16 May 2014

five senses friday

the last weeks in the house, the last days, they were important ones. I don't think I will ever forget. but you know, I will forget. I will swear they are burned in my memory but they will fall away, as they are wont to do. and so I write things like this down. sights, sounds, scents. the tastes, the feels. all collected from a difficult couple of weeks, a brilliant idea borrowed from my friend shari, who has been known to document a week in this particular way.

sights: every corner of the house (every little corner, carefully examined) and pink, pink until the end of time, pink in the form of petal-strewn sidewalks and exploding trees, plus bright purple beets and that blood red moon, late evening light in the back bedroom, early morning light in the kitchen, the perfect kitchen sink (I will miss you, perfect kitchen sink), the yellowest of the yellow ranunculus, the floor of the basement (miraculously! the floor!), lost photographs, lost socks, lost drawings, lost everything, the first of the wisteria, the last of the wall drawings (courtesy of a four year-old ezra, circa 2008), and then the empty house, the saddest, emptiest house and the pulling away of a fully-packed moving truck, the last of the lilacs, the last of the last of the last.

sounds: peter piper on repeatthe crackle of the last fire, the creak of the bike on my last ride through our hood, a scratched stevie wonder record (and an apology from the offender), a million episodes of this american life (thus, a hundred million stories), the ceaseless bouncing of a basketball, the relentless crinkling of packing paper, the screeching of the packing tape, the popping of the bubble wrap, the metallic echo of those empty rooms, all those empty rooms.

scents: the lilac bush at the right of the house, the musty moldy mold of a thousand boxes, a little bit of rosewater, a truckload of clementines, the ink of markers (giant markers! pretty sure we got high off the markers), smoke from the last fire in the fireplace and the house, heated from an unexpected sun, and then freshly painted for new tenants, with nary a trace of us, or the scent of what we knew as home.

tastes: the last of the easter candy i.e., stale peeps and jelly beans in colors no one wanted, indian street food and salted caramel ice cream, sharon's perfect chicken salad, clovers from the backyard and more fountain cokes than I will ever, ever admit to consuming.

feels: complete and total overwhelm, complete and total exhaustion, complete and total everything, the cold and the wet of concrete, wind on my face from that last magic bike ride, fingers raw from all the taping (holy crap with all the taping), arms sore from all the lifting (HOLY CRAP WITH ALL THE LIFTING), a grieving for the house, for the seven years gone in a flash, for the painting over of ezra's little drawing on the wall of his room, for the cleaning off of the little makeshift growth chart in the kitchen, a grieving for the end of things, for the never-going-back, never-looking-back of things, but giddy for the new, for the unknown, for the freshest of starts, for the promise of perhaps our most ambitious cross country trip yet, for the promise of the first of things, the first of the firsts.


  1. Some days ago I left a comment on an instagram pic of you looking out of your ex-bedroom window, taken by your husband (who was kind enough to reply). I have been following you and your family both here and on instagram (hope this does not sound like stalking!) for quite a while, enjoying your offbeat point of view on life and your exquisite eye for gorgeous pictures, but have been lurking even since. Now I do feel compelled to chime in, as I am going to move house myself and, although it's no major move as yours (just a few blocks away from where we are now), I can relate to your feelings so much.
    I have been living here for just four years, but they have been the most life-changing heart-wringing growing-up years of all times for me and I do feel like I am stepping out on a totally new phase of my life. And I sit here reading and soaking up all of your words as if I were getting ready for jumping over my own chasm, you know, doing my homework and flexing my muscles. In a very few weeks the packing will begin - the move is scheduled for the end of June - and I would really really like to be able to document all the process like you did, because I know it will awfully help me and I might even be very grateful for it later on.
    In the meantime I will go on following you and silently cheering you up from here.

  2. here's to the lasts and the firsts, friend. <3

  3. Beautifully said :) Wishing you well :) Safe journey :) T.

  4. Blessings, blessings on all that was made and all that is still to be created. Xo.

  5. the jenkins filled each space between those walls with love and wonder and joy and life. the air in there is changed forever. it will make its way into each new soul who enters. what a gift you are.

  6. this is beautiful, and heart-wrenching. portland will miss you guys. I've never met you but I've loved seeing this place through your lens. xoxo.

  7. There will be so many firsts. Exciting really. And can I just say (without sounding like a crazy stalker person) that your new neighbors, whether they realize it or not, have won the jackpot.