Saturday, 2 October 2010

Blue sky thinking

Mrs Noah looks cautiously out of her window.

Hallelujah! The rain has stopped and that's blue sky I see up there!

Everyone is safe in the ark, and it has finally (almost) stopped moving.

Out in the garden first thing, getting rosemary for my early morning tea and taking the peelings and teabags and whatnot down to the compost heap, it was beautiful. A sickle moon still shining clear in the yet half-dark sky, and one bright star - Venus? Birds singing their first tweet-a-bit songs, whistling little snatches as clear as water on the air that was cool but not cold. So beautiful.

It's been exciting - the last part of the family upheavals is my mother moving down to live near us. She is in her eighties, very fit and active, but as she grows older it would be so lovely to have her just nearby so we can all of us pop in and out and she can be properly part of the life of the family, instead of a long train journey and a sleep-over distance away, which limits who can go visit with her and how often.

So last week we viewed an apartment for her and took loads of photos for her to see, then Badger collected her and brought her down here, and yesterday in rain that made Noah's flood look like a light shower she saw the apartment then wandered in the little market town where it's located with Hebe and Alice.

The apartment is perfect - a short walk from the centre of this lively small town full of history and medieval building; but the living room has views across a valley of farmland and woodland, with a little white farmhouse across the field. She will be happy there. She put in a conservative offer and the vendors were glad to take it - recession has made homes difficult to sell.

So - hey-ho - another house move looms on the horizon! Sometimes we wonder if this will ever stop! This is what we did:
1998 moved from our Sussex home of 15 years to take up a pastorate in Kent
1999 moved from there to a different pastorate elsewhere in Kent
2001 moved back to Sussex to live in 3 separate tiny apartments and 2 bedsits during and after failure of 1st marriage.
Between then and 2003, various of us shuttled back and forth and swapped which apartment she lived in, to try and make things work for each other. Beds and furniture and clothes and books up and down staircases and in and out of house like yo-yos!
Sometimes Fi lived with Grace.
Sometimes Fi and Alice and Rosie lived together.
During this time, Hebe was at Emerson College, coming home to live with me in my apartment in the vacations.
When Clay moved to England, he and Grace lived in one of the apartments, then moved into mine when I married Bernard and went to live with him. Hebe who had been living in my apartment went to live with Fi and Alice in the other apartment, and the third apartment had changed hands to belong outright to my ex-husband, who sold it, Rosie being the final occupant there.
Then Rosie and Jon got a rented house. I married Bernard in 2003 and went to live in his cottage and Hebe moved into a caravan there in the autumn when he began to get ill.
Then Jon and Rosie bought a house and moved to that. Then in 2004 Bernard began to be seriously ill, so just after Clay and Grace married in the May, they moved into a rented house so I could have my apartment back to give Bernard a place to rest close at hand during the day when I was working in and around Hastings and he no longer felt safe alone in his cottage out in the woods at Beckley. Bernard died at the end of August 2004, and Hebe and I moved back to my apartment. Fi moved to Dorset, leaving Alice by herself in the other apartment, so Hebe moved in with her.
Then in 2006 I married Badger and we moved to Aylesbury. One of his daughters moved in to live with us. But she didn't like it. So we found her an apartment and moved her out into that. Then Fi moved to Aylesbury to live with us for a few months. Then she moved back to Dorset.
Then in the Fall of 2008 we bought a little house in Sussex so that Hebe and Alice could live there and Fi have a bedroom for when she was in Sussex, and Badger and I could have a room to stay, rather than staying on a sofa-bed taking up Jon and Rosie's living room when we visited. So that meant selling the apartment where Hebe and Alice lived, and on a January day of torrential rain in 2009 they moved into Godsblessing House.
Then in late 2009 Badger and I moved back to Hastings, to this big dilapidated old house, with a view to that becoming the tribe house.
Meanwhile Fi had moved back to Sussex from Dorset and began living half the year in Canada, half in Sussex (in Godsblessing House).
Then in early 2010 Hebe and Alice and Fi moved into the big house to live all together in family community.
We wanted for Grace and Clay to be able to live in Godsblessing House, and planned for that, but we couldn't close the gap financially, so had to abandon that dream. We were very sad because we loved Godsblessing House, and it seemed just right for them. So they renewed their rental lease for a year.
Then we put Godsblessing House up for sale. Then this spring Grandpa died, and inheriting a half-share in his cottage made the finances work for Grace and Clay to buy Godsblessing House at a price that allowed them to borrow against one wage only, so Grace could be a stay-at-home mother. So through all of this summer, while their contracted lease rolled on and the landlord looked around for a new tenant, Grace and Clay and Mikey have been gradually sorting the two-households-worth of possesions they put together in one home when Clay moved from the USA to marry Grace in 2004 (did I include that move? This last move is their fourth - English - home since 2004!) and moving into Godsblessing House which is j-u-s-t big enough for a family who doesn't carry too much ballast.
Meanwhile Grandpa and Grandmary had moved house in 2001, then Grandpa decided he wanted to live by himself, so though he and Grandmary stayed married, he moved out to live in his own cottage around then. So Grandmary looked for something smaller and moved to her present house around 2008.
She should make it into this new apartment by Christmas of this year, and at that point the carousel should stop!!!

Did you follow all that?

In our family we will then have two couples (one with a child) each living in their own little house ten minutes walk from our tribe house, the tribe house with five of us living in it as community, and an apartment for Grandmary just ten minutes drive away in a little rural medieval market town that suits Grandmary better than the less pretty (though plenty characterful!!) environment of Hastings.


Well this morning it's stopped raining, and I'm looking at the blue. Tomorrow is Grandmary's birthday and she is here with us to celebrate.

And (I'm so sorry to have detained you on false pretences) I really wrote this post to move on that pic of me in my nightie!


Ganeida said...

But grandparents/parents are important. My mother [all i have left] is 2 hours away down a long, long highway. It is a little far given my restrictions of husband, cats, children but she is happy there & we try for once a year & Christmas ~ 5 times a year. Not nearly enough but in all honesty, all we can manage.

PS I liked the nightie one...☺

Buzzfloyd said...

Actually, we first lived in your flat before moving into Dad's, where we were the final occupants before he sold it, and then moved into the rented house. It's hard to keep track, isn't it?!

I am really looking forward to when Grandmary comes down. I haven't been able to go and visit her for years, but now I hope we will be able to go reasonably often.

Ganeida, I agree that parents and grandparents are important! I first moved back down to Hastings on my own when I was eighteen and, although life has been difficult since, I have been happier the more of my family who have lived close by. My little one also likes having family close by, and has twice now purposefully set off down the street with his reins on to walk to Ember's house!

Pen Wilcock said...

Good grief.

Absolutely impossible to keep track.

I'm surprised any of us can find our way home.

seekingmyLord said...

Ember, I sat in utter amazement, although I am not sure I could follow the entire thing. I got worn out just reading it!

My parents are gone. I am closest to my aunt and uncle but they are living together with their son and his wife, and one of their daughters moved in this year also. My siblings have not talked to me since my mother passed away coming up on two years, so the only real family I have is my husband and daughter.

My husband is the surviving child of his parents and it looks as if his father will be passing on soon, so then we will be trying to convince his mother to move closer to us. Not sure how that is going to work out, but it will be a monumental task, I believe.

And I agree with Ganeida...I really liked the nightie. I have even been thinking of making my own.

Pen Wilcock said...



Julie B. said...

Okay I need a nap now, because all your moves have completely exhausted me. :)

Pen Wilcock said...