Here it is, the last I will write from New Town. At this very moment I should be carting bins and bags downstairs to the car but it feels like this is a moment for sitting and remembering. Bins and bags can wait for tomorrow when the strong men are here.
I remember the flurry of being offered the job at New Town Public and finding this apartment. The details are hazy from this distance of eight months, but it happened so quickly that I didn't have time to pack - my family threw my belongings in the back of the van and my heroic brother-in-law carried everything up The Scary Fire escape himself.
I was utterly charmed by this flat. It has gobs of character, and despite the hole in the ceiling where a raccoon once came through, the electrical sockets that gave off fireworks when I tried to use them, the hootin' and hollerin' neighbour and his dog Harley, the world's loudest creaky floor just in front of the kitchen sink, the twenty-two shaky steps of the fire escape, and the radiators I could never get really clean nor regulate the heat from... it has been a good home. (Especially once my mom came to visit and magically transformed the place by rearranging the furniture) All manner of inconveniences can be ignored for a high ceiling and proximity to work.
I know this New Town chapter in my life has been for a purpose. I can see all the ways I failed (I won't bore you with the details) but much has been learned here, as well. Professionally, I gained a great deal in knowledge, experience, and confidence. Personally, I learned a lot about myself, and oddly during a time when I was less introspective than usual. I went well out of my way to circumvent quiet time with God, and He found me anyway.
This Lake Town opportunity - the job, the apartment, the potential of a wonderful way of life - are pure gift from God, not any kind of reward for being a good person, a good Catholic, or deserving in any way. It has been given to me because He wills it, because He loves me. I have learned that His love is not dependent on my good behaviour, attentiveness, or virtue. That is a humbling realization.
So. Tonight I sleep with The Nuts, and tomorrow brave BIL will carry everything back down those twenty-two shaky steps (please God, the weather will allow) and I will close the door on New Town. For the blessing it has been, I am grateful.
For those of you who remember the CTKS posts (Cute things kids say... the kids being Numbers One through Five Nephews, aka The Peanuts) I will be spending more time with them again, and will be able to document the wonderful and silly things they get up to.
Two weeks ago when I was sleeping over, I brought pizza for supper. Four, very earnestly leaning across the table in my direction said, "Tantooya (my Jedi name), you used to be awesome, and you still are awesome!"
The next morning at breakfast, Four was rolling his eyes at me about how his little brother always followed him around. "Every time I look, there's Five" he said. "He loves you" I told him. Five, who has an endearing way of rubbing the top of his head on you to signal affection, leaned over and pushed his head into his brother's shoulder, and said, "It's because you're hot. I love you because you're hot."
Signing off from New Town,