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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Friendship Love Truth

Yesterday we hosted what is most likely the last Thanksgiving at 5 Parkhurst Drive. My mother-in-law said this as we settled down for the meal and I almost involuntarily cried. Which would have been a prime step in cultivating a dysfunctional Thanksgiving. Step 2, after the sobbing, would have been: Drown sorrows in booze. Only I don’t do that anymore. Haven’t done that in over 16 and a half years. So that means I must FEEL these goddamn feelings. Feelings are such assholes. They pop up like uninvited guests and demand you show them a measure of hospitality so you can hasten their departure.

I’ve been thinking a lot about 5 Parkhurst Drive. It’s filled with more treasures than 2 people need. So many treasures that it’s supposedly going to take 3 days to pack and an entire semi to move. I’ve let go of what I can earlier this year. Sure. There are a few more boxes to be donated but not enough to get us out of a semi and into something smaller. It’s not because I’m totally materialistic. It’s because I appreciate unique and beautiful things to create space and home. Maybe the bat skeleton and turtle skeleton does make me materialistic. Or the John Derian Friendship Love Truth tray. Or the books…. No. Not the books. Never the books. Maybe the art from places we’ve visited. The treasures acquired from Barry Barton’s wonderful shop – I can’t believe I’m leaving that place in my rearview mirror. Maybe Barry can give me pointers to one day start my own place like his shop because the world needs these places, places where found treasures are curated, preserved, re-sold, repurposed.

In May of this year, right after Andrea had planted the seed of the move to Virginia, author Janelle Hanchett wrote of her upcoming move to the Netherlands. Hanchett wrote a memoir, “I’m Just Happy to be Here.” Which details her descent into and slow climb out of alcoholism. I’m a sucker for memoirs but particularly if they chronicle a hard-won personal transformation such as Hanchett’s. Of her move to the Netherlands, Hanchett wrote the following on her blog:

I thought about Mac quitting his job and the notice I gave to give up my office. I thought about the home we sold – WE SOLD OUR FUCKING HOUSE – and then I fucking bawled.

I cried for the porch, the big couch, the scratched, pen-marked kitchen table. I cried for every goodnight and good morning there, every step of my baby’s feet on the wood floors, every Christmas morning and Easter basket joy and every moment I crawled into bed at the end of a long day, feeling the questionably clean sheets. That feeling. I know you know it.

“What have we done?”

When I thought about it more, I realized I’m not actually mourning the house. Sure, it’s a great house, and yes, I somehow hate the people we sold it to (rational!), but it is, in fact, just a house. What I’m really grieving is the time we spent there.

My friend told me I needed to kiss the walls of the home and thank it, and I did that. Alone one day, I walked through every empty room and felt us there. Before I left I said thank you. I suppose we have to do that to the years as well.

I know that everything is figure outable (thanks, Marie Forleo) and we will find a lovely home in which the birds nest I found in the backyard of 5 Parkhurst when we first moved in will look just as lovely as it does here. Maybe a place where the bookcases from Barton’s shop can be displayed as their intended, single unit, stretching their full 9 feet of height. For now, I’ll keep doing what I do here – seeking respite to recharge my introvert soul. Creating. Gathering. And when the time comes, I will kiss the walls and thank this home and be grateful for the time we spent here.

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