Thursday, November 13, 2008

2 months post-Ike

September 13 Ike came -- I'd been though hurricanes before but Ike was more than I expected. The one and only thing I ever really wanted - the only thing I do want -- is a home. Ike had different ideas. We lived here almost one year exactly when Ike came and the damage ... I wasn't prepared. Living in this swamp my whole life with never a flood I never dreamed my house would flood but there's a first for everything. It's amazing what a foot or so of water can do to a building... It's not like we'd realy gotten all the way moved in and things taken care of -- there was a lot of remodeling the house needed that we didn;t get finished before we moved in, there was still a lot of stuff in boxes, hadn't painted, hung pictures, etc. No more boxes though -- Ike tok care of them and they're still sitting out on the patio waiting to be trashed.
But I digress... imagine that.
2 months to the day we had Ike and what a storm it was. It was phenomenal and terrifying, majestic and devastating. It was nature unleashed at its best. 17 days without power. But the ground was nice and soft so it was a good time to plant the trees and such we'd had sheltered from the hot sun waiting for a better day. Today one of the peach trees bloomed, right next to the orange tree with the few fruits left hanging after Ike. Across the way tomatoes and peppers like crazy. So everything looks normal enough at least outside. Come inside and the floors are like a crazy house, cupped and wavy every which way. Just waiting for the insurance check. It will be the first time in my adult life I will live in a house without wood floors. I can't explain it, but that's a loss.
It's not that bad in retrospect. We need new floors throughout, we ought to replace all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets (but we're not going to so we can save some of that money for a new roof that the insurance didn't cover), we have to take out the sheetrock (but that means we can insulate). It doesn't make any sense for me to feel bad about it -- it's just a house, a thing. I wanted it to be a home and it never made it, at least not yet. Not a magazine picture home, no, I want a lived-in home, a place with "our stuff" from "our trips" and "our lives."
I guess that's a lot to ask 'cause except for a relatively short time I've not been able to accomplish it -- instead I live in warehouses filled with all kinds of magazines, papers, ill-fitting clothes, too many books (is that an oxymoron?) and boxes filled with only god knows what.
What I have is a house with potential.
One day I will not worry every time it rains.
One day the sheetrock will be new without any mold or mildew
One day we will have a new pvc floor that won't buckle, cup or swell when it floods.
One day is in the future
There may never come a day that R trashes the old papers but maybe one day te stacks won't bother me so much
There will almost definitely never be a day that people coming in the house don;t just drop stacks of mail and work and papers and books on the first empty surface
But maybe when we get a floor and sheetrock and repair the flood damage the house will look and feel so much better that the crap all over the place doesn't bother me so much
For now I still feel very much displaced and that this place where I awake and brush my teeth is no part of me -- nor I any part of it -- it is just a space.
I am full of space inside -- sometimes too much.
I don't need space -- I need a home.

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houston, tx, United States

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