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  • Kristan Higgins

Back from whence we came

Updated: May 6, 2022

Booey, my bear since I was two, remains with us. Of course he does!

Our house renovation has now started on the inside, so McIrish moved into my office, the little apartment over our neighbor’s garage. That’s where we lived when we were building the house, and when I was preggers with the Princess, and where she spent the first year and a half of her life. It’s 600 square feet. We were all over tiny houses way before they were a thing, people!

Anyway, I’ve been living at our cozy little place on Cape Cod, which dear old Dad bought way back in the 1970s. Long-distance marriage is something at which McIrish and I excel…we coo at each other in the mornings and tell each other about our days at night, and sprinkle the long-distance time with conjugal visits.

Photo courtesy of my sister.

Yesterday, though, the nor’easter on the Cape and the many downed wires in my neighborhood forced me to come home. Which was fine! I missed my honey, for one, and for two, was not mentally prepared to go four days without heat, running water, refrigeration, etc. After a wild morning clearing the road in 60 mph winds and getting soaked the skin trying to extract a stick from beneath my car, I drove home. The 3.5 hour drive took 4.5 hours, but hey. Also, shout-out to the Eastham firefighters, who gamely extracted that stick, getting drenched in the process. You guys are the best!

I brought the tub of chicken salad back from the Cape. Too good to waste!

At home, I went to my office, eager to see how McIrish had fixed it up. The TV was on the coffee table, and there was a queen-sized mattress on the floor. Otherwise, it was pretty much the same. I looked in the little fridge. Wine, 3 half gallons of half-and-half, a half-gallon of whole milk, cheese sticks, and a huge cabbage. The essentials, you see. (Cabbage? I didn’t have cabbage on my bingo card.)

So I got to work rearranging, and will continue that today, to make sure we have a pleasant spot for the next couple of months until our house is done. We may spend Christmas here, as we did so many years ago. Or at our daughter’s new house, because as we renovate ours, the Princess and the Firefighter have just bought their first home. I’ll be helping them pack and paint and all that good stuff. It’s really sweet, this strange parallel…them newlyweds, moving into their first place, McIrish and I back in our first place in Connecticut.

Those slanted ceilings present a challenge… i.e., concussion warning ahead!

Last night, as we spent our first night together in the Apartment Part II, Luther paced anxiously, then tried to get on the bed between the two of us. Huck scratched the walls, but eventually settled in a basket. McIrish was asleep in seconds. It was, I admit, very cozy.

This morning, McIrish helped me off the mattress on the floor. “We can do this,” said I, “because we’re still young, damn it.” We both pretended not to hear my various joints cracking. For now, I’m going to figure out what to do with that cabbage and make a little more space on the shelves, and once again, make this tiny space a happy home.


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