It’s one year today that we’ve been in our house.
Twelve months ago precisely, youthful movers — impossibly quick — hefted boxes, bags, and shrink wrapped chests in from their truck, placing them gingerly where we thought they should go. The floors had just been finished. There were no baseboards. The paint on the walls was barely dry. I wasn’t sure I liked the shade of white it was. Outside, the ground was still mounded where the sewer line had been repaired.
A year ago today Mina, exploring feverishly, ran into the back yard, gashed her tail on one of the monster thorn bushes there, and darted immediately back in. She wagged it with excitement as she raced about the house. Blood spattered everywhere in delicate, delineated drops that I still, occasionally, find on the walls or floor.
The first night here someone threw a party down the way. A rager. It was cacophonous. The small, incarcerated, dog across the street barked fretfully into the wee hours. Cars going by seemed spectacularly loud. Clearly we’d made a mistake. A horrible one. I couldn’t sleep. I missed MJ’s presence — her crib had been in with us in our old, one-bedroom apartment. MJ, for her part, made echoes with her voice in the small, wood-floored chamber she’d just been told was hers. It was as yet bare of rugs or decorations. I worried she was lonely. She didn’t sleep much, either. It was hard, and scary, and new.
This morning, realizing it was our one-year anniversary, I sat looking out the picture window in the living room. Outside it was bright and clear. The lemon tree swayed prettily in the breeze. Birds came and checked our feeders — empty — then darted off to find repasts elsewhere. On the terrace just below three Birds of Paradise — recently bloomed — lent color in small doses. The street was quiet. Except for the dog across the street. She, still incarcerated, still small, still barked. But only occasionally. I hardly hear it anymore.
“I love it here,” I said to Mike.
“Good,” he replied. “I do too.”
MJ didn’t say anything. She was too busy playing in her no-longer-bare room.
I look forward to another good — and interesting — year. One in which we’ll possibly get a new roof, definitely get our first jaw-dropping electricity bill (for summer central air — gah), and maybe, just maybe, finally put some baseboards in. Or maybe not.
One thing I do know? We’ll get a lot of lemons. I can already see them coming.