Thursday morning I didn’t have the car. The kids had driven it to school, and because I was leaving for the weekend, I wanted to do the shop. I took the cart Richard got me at a yard sale, much bigger than the one I was forced to buy on one of my first outings to the then new Stop and Shop, since I couldn’t carry home the groceries in my cart without one.

Walking up the hill, I came across a couch in front of a former day care family’s house. The couch looked just like the ones we have in our living room and tv room, not too big to fit in the upstairs of our tight stair cased, small roomed home. It was in fine shape, brown velvety microfiber, plump cushions, no tears or significant wear. Using my shopping cart, I wheeled the cushions home, no clear plan how I’d get the frame down the street.

As I was wondering a truck arrived in front of a neighbors house to deliver furniture. I wondered if the movers would loan me one of their rolling carts. They were happy to do that. As they moved furniture into the home using the other two from their truck. I wheeled the couch down the center of the street to the sidewalk beside the porch, making sure the wagon and carriage for the day care kids were out front as I was blocking the storage area under the porch.

That afternoon I e-mailed the day care family to see if they could find out from their tenants what was up with the couch. Good news! It was free of any critters or stains, and it had come to it’s owner and to me free. He had gotten it on a deal from Jordan Furniture which promised his purchase would be free if the Red Sox won the series. As he said, they did and I did!

Jen and I tried to drag it upstairs Thursday night, but it was more than we could do. We rearranged the day care front room and parked it there for the kids to explore on Friday. Jen tested it out and it was comfy. She connected me with the mover who came on Sunday to get it upstairs.

Sunday afternoon between a wreath making party with my daughter and a class at Cambridge Friends Meeting I found myself beginning what has been two days of moving the house around. First I moved all kinds of stuff out of the living room to make room for the couch. Then movers hauled the couch up over the back porch while I hauled stuff to the curb, an old AC from under the porch, bins of yard waste from the tree limbs the wildlife removal guy trimmed Wednesday afternoon, trash, recycling, a small table from under the porch. They hauled the old blue couch to the curb, but this morning when it was raining I dragged it back under the porch, hating to think of it going into the mouth of the trash truck and to the landfill if someone might still love it. I stripped the slipcover off it and that is in the drier now. The seat cushion is drying in the bathroom and the frame is under the porch. If you know of a place that takes used furniture and has home pickup, let me know.

All day today I’ve been in moving mode. I moved more furniture around the house than I have in years. I cleaned cupboards, a closet, and drawers. The house painter came to add a layer of joint compound to the patches he’s put on the ceiling to cover the holes left by the electricians when they removed our old fixtures. He’ll be back on Wednesday to paint the kitchen ceiling, so I’m clearing off the kitchen counters and shelves and fridge in anticipation.

While I was doing all that I found a leaky can of furniture restorer for oak, and a ton of furniture polish. Interspersed with moving and cleaning and decluttering, I polished furniture, lots of it, shelves, bureaus, tables, chairs, a desk and file cabinet, windows and sills. Everything got a coating of Howard’s wax and feed, a polish I’ve had for years and used once upon a time to restore shine and good health to our many wooden surfaces.

It’s after midnight. the house is dark except for candles I’ve lit in the cleared off windowsills in glass votive jars. One of my jobs was cleaning out the candle drawer. Another was clearing the kitchen windowsill. While I was doing that, removed the screens as my friend who hosted the wreath party had done. I’m hoping in the morning the light will shine in more brightly than it has in years.

Through all the moving, cleaning, and clearing, polishing and rearranging, I felt happy. For the last many years, taking care of this house has been a loaded proposition. It’s been hard to find the time and energy. Now I”m working only one job and working less and my kids are growing up, I’m finding time to take care of my house. It was hard to take of the house when my marriage was falling apart and after our separation and divorce. Emotions interfered. Now I feel clear. That stage of life is behind me. I’ve found a new love, and a new strength. I’m feeling less like a weak woman, less overwhelmed at the enormity of taking care of my home along, more competent and energized that I can do it.

I may not have the bucks to redo my kitchen, but I’ve got a closet full of old polishes to shine the kitchen table and I can clear off the windowsill over the sink, remove the screens, shine the glass and the wood, clear off the plants and knick knacks, and put a candle in each of the three window sections, reminiscent this evening of the plug in candles my mom used to put in our windows for the winter holidays when I was a kid. The dark calls for freshening up home, for battening down the hatches, for inviting in the light, whether sunshine during the day or candle and lamp light at night.

I put the plants from the windowsill in my son’s room. Many of them were gifts from him, succulent loving guy that he is. I like having some life in his room. I also put three lamps there, shined the furniture, am leaving the doors open, adding his room to the living space we can all enjoy.

I took more of the after school stuff out of the dining room. There are still some children’s books that need to be culled from the shelves, but the big shelf of toys is gone, the art supplies are sorted, and the board games are in the newly cleared hall closet, sewing stuff that used to be there going upstairs to the newly cleared table there, in hopes I’ll get back go sewing this winter.

I moved the keyboard and it’s stand from the living room to the dining room to make room for the couch. I hung a Matisse print over it, and even sat down twice to play. This time I played scales and notes that pleased me, no song book or memorized music. I’m hoping gradually I’ll play music or sing again. It’s been a long time.

It’s bedtime but I’ve had a lot of coffee late in the day and I’m a little wound up from all the project work. Thursday morning I’m also off and I’m hoping to take on the upstairs again, sorting and clearing until the place is livable for guests, who may arrive in the next few weeks and need a place to sleep that isn’t full of boxes and children’s ancient art. Wish me luck in maintaining momentum.

My son crashed his dad’s car Friday night. I’ve loaned him mine for the week. Out of something bad came something good. He gets the car and I get more time at home. Rather than heading back to Northampton last night or running errands in the car today, I got the couch moved and ended up moving a whole lot more. When I woke up I thought I needed a vision of where I was headed before I could begin. Partway through the day I realized I often work best by following my energy, seeing what comes next step-by-step. That’s a good thing to know about myself. It makes it easier to take a lazy day when I need it and to use my energy for the things that call it rather than sticking to a plan.

T

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