Place HoldersJuly 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Posted in Family, Transylvania | 34 Comments
Tags: Challenges, Culture Shock, Expats, Family, Home, Life, Milestones, Perspectives, Relationships, Romania
My kitchen is organized. The pots are next to the stove, their lids cascading down the shelf in size order like giant beads of shiny mercury. The collection of found keys — silver, gold, skate, possibly to our old Ford Escort — are looped on a chain and tucked neatly in the back of the office-supply drawer. (The office-supply drawer.) And the spices? Alphabetized.
There’s a place for everything, and everything is in its place.
Except for me.
But if you look closely, we’re just shadows, lilting, listless, down the hallways like the year’s worth of spider webs that accumulated in our absence. We are dusty and sticky and a little bit fragile.
I’m afraid our hearts are somewhere else.
They are climbing ladders and picking cherries. They are parallel-parking two, three, five times to fit exactly right into that one open, tiny space. They are watching storks roost on the street lights. They are drinking Fanta.
They are not here, where someone wearing a red vest and a smile magically appears to bag your groceries for you. Where lawns are sprinklered and manicured. Where Target and McDonald’s and American Fireworks Factory Outlet Buy 1 Get 11 Free peddle their wares on nearly every corner.
Yes, I’m afraid our hearts are somewhere else.
Maybe they’re tucked in the 13 boxes slowly making their way to us on a jumbo truck somewhere between here and Chicago, estimated delivery July 25, pending customs clearance, absolutely no alcohol, batteries, or nail polish remover allowed.
Maybe we left tiny slivers behind with every goodbye and earnest promise to stay in touch.
Will we ever be whole again, if we gave our hearts away?
One day soon I’ll probably find them, tucked into the giant garbage bag of European Legos or pressed between the creased pages of Romanian/English: A Dictionary. I’ll dust them off and dole them out. We’ll smile and throw our hands up in the air, like we finally found that missing earring that had been mashed in the carpet right there all along.
Maybe then, this house will feel like home. Dryer sheets and heavy-duty aluminum foil won’t be odd curiosities anymore. And these laughs will sound like ours.
Then, maybe then, our memories will be enough.
How do you cope with tough transitions? Has home ever not felt like home for you? And are your spices alphabetized?