My husband lay still beside me, his face turned away, peaceful in the way only early-morning sleep seems to let him be. I turned over, curling my legs into his, closing my eyes, snuggling down.
Yet sleep eluded me.
The rain started sometime after midnight. The rock star got up to close the window. I lay awake picturing the thrift-store desk I’d painted white the evening before getting pelted by raindrops, the water seeping into the drawers, warping the wood. I lay awake wondering just how bad it would be.
I lay awake remembering those yoga breaths the Grand Junction teacher taught me long ago, the three-step inhalations, the three-phase exhalations.
I tried it again, filling my lungs with the sweet night air, a somehow hopeful mix of hay, of cat, of outside, of the incense that marks bedtime for the grown-ups in the trailer.
I tried to turn the other thoughts off.
I looked at the clock, wondering how much longer I had before the little girl cried through the monitor, “Mom! I have to go to the bathroom!” or “Mom! I’m scared!”
I tried to sleep.
I drifted, after awhile, into one of those almost-asleep-but-not-quite restful places.
I dreamed about my family, in a house I don’t know but did in the dream. The place was bright. The kids moved about doing their own thing. The grown-ups worked in the kitchen, baking or writing or music making. I wore an apron and our stove was a shade of brilliant vintage green.
The happiness flowed like a river.
The house that didn’t appraise is now on the market for its appraisal price. The rock star and I have (had) moved on to another, smaller home, on the other side of Aspen Street. It didn’t appraise either, but we were able to make up the difference.
Because of a costly repair uncovered in the home inspection, though, we’re now really thinking hard about what to do.
What do we do?
Do we pay for the costly repair, plus the other work the house needs to make it what we want? Do we go back to the original house that didn’t appraise and hope we get it in the short sale?
Are we meant to find a home somewhere else altogether?
These answers are hard. These questions so … grown-up.
I work at the coffee shop most days until we get that home of our own. The sky has opened up now and raindrops are hitting my jeans, my toes. I am cold.
But my family is waiting for me. My husband is making dinner.
Time to go home, hopeful, peaceful, thankful all the same.