My wife, Lydia, and I have moved out of our house and placed all of the stuff we didn’t haul off to the county dump into a ten by fifteen-foot storage shed. There are also trunks, dishes, and an antique chest stuffed into a friend’s garage. It took us ten years to fill our modest adobe cabin with “stuff”; it took me a month to sort it out
We are running our business from a telephone and a desk in office space we have borrowed from Sandy and Tony; we depend upon the love and kindness of our friends for our shelter. The reason for this upheaval in our lives is that we are faced with a task that demands all of our resources, and we haven’t the energy to maintain a house that is nothing more than an expensive warehouse. We feel like we felt way back when we were living on our boat and life seemed more meaningful. Flaws in this reasoning will no doubt occur to us as time passes.
Has some terrible disaster overtaken us?
Yes, according to Lydia’s family.
A couple of years ago I was sitting out on our tile patio behind our adobe cottage on top of a rock ridge in the California foothills. I was eating breakfast and watching two blue jays fighting over the sunflower seed in the bird feeder. Lydia was inside talking on the phone. This was not unusual. The phone rings all the time in our household business—one reason to seriously reconsider putting your home and your business in the same place. Lydia walks out onto the terrace with a funny expression on her face. If your over fifty, you know the expression, the kind of expression your teacher used to get when she told you to crawl under the desk and hide your eyes just in case a nuclear bomb was dropped outside the window.
“George wants me to interview for the District Governor’s job,” she says.
“You’ll do it, of course,” I say. “It’ll be the opportunity of a lifetime.”
There is joy shining in her eyes. She ducks back in the house and I hear her pick up the phone and tell George, “I’ll be there.” Four words that change our lives.