Ten.Four Hundred & Seventy-Two
  1. What’s the point of an alarm if you’re always waking up before it goes off?

  2. I open up the door to feel the cool air and stare at the sky. Oh yes, it’s forecasting season. It’s going to be a very clear day today. I wonder if I’ll be able to read the skies in California like I do here.

  3. The sound of owls.

  4. Granola. Smoothies. Coffee. Lots of water.

  5. The way the stalks of corn shimmy in the wind and the sun. That color. What is the name of that color? And how is it that dead things can also be so alive?

  6. Turkey club and butternut squash soup. Chocolate chip cookie in a skillet. There is time for this.

  7. I can indeed change insurance. You know you’re an adult when low deductibles excite you.

  8. I don’t like that this decision is up to me. I’m afraid of making the wrong choice. Why does the easy choice make me so nervous?

  9. A basket full of sweets.

  10. 24 days.

Ten.Four Hundred & Seventy-One
  1. I can’t fall back asleep. “Death of a Bachelor” on repeat in my head. It’s almost time for him to get up anyway.

  2. He leaves in an Uber, a red Chrysler 300. I think that man is the same one who took me to the airport for Fever Dreams. I’m glad that this will be the last time the five of us will have to spend so much time apart. They won’t see him for 7 days. I’m grateful that this is not us every week like it is some other families.

  3. I pick up the bedrooms and give the bathrooms a good cleaning. Down in the basement, I light the sage and grab the feather. Corner to corner. When I get upstairs, the kids ask to help. The littlest one takes the bundle and then the feather. He looks so proud of himself. I direct him to the corners of the rooms. Then she asks for a turn. “So this makes everyone feel better?” Yeah, yeah, it kinda does.

  4. “It tastes like Jesus on the first day of His resurrection.”

  5. The leaves are changing and some are falling from the limbs as the wind gusts. We make our way on the wooded paths. I take her to Big Rock. “Gina took me here once. It’s beautiful back there,” I tell her. We are lost. It will take us another 40 minutes to get back to the visitor center. But its time well spent. 6.5 miles.

  6. I’m glad I’m making time for this.

  7. I can’t help but mourn the loss of this particular friendship. But I also understand that there is a season for everything. And if, right now, the steps are just not lining up, then maybe it’s best to journey separately.

  8. Wasting time during the inspection. Snack buying. Long pant buying (because I honestly thought we were going to be gone before the cold came. Costume browsing. Dinner buying.

  9. I eat the rest of his cheeseburger with a knife and fork—and a glass of Malbec.

  10. 6:25 and I think I’m ready to call it a night. Shower and then all the laundry while The House on Haunted Hill plays in the background. 25 days to go.

Ten.Four Hundred & Seventy
  1. Frost on the grass.

  2. This morning: coffee in Naperville; meet stager to drop off left-behind artwork; see if the eye doctor can fix her glasses; mentally prepare for a week of solo parenting and travel.

  3. Amber light filling the foyer.

  4. I make the waffle mix, macerate some strawberries, and melt butter. Coffee and a big glass of water.

  5. The drive into Naperville is easy and quick. I find a parking spot right in fight of the hotel.

  6. Chemex for me. She brings the baby and its so good to her and him in the flesh. We catch up on life and the challenges of motherhood. I’ve had this conversation a lot this year: how do we navigate these shifts in identity? In life? Where is there room to grieve lost ideals and dreams? No one tells you that motherhood is lonely, too.

  7. They’re diverting traffic through the neighborhood. Must be an accident.

  8. I go out to clip some rosemary. I probably ought to pull out the rest of these plants.

  9. The sizzle of the pot roast in dutch oven.

  10. Tomorrow from 3:30-5:30.

Ten.Four Hundred & Sixty-Nine

1. I’m stirring. It must be almost time to get up. Yes. It’s 5:16.

2. Fill the water bottle. They will have cereal this morning so that I can make a new menu plan for the week. What will be the easiest to do?

3. I fill the week with chicken dishes, a pot roast, one soup. This should get us through the week with relative ease. Nothing fancy or interesting, just food I know all of us will eat and get full on.

4. Sixteen 6-foot tall trees in front of the neighbor’s driveway. I tell them that this is what we what have done too if we had stayed. Just build a fence with trees. A beautiful, natural border. She asks me how the showings are going. I tell her that we sold it this week. There are smiles and congratulations and good lucks.

5. Holding pattern.

6. We sit down and scroll through to find houses to look at for next weekend. I just hope that we like this particular area in person as much as we do online. I do a little googling. It’s just your standard suburb, safe and with good schools. This is just phase one. Let’s just get ourselves there.

7. The littlest one and I settle in to watch Twilight Zone aka take a nap.

8. I wake up to the sound of the smoke detector going off. Chicken fajitas.

9. We finish the night with “Sing” and bowls of buttered popcorn. Nutritional yeast for me. They don’t know what they’re missing out on. Sleepy-time tea with echinacea and Vitamin C because I can feel an itch at the back of the throat.

10. Crack the window. I love the bite of fall air.

Ten.Four Hundred & Sixty-Eight

1. Frost on the rooftops. This means it’s almost time for morning coffee by the fire.

2. She’s been asking for scones. I set out the ingredients and get to work. Once again reminded that having my hands in dough grounds me.

3. I am washing my hands at the sink and look up to see not one, not two, but five deer. Five of them. The littlest said he saw five deer last week. And now I’ve seen them too. I watch as they disappear into the thicket.

4. The foyer fills with light and I bask in it for just a moment.

5. Straighten the rooms and begin to collect the stager’s accessories.

6. I stop in the Target to see if I can find a sparkling water to replace on a potential buyer took. I walk the aisles and see the Thanksgiving decorations and my eyes begin to tear up. I’ll be gone before Thanksgiving.

7. I go from room to room and collect the rest of the the stager’s accessories and start collecting them on the kitchen island. My eyes begin to water again. It’s just a release of this stress.

8. I walk around the house with Steve from the moving company, telling him what will be going, and what will not, so he can give me an updated quotes. My eyes water again.

9. We finally get to celebrate together.

10. I tell him that I’m not that excited because I’m just tired from all of the anxiety. But I am grateful to be done with this part. Well, almost. We’re not done. We’re in the process of clearing this step.

10.1 I hate to call for favors. I hate to ask for help. I had to ask for so much help during the last move. And the move before that. He reminds me that people want to help. I feel like I don’t do enough to earn the help. What am giving back in return for all of these favors I am requesting? Or maybe this is just the nature of friendship. Maybe in a good and true friendship, there is no keeping score; you give what you have and you lean on one another in different ways.

10.2 I buy a plane ticket for next weekend. It’s time to pick a new home.