I'm not really in a mood to do much of anything.
We drove from Wheaton to Buchanan today, which means we went through three states. We also went by a 40-ft RV that was just catching on fire, and a trucker who'd stopped his truck and was running for the scene with a fire extinguisher. Apparently we timed it just exactly right -- my aunt and uncle were driving the opposite way a little while later and called to say that the road was totally blocked by police cars and fire trucks and so forth. Oh, and when we pulled into the driveway here, we discovered that one of our tires was going flat.
So now we're in Buchanan, just like every August. Except that it's entirely, entirely different.
Mom got here yesterday so that she and her siblings could work more on estate issues. I walked in today, and I noticed
the moving-out-like chaos of boxes and items and so forth, sure. Hard not to notice.
And then I went into the bathroom and closed the door, and there was a big, blank rectangle where there used to be a poster of Mary Cassatt's The Bath
. Just . . . nothing. Just the remnants of tape or glue or whatever had been used to put that poster up who knows how many years ago.
That's when it finally sank in that everything is changing, elementally, at its very core. Buchanan has been a constant -- we stay in the house with the long blacktopped driveway, with the huge maple in the yard, with the porch swing, with the old piano with the out of tune B-flat, and we go to Lake Michigan and we go to Marzita's, only now it's Lucy's, only now it may not even be that anymore soon, and the family drives us crazy but the majority of it is worth the crazy-making.
Who knows what'll happen to the house now, though? Even if the sibs decide to keep it, it'll be empty of all this detritus, all these things that have built up over sixty years of continued occupancy, all this stuff that makes the house what it is. And if they don't decide to keep it, what happens to the family meet-ups? If you take out the core of something, it can still stand, but will it?
To top it all off, of course, there's the still-unsettling fact that when we leave here, I won't go home. I'll go to college. The entirety of my routine has been thrown into confusion.
But some things don't change, because our family has a lot invested in tradition. There's a right way to do things, and a wrong way, and then there's the White way. Which is why now, we're going to go to Warren Dunes on Lake Michigan, by God, and tonight we're going to eat sweet corn at my uncle's, and let nothing stand in our way.