Making a Home
It’s official – we’re homeowners! We closed on October 28th and moved in after stopping by Gilly and Andrew’s to load up a trailer with our most valued possessions and thankfully* a bed and two camp chairs. *Thankfully because as I sit here typing in that camp chair, we still don’t know when our furniture will be here.
We have started buying small things – a few plants, a table for the kitchen, a TV. We also have done some painting, hanging, raking (so.much.raking). And today, we’re building built-in bench in the living room with some bookshelves for a cute reading nook and a bench in the kitchen around the newly purchased table.
The weak morning sun is shining through the yellow leaves of our neighbor’s Maple tree into our living room right now. I had forgotten just how beautiful fall is. The streets are lined with colors ranging from bright orange to hot pink to the pale yellow of the Japanese Cherry in our front yard. Our neighbors have been beyond incredible – stopping by to say hello, giving us little bottles of champagne, introducing us to the neighborhood cat, Harold (and providing us with cat food for said cat), inviting us to outdoor movies and games, and providing us with a list with everyone’s names on the street with their dogs’ names! As Jake said, it’s like living in a John Hughes’ movie.
To be able to make this move is one of incredible privilege – that we have maintained our jobs; that we were able to save enough when so many have lost so much; that we’re able to work from home when so many put their lives at risk to give us essential services. To be so clearly and undeniably benefiting from and perpetuating the inequitable systems that I advocate to reform is a paradox that I don’t know what to do with. We intentionally chose to live in Kansas City and not in a suburb or Kansas so our property taxes would go to the public school district, which right now has provisional accreditation. The school district lost accreditation back in 2011 when I lived here the first time, and that remains the case today – though with much notable progress. But it’s not like where we chose to live was a concession or dictated by our race, sexuality, or economic status. Quite the contrary. And it takes just a few minutes to drive east to see how inequitably resources are being allocated by the city from basic infrastructure like sidewalks to every police station being located east of the red line. So yeah – got to face that and have work to do.
We were able to vote as Missouri residents on Tuesday morning. While I am beyond relieved that we will soon have a new president and first woman VP, Missouri overwhelmingly voted for a man and members of congress who have vowed to strip away health care that Missourians just voted to expand back in August and who tricked people into voting for repealing a law that was enacted just two years ago to stop gerrymandering so they can retain supermajorities across the state. And the fact that so many people – including people I love deeply – voted for a man who has proven to be so destructive, divisive, racist, and inhumane is something that new leadership will not resolve or reconcile – that work will need to be done by us individually and interpersonally. But hopefully that work is a little less fraught without the barrage of daily hate and devastating policies from the very leadership that is tasked with serving and protecting us.