“Go away and NEVER RETURN!”
The childlike warble of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings character, Smeagol, resounded in my head the week we decided to move out of Bumpy Bridge.
Surprised by the realization that we are not bound to live there forever, I knew Smeagol’s triumph, as well as his fear of detachment from the darker side of his split personality, Gollum.
My Gollum, in the most basic sense, in that it always tends to be the source of angst, is Bumpy Bridge itself. The house rebelled our choice to leave with a nasty show of plumbing problems.
If you’ve been reading my blog: Firstly, bless you. Secondly, you’ll have already been privy to the fact that Bumpy Bridge, per it’s namesake, hosts THE DEAD SEA in its front yard, with a humped bridge leading to a soggy island. A real treat for a mother of 3 children three and under. Lexington turning 4 this summer made no difference.
Why have I never, until quite recently, expressed such a distain for Bumpy Bridge?
A few reasons:
1.) The central reason being that no matter its condition, Bumpy Bridge was the only house at that particular time, aligning with our situation, in which we could afford to dwell. We were living with my parents at the time of our second son’s birth, and this opportunity was presented to us not long after. We were (and we remain) thankful.
2.) I’ve tried to keep the complaining to a minimum, for my own sake. What good would it serve my mental health to live in a constant state of misery, focusing on the negatives all the time, if there was nothing that could be done about it anyway?
We chose to be joyful about the positives of Bumpy Bridge and ignore the negatives. As the negatives tipped the scale brutally, living there was a healthy two-year practice in humility.
While I had to claw my way out of mental precipices of woe on and off for the time that we lived there, I maintained a fairly successful ignorance about how terrible of a house Bumpy Bridge has made for my family.
I’d started a very pent-up HATE LETTER to the house. But really, it only deserves this:
The stupid thing dasn’t budge.
But we left. So BOOYA, baby!
And obviously I’m not creative enough to think of an insult that isn’t straight out of a book. If you can name the authors of those insults without googling, we can be friends.
I shall never again be impressed by the buzz words “custom built home”. Bumpy Bridge is the most inconveniently laid-out one-bedroom CUSTOM BUILT house I have ever trod within. The above photograph of the bathtub tells you all you need to know.
All I really have to say is that we are already members of the Zoo, but if I’d woken up to this in our front yard, I wouldn’t have flinched:
What has been a survival mechanism for the last few years is the laughter, the cozy snuggles, the smells of cookies baking, or a roast simmering that have made Bumpy Bridge our home.
Those things can never be confined to a building structure.
So thank you, Bumpy Bridge, for driving that message home for me. …I’m really pun-ny, I know.
Thanks Bumpy Bridge, for not turning me into a slimy Gollum creature (though I came close: see above.).
Thank you for your walls,
for your roof,
for your wonky electrical grid, schooling me for half of one summer while I was 7 & 8 months pregnant on how to hold very, very still so as to spend the least amount of energy in the process of dying.
Thank you for your moody, tiny oven,
for your cracked, peeling cabinets.
Thank you for this:
for your cold, marble floors with white spots I’ve mistaken for various objects (like a wadded up tissue or a cotton ball) and tried in vain to sweep away or pick up,
for your burgundy everything.
Thank you for teaching me the phoenix life cycle of the Banana Tree. (we discovered in the last weeks that it had been planted to conceal the septic tank.)
Thank you for the one late night this summer we pulled into the driveway, awestruck as thousands of fireflies lit the black trees, twinkling like glitter, like static, with no beginning nor end in sight, making us feel suspended in space, like someone slipped us a trippy shroom on the ride over. It was really really trippy. I tried in vain to capture a photograph of it. Even the Kentucky hollers haven’t revealed that freak of nature to me.
Thank you for your winter wonderland.
Thank you for hosting brand new life:
But overall, you scared the daylights out of me.
All of these things, from the picturesque mornings to the leaking hole over exposed electrical outlets in the sun room, you, Bumpy Bridge, have helped shape us as a family. So thank you for that.
…but bugger off.