Thursday, July 23, 2015

Living takes place

I’ve moved into a big house, and I share it with a family that lives upstairs. There is the woman, Fern, Fern’s daughter, and then Fern’s mother. Three generations of women in one big house. Oh, and I cannot forget to mention Fern’s newborn – the baby was born on July 5, two days after I arrived. I witnessed the childbirth and spent my birthday in the hospital. What a most unorthodox first few days in Northern Virginia.

Most of the house is not used, and the parts that are used are used in ways I see as ridiculous and absurd. For example, there are empty showcases in the master bedrooms and throughout the house, an unused swimming pool in this July heat, and a bed made of doors on the living room floor that is slept on by Fern, Fern’s daughter, and Fern’s mother. The newborn’s crib is just beside this bed. I think they will move upstairs and all sleep in the upstairs Master bedroom when the baby is a few months old. And then there is me in the basement, for I am American and the only one in this house that speaks fluent English. I have set up the basement to my American liking. Another detail -- the milk spoils regularly in this house, I surmise, and the jugs are not rinsed out.

The newborn will grow up speaking just as I do, but the woman’s daughter, Shae, only moved here last August. She will be in 2nd grade when the new school year beings. The grandmother may know nothing beyond “hello”, of that I am almost certain. "Sorry", "no", and "okay" are met with blank stares. I've never tested  her on hello, but I do like to give people credit. Fern speaks a bit of English, but not enough to let the lawnmowers know that they broke a pipe in the front yard and that the pipe must be replaced (I had to do that this morning). They were very happy with my ability to communicate this to the lawnmower. I didn’t see the exchange between me and the goggled man as much at all.

“Hey! Hey!” ::arms flailing, on the front yard, in PJs::
“Yes, miss?” ::fast paces toward me, donning a whistling weedwacker::
“Look at this pipe. The cap is missing and the pieces are shattered.”
“Oh, no problem. Let me cover it with an orange cone and then we will come back next Thursday and fix it.”
“Okay, thank you!”
::praise me, praise me, high five, good job::
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我最近的生活和一年以前特别不一样。 我现在的生活和六个月以前也完全不一样。 对我来说,我现在的生活是有点理想的。 当然有很多方面我想变,但是我慢慢在注意到我心里真的想要的是什么样的生活。 难怪我在老家的时候我那么郁闷。 我那时郁闷的样子是因为我没有工作, 但是也是因为我那时对我...