Monday, June 18, 2012

Life as a Clergy Wife: My House Doesn't Have *That* Many Rooms

As it turns out, neither of us has the energy for a major housing move right now. Still, for 36 hours, the prospect of maybe moving into a rectory provided rich fodder for fantasy. Mine, of course.

Since I'm married to an Episcopal priest, I swiftly imagined the rectory would be either a quaint cottage or a more imposing, yet modest, Tudor home. At least one working fireplace, wainscoting, sconces, graceful arches between rooms. No goofy colors or bizarre wallpaper, not even in the children's nursery that I'd turn into an office for myself.

The garden, lovely but a bit overgrown, would include climbing roses; perhaps a mature wisteria; chestnut and redbud trees. The path from rectory to church would have herringbone brickwork and be lined with hostas. 

None of this charm would be sullied by the central air conditioning unit, because that would be neatly hidden by freshly painted lattice work. A wealthy generous (now dead) congregant would have made sure that all electrical wiring and plumbing was up to 21st century building code standards. 

I share none of this with my husband, the Canon. Boom! Some fantasies are best left unexpressed. Mine, of course.

Details, arriving via email from someone at the church, reveal the rectory is a 1950's brick ranch-style house. And although it's never stated explicitly, I'm imagining jalousie windows, Avocado or Harvest Gold appliances in the kitchen, and a carport with a corrugated metal roof. 

What I'm neither imagining nor anticipating is this kicker: 
"There is a requirement that the church use a room in the lower level (separate entrance) for Christian formation on Sunday mornings.  We also store stuff in the basement."
And in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, I'm fantasizing about stumbling past parishioners and picking my way around Christmas pageant and Passion play dreck to do laundry. So what if "my Father's house has many rooms"? Mine, does not, not that many. Lord, have mercy.