What did you expect?


Our house was raised today!

By an inch.

“How much did we go up?” I’d asked, looking at the sort of different looking base, with steel beams protruding from gaping holes.

“One inch.”

It had been hard to tell, because the enclosed front porch did not ever sit directly on the ground, but on the now-dismantled cinderblocks.  As I understand it.

I don’t understand much.

But because this afternoon there was empty space where the concrete had been removed this morning, it looked different.  Raised, maybe, a little bit.

And it was—a little bit.

But I had been expecting to watch our house go up ten and a half feet!

What is the meaning of this?  My mind goes everywhere with the meaning of this.  My first response is, Of course!  Just like everything else!  You should lower your expectations.  Nothing happens the way you plan.  And you shouldn’t have blabbed about it because you knew it wouldn’t happen, you just knew it couldn’t possibly.

But I’d really believed it would.  It’s kind of funny: I even rescheduled a meeting at the apartment to take place on the median across from the house.  I loaded Lucy and the lawn chairs (band name?) into my Mini (no small feat), and rearranged my whole day.

“This will be your most exciting home visit ever!” I promised the case manager at the most recent charity to possibly consider paying our rent.

I never unloaded the lawn chairs (they will return to their rightful roles as apartment seating).  We sat, hardly in awe, on a bench, and I apologized.

My first reaction is to lump this once-promising non-event in with others:

Here is your decent insurance payout!

(But you will only have access to a third of it.)

You got the loan!

(But we can’t release it.)

We’re raising your house!

(An inch.)

But then I consider the coolness of that.  Just over a year ago, I voluntarily plunged 10,000 feet from a plane, and this tiny one-twelfth of a foot actually seems like a greater feat.  We have made it this far.  We have managed to pay for this progress somehow.  We have an almost-new home with an upstairs!  We are literally on our way up, grasping the ribbons of everyone’s offerings and being pulled aloft by their inflated hearts.

If you are traveling the earth carried by balloons, there is only perspective and wonderment.  There is no more, “Of course!”  No more, “Figures!”  No more, “What did you expect?”  I’ve got to get this attitude off the ground. Balloons by the dozen arrive at my doorstep.  Letters, notes of encouragement, helpful quotes, timely reminders of who I am.  Visits, invitations, pies, free services, and cheerful, meaningful, or practical gifts.

So what should I expect?

Perhaps I should plan for hundreds more balloons, thousands: such a stupendous gathering of blessings that Steve and Lucy and I become weightless, and find ourselves carried easily and wondrously home.

If you think of us next week, imagine our house being brought lightly and safely Up like it was in the movie by that name—and back down right where it needs to be.  Your thoughts will be our airship.

Thanks to Janet and Jodi for the Up inspiration!


4 responses to “What did you expect?

  1. I may remember a few notes on the trombone! Although, you and I could belt out some mean vocals!!!
    I’m getting another quote out tomorrow, thanks for the reminder!

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