Thursday, September 04, 2008

Size - it's all in my head

I remember when I reached the docks of the Amazon River in Iquitos, Peru, I bent over and laughed at the aged slats of faded blue wood, spit, and glue that would be our home and transportation for the next 17 days and wondered how for the love of all that’s holy it would hold our luggage, food, medical supplies, and, of course, us. Somehow our floating rent-a-wreck proved to be a hearty old broad, and it all worked out. No one drowned, though I almost went flying overboard over the sight of a spider the size of a large man’s hand.

I wondered the same thing when we arrived at the lodge 120 miles upriver, and I spied the tiny hut that stood five feet above ground. Where I would lay my weary bones, and how on earth can this fit one person, let alone two? But, somehow, we made it work.

These impressions have never been an issue with my home. It’s a big thing with lots of room for three kids, hubby, me, the dog and cockatoo. When the kids grew up, two moved out. One to his own place, the other to the military. Wow, the house felt positively HUGE. Our voices echoed against the nekkid walls and empty rooms. For the first time, I tried my hand decorating and turned one kid’s room into the guest room I’d always dreamed of. Problem was, we never had any guests.

Then #2 son came home from the military with a beagle, who is now my unreliable secretary. Ok, so now we have two dogs and a cockatoo. We quickly adjusted to the extra body because the body was never here due the long work hours. Still, the house felt a wee bit smaller.

Overnight my house turned into a teepee whose seams are bursting under the weight of bodies. #1 son moved back in. With his furniture. And his bearded dragons. Three. Of. Them. Two are babies. Yeegods, where is all this stuff going to fit, and can my constitution withstand the idea that I share the same mailing address with dragons?

Boxes, a tall lamp, paintings, discarded clothing late for Goodwill now litter the upstairs hallway, and I’ve had to take a crash course in contortionism in order to leap, bend, and twist my way into my office. When did my house get so small? I keep thinking I’m going to adjust to this. After all, I mastered the Amazon, I can certainly master this. But I also knew the Amazon was temporary. How temporary is this arrangement? #1 son wants to finish school while working, so he’s saving his rent money. #2 son is getting back on his financial feet after the military. I’m good with all this, but where was it written that I was a “love me, love my dragons” kinda gal?

Last night was filled with the beagle and my dog playing – which means that every couch cushion was tossed about the floor with reckless abandon. This set off the cockatoo, who screeched and bellyached about not being included in the fun. This freaked out the dragons, who clung to their branches and made like they were going to eat my hand. I don’t live in a home anymore, I live in a freaking insane asylum. I pity anyone coming to our door. I pity me for living here.

#3 daughter has the right idea; she just got accepted into a sports medicine program in London. I may join her.

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