Sunday, March 7, 2010


I thought I found my house. I couldn’t sleep just dreaming about beautiful moldings, a kitchen with a double oven and TWO pantries, fancy tile work in the master bathroom, a separate study and a formal living room and dining room, a huge closet (in fact, two closets) in the master bedroom, a half bath. A half bath sounds like peanuts, really, but when you don’t have one, it's not. I’ve been desperate for a half bath so that my book club and writing group friends won’t have to remove the Elmo potty seat from the toilet when they need to use it.

I’ve been so excited, waiting patiently all week until I could take Eric there to see our “new house.” I’d already moved our family in, in my head. I knew exactly where I’d put my library. My piano was moved in and ready to play. I placed my couches and little end tables. I’d even called the school district to get Bianca into their equivalent of the accelerated program she’s in—one last testing, but we’d have to do it the next afternoon. And it all seemed so perfect.

But Eric was Eric—it wasn’t perfect to him. Where was the drain in the laundry room? The house next door was an eye sore. Really? I hadn’t noticed; I was too busy looking at the house in front of me. I was deflated. I was hoping he’d walk in and say, yes, this is it. Just like we had ten years ago when we walked into the model home of the house we built and have lived in since then. That something just felt right. Maybe some kind of premonition that this was the house in which we were going to be breakfasting, reading together, and growing older. I sat back in the car and lost the energy to drive down to Orem to have Bianca take the test. We told our realtor we needed a couple days to think about it.

I mentioned to Eric on our way home that the used-clothing pick up was on Tuesday. We’ve been bursting out of our little closet for a couple years now. I had this great idea that I’d be happy—and our little closet would seem bigger—if we each donated 25-30 items. So Eric went through his stuff and so did I and we both bagged up at least 50 things. And as I stood in my closet, I realized this hadn’t even put a dent in the problem. I collapsed onto the closet floor and looked up at the stuffed-in clothes and cried. I couldn’t move. I just sat in the closet and wept for a house that wasn’t going to be mine. I’d have to move my family back out in my head, my clothes moved out of that huge closet. Take back all the memories I’d imagined having there. Finally, I picked myself off the floor and finished the job I’d started. Then got Bianca ready for tonight. She was chosen to play her In the Hall of the Mountain King on piano at Herriman city’s talent show.

I sat in the audience and watched as my little girl bravely walked into the spotlight and performed her piece (see video below). Her piano teacher was sitting right in front of us (a piano teacher who encourages creativity and always dutifully prints up Bianca’s little compositions for her, and has incorporated a little viola/violin instruction into her weekly lesson). In the program was the announcement for Herriman’s children’s theatre production that's being done this summer, a musical for which I’m writing the script. And I wondered if I’m really supposed to be here in Herriman, where I’ve been for so long. When the audience applauded for my daughter, I felt like they were begging to keep us here. How do you extricate yourself from a community that you’ve been entrenched in for nine years? I went to bed last night, knowing that the right decision is to stay here in Herriman.

But here I am, up early the next morning, not sleeping because I can't get that house out of my head. Of being in a school district that isn’t being pilfered of all its extra programs by a east-west split. In that house surrounded by beauty (Did I mention the amazing view out the back?). And I’m still unsure.


Anonymous said...

I'm going through the same thing. Beginning this year, I've been taking at least one bag a week to Goodwill and it's not making a dent. We have too much stuff. I've decided that rather than move, I'm just going to continue to work on decluttering and try to make my house seem new again by cleaning and getting the order back. I love your Herriman house. I'm pretty sure the grass is not greener in Highland.

Crystal said...

Aww, darn, Jeana. I'm still holding out hope you guys will do it. I'm going to have to un-imagine us being able to get together more in the summer with you just a couple miles away now. I hope whatever is best for you guys works out.

Christie Gardiner said...

The grass IS greener in Highland because Highland is by me! ;)

I support whatever you decide!

rachel said...

I don't mind the Elmo seat...really!

Call me. We need to talk...