November 2, 2004

We got the last things out of our old house last week and I walked from room to room, saying goodbye to the corners and floors and walls. The back porch, where I sat in my robe, eating English muffins and watching the roses wake up and the sun fall through the trees. The kitchen where Sam shook the orange juice after he had already opened it. The dining room where I rearranged the furniture every other day, and where we had friends over for lasagna. Watching 24 in the basement. Painting the living room. Watching the World Series perched on the brown couch. Cuddling with the cat. And upstairs, saying goodbye to the bright green bathroom floor and the morning sunlight that came in through our bedroom window. And goodbyes to the front porch, balancing on the railing with sandwiches, talking on the phone, bare feet against the round column.

That house was the beginning of Portland for us. And now that we know a little bit more about who we are in this city and what we are looking for, we have moved on to a bigger house with more people, in a slightly different part of the city, with the freedom to get a dog and a responsibility to care for the roses and the absence of guilt if we put a dent in the wall or scratch the floor. It is our house.

On the day we were to move, Sam and I packed up the truck and sat outside, waiting for our realtor's okay to retrieve the keys. When we went inside the house as the new owners, we walked from room to room, smiling away. Sam and Annalise and Emily and Brad moved. I painted. I didn't leave the house for about thirty hours, which felt too soon.

* * * * *

Bethany got married! I flew out on a Friday, went to the wedding on Saturday, and flew back on Sunday. The service was great. I only cried a little bit (as opposed to my mother, who started getting teary as soon as the music started. At the reception, which began at about the same time as Game 1 of the World Series, the DJ announced the bride and groom and Bethany and Ricky burst through the door to "Let's Get it Started," wearing Red Sox jerseys over their tux and gown. We danced and danced at the reception and Bethany was absolutely stunning and Ricky was absolutely adorable and I was just so happy that I could be there. I read a poem before the dinner. Here it is:

Under a dark sky,
Counting green and yellow and orange flashes above,
We run our hands over the dew in the outfield
Spinning round without moving,
Cooling in the summer night air.

And she is laughing from her toes
And we worry she might not make it this time
That she will guffaw herself into infinity.

But she quiets and we munch on Chips Ahoy,
Listening to guitars and all the quiet singing.
"I wonder who he is" she says,
"I wonder what he's doing,
This someone I will marry."

And he already knows.
A highschool spark,
Just down the street.
And he thinks about this day, today,
And he smiles to himself.

Because, in the end,
There is a simple answer to hard questions.
I do, I will, we will together.

And there will be more hard questions
And more simple answers.
Summer to autumn,
Leaves turning from green to yellow to orange.
Side by side,
Spinning round and round.

So Bethany is Bethany Joy Lovering and the Red Sox won the World Series and now it's Election Day and, boy, things really seem to be happening.

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