random thoughts: what's new and what remains

The mezuzah from our old home.

The mezuzah from our old home.

Our house was almost 60 years old. About a year after we moved in 11 years ago, I happened to look up as I was coming into the house from the garage, and spotted a mezuzah: a little case that holds a Jewish prayer, that Jewish families often affix to their door jamb. I have no idea how long the mezuzah was there -- there were several previous owners of our home, and I’m pretty sure the family who we bought the house from wasn’t Jewish -- but I was so charmed by it, we left it, and occasionally I would run my fingers across it as I left the house.

A few months ago, Marcus and I dropped by our old house and I asked him to take it down. (Once we did, we peeked inside and confirmed it still has the Hebrew prayer rolled up inside.) I'm saving it for when our house is rebuilt, and I’m going to put it back up on the back door frame of the new house. I've already asked some Jewish friends of ours to come over and say the appropriate Hebrew prayer when we do.  Whenever we sell the house in the future, I’ll leave it there for the new owners.

It feels like the right thing to do.  And it also feels like the most meaningful part of the old house to carry through to our new home.

New mint plant.  I'm told these are impossible to kill.  I take this as a personal challenge.

New mint plant.  I'm told these are impossible to kill.  I take this as a personal challenge.

It is almost exactly 8 months since floodwaters came into our house and we lost everything.  Our house has been demolished, and the rebuilding of our new home officially began today; our general contractor says that we should be back in our home in 6 to 8 months.  So, we're presumably about halfway through this adventure.

I've begun slowly collecting things -- which is arguably a strange thing to do, since I don't even really know what our house is going to look like, other than the 2-dimensional plans that we have, all of it written in tiny print.  But it makes me feel better, so collect I will.  I've already got six rugs leaned up against our bedroom wall in our apartment, with a seventh on the way.  I've taken some of the art Marcus saved from our attic to be framed.  And we've even started buying plants for our future patio (this might be the most ridiculous thing I've done, because let's face it, the idea of me keeping a plant alive for 8 months is laughable).  Of course, the size of our small apartment will keep things from getting too out-of-hand (Marcus just raised his eyes to the heavens and whispered "thank you" on reading that last sentence).  So I've been collecting digitally, as well -- you know, for inspiration.

This is a strange place to be, this limbo:  I feel like the mourning of what we lost is behind us, but the anticipation of what our life will look like next year is keen.  Everything about our future feels like fantasy right now.  It's exciting.  But it's also really strange.  Because our new life is going to be a combination of the items we managed to save (that are currently in a storage unit, that we haven't seen in 8 months), and new things I'm slowly gathering --- and a mezuzah that preceded us.  

Our life is going to look totally different next year. 

I wonder if that means we'll be different as well.


Soundtrack:  Wake me up by Avicii.  May he rest in peace.