I had wanted to tell most of my doctoral students at the same time and had invited them to lunch. They knew something was up. I shared what happened with the executive education training and how everything unfolded. They were all incredibly supportive – despite the various ways my short-term departure would affect each of them – with one of them saying “You’re going to write a book about this! It will be like ‘Eat, Pray, Love – but with kids!”
There are more service people coming in and out of the house to do repairs and improvements before the final house inspection. Matt, being the more gregarious of the two of us, is always friendly and engages them in conversation. Invariably, due to the ‘for sale’ sign in front of the house, they will ask where we are moving. For some reason, Matt then answers in a loud booming voice, “We’re moving to a mobile home.” An awkward silence ensues as I’m sure the service person envisions a trailer and the sorry set of circumstances that must have led to our family having to sell our house. Finally Matt breaks the silence by announcing “We’re moving onto a sailboat!” I can almost hear the person audibly breathe a sigh of relief. I still can’t figure out if he does this intentionally or not – but it is always amusing to overhear.
Before all of this craziness started, I had scheduled a week of ceramics at Miami University in Oxford, OH. They have an arts program called CraftSummer in which they offer various types of weekend or week-long classes. I had gone the previous few years and always had a great experience. In the midst of all that had to be done, I told Matt I didn’t see how I could possibly go and that I should cancel it. He convinced me to go (he is much better at prioritizing fun than I am) and it ended up being a fantastic and much-needed respite. While I was there, I spoke to a senior person in the university administration and he was wonderfully supportive of the whole idea. At one point, he said, “When you take a break like this, you invite life to drive you in all kinds of different directions. I just have to say this to caution you.” I assured him that we were simply hitting the pause button and that I was not reconsidering being a faculty member or being at the university. I love my job and my school and have no plans but to come back after a year. Subsequent positive conversations with other influential others simply confirmed this.
Below, me showing that how tall my piece is – the tallest one I had thrown to date!
After meeting with our attorney (and finally doing our will and setting up a trust), we signed the house contract an hour before the 5 pm deadline.
Our wedding anniversary. The buyer and realtor wanted to finalize the agreement today but we had an open house scheduled for tomorrow and wanted to see if any other offers were forthcoming.