Velveteen Rabbit in Reverse

Imbolc                                                                    Valentine Moon

Kate and I spent yesterday packing up the last of Jon’s dishes and books at his old house on Pontiac Street near Stapleton. We worked together as a good team, except for that last minute dispute about art. The process brought back memories of getting ready to make our move out here, memories that are still fresh enough to make moving again anytime soon very unlikely.

velveteen rabbit

There’s something sad about finishing up packing in a now empty house. The physical structure goes through a Velveteen Rabbit moment in reverse. Once real, once a  home, now it returns to just a house. Its walls soon to have someone else’s art. Its floors to have someone else’s furniture. Its kitchen to have new cooks. The backyard will have different plants.

Over the weekend Jon and some friends will move furniture, the stuff in the shed, the boxes Kate and I packed to a storage unit. On Monday the deal closes and the keys will go to the new owner, a mechanical engineer. That will finish up the house as a sticking point in the marital dissolution. I hope.

We’ve been at this with Jon since last May. Jon and I went out for supper to a Mexican place in Aurora near his school. He said, “Jen and I are getting divorced.” Oh. My. First I’d heard of or suspected it. Since then Jon’s had a very rough experience. Nine months later it’s still tough for him. With the possibility of a new home purchase now that the Pontiac house has sold I hope he’ll find his attention diverted to making a place anew for him and Ruth and Gabe.

Valparaiso, Chile 2011
Valparaiso, Chile 2011

He spends a lot of time drawing new houses on graph paper utilizing shipping containers for various rooms, new structures. He’s got a lot of skills and will be able to take an older house and transform it into something beautiful. That’s one of the sad parts about pulling away from Pontiac. He redid the upstairs himself, including two bathrooms, one in which he installed a walk-in, tiled shower. He also built beds for Ruth and Gabe. He created several closets in a house that previously had little storage. He finished the kitchen, built a dining room table and counters out of old bowling alley wood and put in a productive garden.

Soon, sooner I hope, he’ll be able to do that work on a house of his own, touching here and there and making it real. Making it a home.

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