By Jacki Michels, for the Redoubt Reporter
To the Other Woman,
I am jealous of you. Thinking of you lying in my bedroom, waking to walk across the hardwood floor that I picked out and helped install. Part of me chameleons into shades of cold, jade-green jealousy as I imagine you looking through the French doors into the greenhouse addition that I designed and nurtured.
A small part of me hopes you can’t make the geraniums grow the way I did. But that is the small me. The bigger me wishes good things for you, and as hard as is it for me to let go of all I cherished so deeply, I do wish you well.
This house was like our first child. We planned and hoped, and when it looked like it was going to happen we were sure we couldn’t afford it. We had NO idea what we were doing and most anything we figured out, we did so by doing it wrong — at least our kids thought so at times.
Speaking of kids, this house grew five of them, saw my grandmother through her elderly years and sheltered many who had need. This house welcomed friends, relatives and strangers. This house was where people were fed, entertained, disciplined, taught, consoled, wronged and forgiven. Because of these things, this house became a proper home.
To save you time and tears I have humbly put together a packet in the hall closet. It is chock full of owner’s manuals, instructions for appliances great and small, as well as paint cards with the rooms listed on the back should you decide to touch up rather than repaint a particular room. Consider this your Dr. Spock book of your home.
Also in the closet is a notebook full of things you need to know, like, what to do when there is sand in the water in the spring, what to do in case of spider mites, where things are planted in the garden, how to propagate geraniums and other such homey discussions. Consider this your unsolicited crazy garden lady advice.
We strove to have every last detail finished, but like a novel, a garden, the kids and ourselves, the job is never quite finished. It’s a work in progress and not without flaws and scars.
Some scars show faintly, like the thin line across the kitchen floor where our neighbor, Kyra, showed off her Rollerblading skills. (Yes, I yelled at her — and love her to this day.) The ketchup stain on the living room ceiling and the growing handprints in the bathroom are long painted over. Where the puppy ate the Linoleum in the laundry room is only covered by a rug.
As I walk through my home for the last time I realize you will not be walking into the same home you choose to buy. Gone are the warm fall colors, the scones and scented candles, the music.
It is once again only a house.
You will make it a home.
Funny how an empty house echoes. I am sure that we left behind a little laughter.
- Grounds for Divorce No. 3,478: Finally finishing those honeydos — for the “Other woman.”
Jacki Michels is a freelance writer who lives (and loves) in Soldotna.