Dear amiga Anita,
Thank you for sharing your story when you told me how exciting it was for you to move from the grimy landscape of the Bronx to your weekend house in the Poconos, which you made your permanent residency.
This year we bought our own house: A real house with a yard around it. I have never lived in a house before, so leaving our rental townhouse; our first home in the Poconos, the place that grew on me and made me feel sheltered – feels like leaving a best friend.
We moved to the Poconos in the middle of winter. With no friends, to guide me around, I focused on the house as a safe place and a source of experience. I liked the sun in the morning. I liked the energy that emanated, I liked the kitchen and I liked cooking. It relaxed me. I felt ‘a good vibe’ where we lived.
I am excited for the new move, but I’m also scared by the mix of the new and unknown. When our neighbor and friend, Maria (also our realtor), showed us the house she asked me: “ Do you like it? Why aren’t you as excited as I am?” “I don’t know what to expect,” I told her, “What should I look for? I don’t have a clue. I’ve never lived in a house before, so I don’t know what works and what doesn’t.”
She was patient with me. She led us through all the paper signing and inspections. When the previous owner moved out my husband and I toured through the empty rooms. It looked lovely. But I still couldn’t see myself living here. The idea of residing in a real house like I had seen in American movies since I was little was too much of Hollywood for me. It felt so foreign.
When it came to packing, I told my husband I was too busy and he should start. And when the movers came one morning I was totally unprepared to see everything stripped out and put on a truck (we’re only moving two blocks away but it could be the moon). I sat on the mattress, now without bed frame, writing on my computer. I was hoping they wouldn’t see me and just keeping moving furniture out until it was quiet and peaceful again. My cats seemed to agree, snuggling near me.
We haven’t actually moved yet. That will happen next month because I’m working on my finals at ESU, I have my radio show to finish on WESS Radio (My show moves to Pocono 96.7 in February), and we’ve got to go visit my mother in Barcelona. So we have almost everything at the new house except us. This morning, waking up on the mattress on the floor, I realized part of my ‘basic clothing’ had been transferred to the new house. I had to ask my husband to go and get me some clothes. I felt like a gypsy, living from my suitcase ready to go to Spain, dressing in whatever I could get washed or rescue from the new house.
I still have no idea what to expect. My friend Fernando insists we have to get rid of the leaves before the snow starts or the grass will burn! I have to figure out what this is about. I realize I still have a lot to learn: How to take care of your garden will be next in my list!
Thanks for reading, more next week, your Latina Poconovian. Have a happy day, Christina!
PD… I will post this letter in Spanish in a few days!