“We’re looking for a house and a little acreage within a few miles of town, maybe even on the creek.” I told Bobbi about the life-changing day in which I spent 10 hours sitting in one traffic jam or another, and how I had finally come to the realization it was time for us to relocate to a quieter place.
“I’d love to help you. Just tell your time of arrival, and I’ll have everything all set up.”
The next step was telling Frank what seemed inevitable. We’d been talking about a move for years, but had never decided on a location.
I summoned all my audacity, took a deep breath. “Do you think it’s time for us to move to the country?”
I laid out all the arguments pro and con, the prices and possibilities, Bobbi’s name and reputation, her history with Jaycie.
All right? That’s all? I nearly swooned with surprise and relief. He’d sworn to leave his redoubt only feet first.
“Is that all you can say?”
“What else is there to say? Go get us a house.”
Although I could hardly believe this turn of events, I kept taking baby steps and acting “as if.” Thanks to priceline.com, I got a quick and incredibly cheap round-trip ticket to the Midwest.
Frank remained uncharacteristically calm. No rolling of the eyes or clutching of the belly at the mention of moving vans. He must have realized that some invisible line had been crossed. He heard something new in my voice, saw an undefinable something in my manner that had never appeared before. He also knew it was time, and said so. We were finally ready.
“So, when you get back next week, we may have a new house?”
“Could take months. You never know. Then all the red tape. I can’t imagine having a new house in a week.”
“Well, who knows?”
“Sure you don’t want to come with me? I’d feel more comfortable making the decision with your help.”
“Positive! I trust your aesthetic sensibilities. Besides, you’ll take your sister along. You know what I’ve always told you: As long as I have my little room with the books and computer, I’m happy.”
Together, we recited his mantra, the quotation from Pascal about all troubles coming to human beings from not knowing how to stay quietly in their rooms.
And my mantra about the need for elbow room in our crowded and cramped house: “And never walk sideways again.”
April 29, 2008 No Comments