Friday, September 4, 2009

Our House

We've had a busy week here at the Castle, am taking some early morning quiet time to write a few lines. You see, I'm happy to report that my eldest daughter and son-in-law have moved back home for a little while. They just need some time to regroup, re-evaluate, and rejuvenate. It's been a rough first year of marriage for them, they didn't have time to catch their breaths before dealing with the death of a family member followed closely by the loss of Kevin's job and then a few months later, Kali being laid off by the School Board! Icing on the cake was the "repossession" of a family member's loaner car, leaving them a one-vehicle couple in a town that is not conducive to such! Poor kids were just completely overwhelmed and unprepared.

So, in the past week we have added 2 adults, 1 cat, 1 dog, 2 fishtanks and a 4.5 foot ball python to our home. Whew. Suffice it to say that we are filled to capacity but when Beren's girls visit every-other-weekend we're going to be overflowing! I'm not sure where we'll put everyone, lol, but somehow we'll manage. (The only good thing I can say about my ex-husband at the moment is I'm grateful that he insisted on purchasing a 4-bedroom house instead of the 3-bedroom I coveted)

The cons of this move are obvious: no adult child wants to move back with his/her parents, especially with husband and furkids in tow! K & K have been together 5 years, most of the time living together on their own, paying their own way and enjoying the independence (and privacy!) that comes along with that responsibility. I'm sure they would much rather be in their own little home with plenty of space for their "stuff" rather than crowded in with all of us.

However, we've all acknowledged the pros of the situation as well: First off, we like each other! Really like each other. A day rarely went by without Kali speaking to at least one of her sisters and certainly to me, and as you know we have family dinners, parties, etc. together every chance we get. I'm very fortunate that my grown children still (mostly) want to hang out with me...grin...and that their Significant Others blend in as well as they do. We can be a wild & rowdy bunch after all and it takes a certain type of personality to appreciate us!

Also, though 2 more humans and multiple pets do cause additional messes around the Castle, there are also 4 more working hands willing & able to cook, clean, maintain, etc. They both enjoy cooking, Kali is a great organizer and Kevin is awesome in the garden. Of course, it goes without saying that since they're both artists our home is even more beautiful and colorful than a week ago!

Though we no doubt will encounter some challenges in the next few months as we learn to live together once again, I am confident that it'll all work out and this will be a positive experience for everyone. We joke that we are starting our own little commune, a new way of living together, each contributing his or her own strengths and talents to the collective table, literally and figuratively because one of the best parts of the situation so far has been our return to dining together. With 6 chefs in the house, each of us have been assigned one night of cooking (allowing one night for pizza take-out) and so far that has worked out famously! It's exciting to see what each person comes up with, allowing us new & different cuisines than we would normally experience. Now that I'm not the only one cooking each night, I look forward to dinnertime again, a chance for us to sit around the table and share stories, laughs over a good meal and a cheap bottle of wine. Of course, due to our busy schedules we haven't been able to do this every night but even if Lily comes home late from work, for example, she knows that she'll have a plate of food lovingly set aside for her and there will be someone to sit down and enjoy it with. Rarely is my house empty anymore! *smile*

I am sure we're not the only family experiencing this right now, and I daresay that with the current uncertain economic forecast, we'll be seeing more such as ourselves. And really, despite the stress and worry, I see the potential for so much good out of this economic crisis we're experiencing. If it draws people closer, brings families together, encourages sharing whether it be of a home or a meal or's a good thing. Our priorities have shifted, we've been reminded of what really matters. Not the brand new SUV, not the fancy new house, not the perfect decorating or spotless kitchen, the 6-figure income, expensive vacations or designer clothing. Family. Friends. Community. That's what's important. We in our family have always known that but now even more so. I am truly grateful to once again have everyone I love most in the world under one roof, happy & healthy & safe.

I am incredibly blessed.


Susan said...

Hey, M ~

Sweet... and yikes! - I can so empathize... although you seem to have a much better attitude about it than I do. R had moved out in April (or was it May?)... and began having roommate problems... so he moved back home a few weeks ago - fiscal responsibility is not his strong suit... and I find myself more annoyed than joyous at his return (relate/relax/release/attitude adjustment... :-)

I think we'd best discuss this face to face and over multiple glasses of wine - I'm going to drop you an e-mail, seeing what your next week's schedule looks like!

On the flip side, our next-door neighbors gave us comp tickets to Crosby, Stills and Nash my first week back home, and hubby and I went and thoroughly enjoyed - they've still got it... and Graham's song for Joni (Our House) retains such love and magic, even 40 years later!

Mother of Invention said...

You seem to have a really balanced perspective of your situation and it is indeed helpful to the young couple. I'm sure it won't last forever but some day they will be very thankful and look back fondly at their time spent with you.

Rapunzel said...

Susan, please do send me an e-mail, I'd love to set something up for the coming week. Wine and a long chat sounds wonderful!

Aisling said...

I'm an oddball in today's society. I like the idea of multiple generations living under one roof (or two roofs, right next door to each other.)

Enjoy this precious time, because I am sure they will be back out on their own and the house will seem empty and quiet.

love and hugs,

Rapunzel said...

Aisling, you may be "unusual" in today's society but it's a good thing! I think we've lost something by living separately as we all do, especially when it comes to the older generation. I don't have the option any longer but I can't imagine that I would've put my mother in a "home" if there were any way possible I could have cared for her here. The way we treat our elderly is deplorable, IMHO.

Now that my kids are older the tides have turned; I now learn so much from them! They keep me young, lol, and my mind open!

jan said...

Hi Rapunzel-

A very similar thing has happened in John's family. His nephew's family put their condo on the market and it sold much sooner than they anticipated. So soon in fact that they had no other home lined up so they moved in with John's sister. Now instead of 2 adults in a 3+ bedroom house there are 4 adults, 2 children under the age of 10, 1 month old baby, 2 dogs and 1 cat. When John and I found out this was happening, our reaction was: "Yikes! Disaster!". But the first time we walked in their front door after it had all gone down we realized that it was pure magick. I think this may be the way families are supposed to live.

Anyway, Goddess bless you! I think it's awesome. And your writing is so crisp and and fine and personal. Love it.

Annie said...

There's a challenge for you in my blog... ;-)

Rapunzel said...

Thank you, Jan, I hope that we continue to be as successful as your family members have been!