By the time I enter law school I am tired of living in the woods, but Karl still loves our life, because see, he poured enormous energy into building our house and improving the land and we are finally starting to reap the fruits of all his effort. He can’t understand throwing our hard work away just when things are getting good. I don’t care, I want running water and indoor plumbing.
Karl is understanding and says, well I can see that someday we might move, I know he only says some day, that it is one of those airy statements people make about the future, never thinking the other person will take it seriously, but it is the opening I hope for. As soon as he acknowledges even the remote possibility of moving I call a real estate agent and start looking at houses to buy. Karl is dumbfounded, how did some day turn into today?
Caitlin is thrilled, she thinks moving into a traditional home is a wonderful idea. She is eleven, old enough to appreciate what having a real house means, she just wants to be a regular girl.
My mother helps me find the perfect place, it is in the nicest neighborhood in Randolph. All the houses were built at the turn of the century by fat tradespeople and there are towering maple trees up and down, flower gardens, bicycles parked on driveways, American small town dream street. The house I fall in love with is an old gray Victorian two-story haphazard home with a renovated carriage house garage.
We move in just as Caitlin is beginning the sixth grade, she walks to school with the children who live nearby, when we lived in the woods she had to make her way by herself to the school bus stop a mile away and then ride in a bus for 45 minutes. She smells like soap, not wood smoke and kerosene. She has a real bedroom, Holly Hobbie sheets, she takes two baths in a row on our first night in the new house and cries when she goes to bed, she is scared to be all by herself.