Friday, July 03, 2009

I write to you from Cavendish, near Sudbury. My parents-in-law live in a large former rectory called Over Hall, a name I once found highly risible but now I don't even hear as a pun, which shows, perhaps, that I have become inured to the comedy of English names. Wait, that's not right: I'm still highly amused by Nether Wallop and Little Snoring. Three years ago, the DE and I drove past a sign that abbreviated Little Snoring to Lt. Snoring, and I always imagined a small exhausted WWII cartoon character, Lieutenant Snoring. Probably he was Private Snafu's superior.

Once again we are Between Homes, having packed up our Cambridge apartment. That all went pretty smoothly, with one, well, snafu: the handsome brothers of the new tenant arrived, as arranged, to deliver a bed the day before the lease ended. That was what we agreed upon: one bed, because we had hired someone to clean the place and had a few sundry things to do ourselves. Except that the brothers had brought all of her things. An entire truck full. And now I guess I am officially someone complaining on a blog about other people's terrible behavior, so I'll stop.

So yes, we are between homes, without an address. It's an odd feeling. At the airport hotel, we handed over our old Cadillac to my friend Rob, and then the DE had nothing on his keychain and I had nothing but keys to padlocks--three storage rooms, one moving crate on its way to Iowa. In a week, we'll be in Bath for the summer, renting a summer place. Lovely though that will be, it won't count as living somewhere. This morning I was filling out a Q & A for the paperback of my memoir, and one of the questions was, How has living in so many places changed your writing? I said, I am much better at writing while sitting on the edges of beds now.

Monday we drive to North Norfolk, to stay on the Holkham Estate for two nights. The day we scattered Pudding's ashes on Holkham Beach, we then drove onto the estate and saw dozens and dozens, maybe hundreds of deer, an astonishing sight. It seemed like Nature consoling us. Later I learned that there are something like 800 fallow deer on the property, and huge crowds of deer are pretty common. Which is even more consoling of Nature: it means that we can see something like what we had that morning often, whenever we're here and we need it.


Anonymous said...

You know, it does, it feels like an honor to read your reports from the places life takes you, other people's bad behavior, the lightness of key rings, the edges of beds, and going back to the place where you scattered Pudding's ashes and saw the magnificent deer, all of it. Reading this made me think of you and your family tenderly, and I wanted to say so.

Hope's Mama said...

I remember that from your book, Elizabeth.
Thinking of you in this Between Houses stage!

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