Monday, January 9, 2017

the keeping room


For months now we have been slowly and thoughtfully removing things from our house.  Things we have 2 of, things we don't wear, things we don't have room for, things we don't love... so when my computer crashed for the final time I figured yes, why not this too. Sure I lost photos, I lost a few word documents but all that I loved I had already shared or saved elsewhere. All that is minus one photo that I never seemed to find the right time or space to share.

No, it's not the pic above.  That believe it or not is perfection.  That is the end of hours and hours of sorting and cleaning. If I had to guess I would say we gave away 40% of our belongings. So how could that dingy photo represent the success of the purge? Because it is everything that matters and nothing more.


Life and the living = (2) 50 lbs bags of chicken feed. The path to the chicken coop is too snowy for me to safely carry them all the way out there so I didn't.  Utah hasn't seen this kind of snow since I was a child. It is glorious and determined. Refusing to go unnoticed.

Besides the deep snow and the icy path the freezing temperatures have made it hard to open the metal bins the feed is stored in. Three mornings in a row I got my hand stuck to the handles after not noticing I got them wet while trying to deice the hen's waterer.

Around the base of the stove is a collection of wood that is dirty and drying. Or at least attempting to be dried.  BC would die if he saw the quality of what I was putting in there. Dirty discarded pieces meant for the firepit not the stove.

But beggars can't be choosers.  Our furnace went out in the middle of the 2 day stretch while I was helping (12hr days) at the gym to host the Rocky Mountain Invitational. Beach competed on Friday in the middle of the day. We worked all day Saturday knowing that each hour the house was growing colder and colder and there was nothing I could do.


My son had gone over pulled some wood from the yard and started me a fire. Then he dealt with the frozen pipes.

The ambers of his work were still glowing when I got there in the dark.  I spent the next hour pulling wood out of the snow from wherever I could find it. A friend lent us a space heater that I set up in my bedroom. Between the stove and the heater it's doable. Not great but very quaint.

In the photo small details seen and unseen: On the stool bacon defrosting. I figure a winter house without heat needs a bacon breakfast. In the corner the photo calendar Ai and Ivan sent us of them and the boys = family. BC's farm boots by the door = love.

BC just sent a text it read: ?Nebraska?

As I write on a beat up laptop with missing letters and an "unsupported" browser that blocks me from accessing all my Google drive, he is driving home across country.

He has missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and Beach's first season meet. None of that matters. Not really. Days are just days and yet I feel broken.


I know I am really hard to help. I'm sorry.
I know when I get in over my head I can't seem to jump the divide.
I start to stand back in my own head.
I silence the world tucking myself in beneath the blue telling myself, this moment will pass.

Back when I worked in the hospital I would walk a mile in through the maze of buildings eating away the mountain side. Climb 2 flights of stairs in a musty concrete stairwell. Keeping my head down moving on fast feet. So deep inside my own head I barely existed.


Lee tried everything to break me out of this.  A surgical resident, dark and hansom, over 6 feet tall and not used to being ignored by women. He tried every charming tool he thought he had. None of them worked with me.

One snowy morning he leaned against the wall of a narrow hallway waiting for me to come by. After a long night on call he was too tired to be cunning. As I rounded the corner all he could do was stick out his hand. It surprised both of us when I took it...

Inside the keeping room I have everything I have ever needed. All that matters lives there. Including the one missing photo (which might yet turn up). Taken in the dark, sitting on the sand, watching the massive cruise ships slip out of port. Blue against blue while the girls turned cartwheels in the breaking surf.


I had never seen the Atlantic Ocean and I had never seen him smile like that.



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