Daily Archives: December 8, 2011
This is our last day in the house I bought in 1987. I figured Drew and I would be here five years, until he finished high school. Then we met Jack and he added his Wassily chairs and his grandfather’s hall tree and Victrola to the Southwest style we had established. Right away he built a little deck and a curved wooden walkway in the garden. Later he built closets in the bedrooms, installed a gas fireplace in the living room, tore down the walls in the third floor and cathedraled the ceiling. Together we renovated the kitchen and bathroom, tiled the front porch, built bookcases then took some down again. We ripped the paneling off the basement walls and scraped off the crumbling parging, cleaned and painted the basement walls and floor a couple of times. We added crown molding, sanded the hardwood floors, and installed more square feet of tile than I can calculate.
At the beginning of every project Jack complained loudly and often that he didn’t want to do any more work on the house. He considered home improvement projects an interruption of his life, time wasted. Yet he worked hard, did things well, and in the end, took great pride in what we accomplished. The house sold as easily as it did because of Jack, and I can’t wait to find our next home and go through the Schulzifying process again with him.
OK, I wasn’t going to write about this but I find I must, so please forgive.
About a year and six months ago a major life force came into our lives, through the back door. She had to. We had steeled ourselves against this sort of thing. We knew this would complicate our lives.
It’s funny thinking of her as a major life force. Tiny, shy, frightened of her own shadow. Trembling with exhaustion and fear, nearly crushed beneath an SUV in Trader Joe’s parking lot. As Marce held this filthy trembling puff of fur to her heart she seemed to melt into ours. It was already too late. Izzy Katzenbaum was part of our life. There would be no more impromptu road trips. What would she do on a boat? Taking an animal into foreign countries is a problem. She was terrified of shoes, unusually sensitive to light, and hid under anything she could get under. But when you held her close, she calmed down and melted into you in a way that you just knew she felt safe. This is a compelling trait.
Slowly she came out of her shell and is the funniest, most spirited cat we’ve ever had.
She knew something was up when all of her furniture started to disappear. You could just see the disturbing effect of all this was having on her. The old fears started to creep back into her behavior.
Izzy doesn’t travel well. She hides her head in the crook of Marce’s arm and tries not to look up. It’s all too much input. The car trip to my brother’s house went well enough, but as soon as we put her down she did four small quick circles and hid behind the dryer. We had to leave her cowering there and return to our dying house. It never felt so empty and foreign. The life force is gone. Even pizza on paper plates with “Survivor” didn’t help.
Hang in there, little Izzy, we’re off to buy you a boat.