I had a breakthrough last night.
After all the worry and planning and anxiety and uncertainty, I finally felt my burden lift. I felt calm.
Should have known I’d have the sky to thank.
The weather has fascinated me since I was a kid — back in the days when I fancied myself a future storm-chaser (I blame “Twister,” though I’d been watching the Weather Channel religiously for a while already). At some point I realized tornadoes are actually scary and maybe I wouldn’t want to drive into or near one, so I curbed my dreams of becoming a meteorologist and pursued other hobbies.
Also, I’m terrible at math.
My passions have evolved over the years, but I always come back to clouds. The sky. Weather. Hurricane season was once my prime time, and I scoured the news every morning to hear how storms had developed overnight. I distinctly remember waking up at my grandparents’ house in the summer and running into the living room to click on the news, desperate for updates on tropical storms brewing over the Atlantic.
I was a weird kid. Kinda cute, though.
As an adult, the weather still fascinates me — but more in a curious or “red alert danger” kind of way. Various iPhone apps keep me informed on what’s happening out there, and I’m known to friends as the Weather Cop — a title I wear rather proudly. If a storm is on the horizon, I’ll tell you all about it. And probably show you the radar map, ’cause that’s how I roll.
When Spencer bought the condo in 2011, we immediately fell in love with the large windows overlooking town with an unobstructed view of the skyline. High up on the second floor, everything looks beautiful — and the sunsets we’ve enjoyed from our apartment have been incredible. I’ve taken countless pictures, and my weather-loving self has rejoiced at the unparalleled views right from our couch.
Spence had little when he first moved in. Coming from a house shared with roommates (and their furniture), the living room held only fold-out camp chairs and a tiny, cable-less television for months. We entertained ourselves through sky-watching. One of my earliest memories there is of the two of us peering up at the encroaching dusk through opened windows, the warm summer air ruffling our hair. We used to lay on the carpet and talk, looking up at the stars. We didn’t need more than that.
Three years later, we’re boxing up the last of our belongings to leave our first marital nest this weekend. We got word that potential buyers were coming to look at our condo last evening (!!!), so Spence and I hurried home to tidy up and move more boxes to the new house. I was in shorts and flip-flops, sweating and tired — but suddenly so buoyed and hopeful that someone was coming to see the apartment. The one we’ve loved so much.
Things are in motion. After several long months, the end is in sight.
At the new house, Spence and I walked around cleaning in advance of the crew coming today to cover our bare plank floors with carpet. Real carpet. And last night was the first time I looked around and thought, This is our house. Though we had, you know, signed our lives away a month ago (terrifying) and spent nearly every weekend and most weeknights slaving away in there, it hasn’t felt real. Transitioning from “construction zone” to “moving in” has been . . . an adventure.
But we’re getting there.
We’re almost there.
Upstairs, we heard rumbles of thunder as we jimmied the washer and dryer out of the guest room. It was warm, both of us sweating. After we managed to get the appliances off the to-be-carpeted floor, a flash of lightning lit up the hall. “Storm,” we said. Spencer and I moved to the large glass windows above the garage and stared out, quiet. Waiting.
Our view at the new house isn’t as expansive. We don’t have the clear views to the west, and the twinkling lights of town don’t beckon us. It’s wilder out there, deep and thick; the woods behind our house are impenetrable in summer, and a little scary at night. We’re much farther off the highway. It’s quiet, too.
But standing there with Spencer, both of us looking up at the night sky, I felt just as I always have. Like I’m home. It called me back to those early days at the condo — back when we had nothing but an empty room and daydreams. Those memories will always taste so sweet to me.
Heat lightning streaked the sky, illuminating the newly-cleaned corners of the room. Lightning bugs buzzed on the lawn.
I put my hand on his back. And we watched.