I called Frank right away to tell him the wonderful news, but he was less than thrilled. I could tell from his tone of voice that he was clutching his belly in angst.
“Another bathroom? Carpenters in our house? Little hatchet-hands sawing and pounding and drilling? Are you sure? Put Charla on the line, please.”
A humming sound as she listened to Frank pepper her with questions. The non-committal sounds of a person stuck firmly in the middle. “Ummmmm. Uh huhhhhhh. Ummmmmmm.” I next expected to hear “Ommmmmmm.”
Finally, “Yes, it’s cute and beautiful, and it will need some work, but it is a fabulous bargain.”
“Bargain? Who needs a bargain? I need peace and quiet. I need my little room with the books and computer, not cacophony. Put your sister back on the line, please.”
“Ellen, what are you thinking? You know I couldn’t deal with that much noise and confusion.”
I also take a neutral stance. “Nothing’s happened yet; we haven’t even made an offer; and maybe this isn’t our house. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. Maybe there’s a better plan.” In spite of it all, however, nothing could dissuade me from continuing to believe we had found the perfect new home.
After we hung up, Charla began a delicate inquiry. “What about those stairs? Could you handle those several times a day?”
“Oh, of course. This knee stuff is all temporary. I’ll soon be my old self and bound up and down the stairs again. We’ll have so much fun choosing paint colors, and how about red gingham for the kitchen curtains?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t know.” She sounded doubtful.
“So, we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Maybe there’s a Plan greater than ourselves that will see to it that win or lose, we’ll be fine, that everything will turn out for the best.”
We paged through the magazines, marking projects and ideas, excited by the aesthetic possibilities. Happy conversations long into the night.
And so to bed after a long, successful day, dreaming far into the night about healed knees, gardens, a converted hen house cum writing retreat, baby rabbits, a dog, and bees buzzing in the orchard. Mish-mashed snippets of Yeats lulled me to sleep:
I will arise and go now to Innisfree…
And a small cabin build there…
Nine bean-rows will I have there…
a hive for the honeybee…
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.