. The kind of laugh that scares people.
At first people asked how things were going, almost apologetically. Now they just cross the street when they see us coming. I realized our voices were taking on a tinge of madness when discussing our construction project. People feared for us, but from a distance.
We no longer make plans for the house. We know now that we will never actually occupy the house. We will visit the house. We will talk about the house. We will use phrases like, “If we were in the new house…” and talk about how wonderful life would be.
But we will never actually live in the house. I know this now. We must accept and embrace our role as eternal overseers of never-ending construction.
Resistance is futile.