Rugs, Squirrels, and Vacuuming Baseboards

I officially move to Waco next week, but I'm traveling in the mean time, so today I cleared out my bedroom of the last two years.

As far as bedrooms go, this one does not legally qualify as a bedroom, or even come close. It has no closet. There are significant cracks in the floor. The ceiling is low enough that if I stood up, I couldn't stretch my arms all the way, this is not great for someone like me who likes to pretend to be good at yoga. 

as clean as it will get without a fire hose

as clean as it will get without a fire hose


Through the window I would watch the snow fall, or gaze at my favorite squirrel. Or wonder just who left that ping pong table leaning up against the back of the house. 

A side story about my favorite squirrel: There is a squirrel that lives in my backyard and it is the saddest looking thing. It is quite skinny. It is black all over except two identically stripes on it's sides where it is bald. It's tail hardly has any hair. Something happened to this squirrel, and I have my theories. But right now it's leading a good life eating my next door neighbor's birdseed. I think the next S-Town type podcast should be done on figuring out this squirrel's story, if you or someone you know works for This American Life, please contact me. 

Thanks to RUF Summer Conference, Pitt's early summer, and my June first start day, my packing process has been long and slow. Thanks to my servant-hearted guyfriends, it's been mostly stress-free. And for that I am very grateful. Moving is supposedly next to divorce as far as life-stresses go (I'm not sure that's actually true, but I read it once, somewhere), but this move has been easy-peasy. 

The crying has been minimal, and for that I am also grateful. Really since my last Large Group, I haven't had a big ole weep, until today. Today I rolled up my bedroom rug. 

Overall, basement living has been an adventure. It's let me really feel the humility of my call to ministry over the last two years. I've gotten pretty good at ducking, ignoring smells, and avoiding exposed wires. When, five years from now I have some mysterious illness, we'll probably be able to trace it back to this basement. 

My room used to be a single car garage, and the floors and walls glow green. I knew immediately I would need a great rug if this place was ever going to be livable. I had my eye on a gray quatrefoil pattern at Target and grabbed RUF student-turned-friend, Rachel, to come with me. At Target (my favorite one with the escalator) we discovered that that store did not carry the rug I wanted. My options were: ask for help locating the rug elsewhere or take home a different rug. When I am tired and stressed the last thing I want to do is ask for help, so we grabbed a 8x11 foot rug with a pattern I felt was kind of noisy, but whatever, my room needed something. There was this whole thing at the check out where my credit card didn't work because I hadn't informed my bank I was moving. Then while I was on the phone with Chase, a woman got very upset because her cart toppled in the cart-escalator, and security had to be called and it was this whole thing. Rachel and I took the elevator down to the parking garage. 

In the pouring rain we pulled the rug into my room and moved furniture so it could be unrolled. I cried. I cried because I was eight days in and already so done with Pittsburgh. I cried because this rug deeply diminished the green-glow of my room. I cried because it felt like I knew I was going to be ok. 

I loved that rug. It gave life to my room. It hid the approximately 8,000 hairs I shed each day well enough. I got compliments on it. But it is too big and too pointless to take to Texas, and none of my students bought it. So today I rolled it back up and placed it on the curb. It felt like the end of an era. 

And then I got to vacuum all my baseboards and it felt so good. Vacuum cleaner extensions are the best. 

In many ways, my bedroom is a reflection of my time in Pittsburgh. It was shambly, it was kind of scary, but God was faithful in it, I was kept safe, and it was mine. It's really not that hard to leave, except also yeah it is.