Tonight, after a few beautiful days in a row, that we’ve spent either running all around town or inside packing, we took a nice break after supper to just play. I walked out to just sit on the porch swing – to reclaim my thoughts and clarity and to let Elizabeth play in the rocks (her favorite).
This whole move is bitter-sweet. Don’t get me wrong, we are ecstatic for a new adventure. For a positive change. And to live in our dream house. But this house has been quite special for us, too. It was our safe-haven when our worlds were collapsing. It was our peaceful little home that we brought our daughter home to. It was our saving-grace when we desperately needed to learn to think like a two percenter and challenge ourselves to pay off all of our debt in one year. We made this house our home. Before we moved in, it was a 1970s trailer with green carpet, paneled walls, wavy floors, and little love. The improvements we did, and the joy we filled it with made it a home – a great home.
Beyond the boxes and little piles of things that need to go into boxes, looking in from the swing, I thought about all the meals we’d had at that table. The times we’d had more guests than chairs. How, even when Elizabeth was first born, she sat at the table with us for dinner. I thought about all the painting and “art” Elizabeth and I had done there. The many times, I’ve chased her around and around it trying to catch her for bath time. How she use to crawl across the wood floors in hopes of catching the dog. I thought about the hundreds of times I’ve told her to “don’t climb on the window”, and how I was sure the dog would scratch her way through it one day. I remembered the nights Elizabeth would watch for her Daddy to come home and squeal with excitement when he arrived. And the mornings he use to go in late, and we’d watch him leave from breakfast as he waved goodbye and honked.
I thought about the hours we had spent trying to do something with this yard. About the neighbors dog that wouldn’t stay out of my flower beds. About how the yard looked when we moved in, and about the night last summer I finally dug up the remaining of the sidewalk. I smiled as I saw Elizabeth playing and thought about the times she begged to go “ouside”.
I remembered all the parties we had on this front porch. It seems like every time we planned a party for our larger back deck, it poured rain. At one time, on CJ’s last birthday party, we had like 15+ people on this porch. I’ll never forget those nights. We’ve had many, many bbq’s served on this porch. I remember walking up the steps with baby Elizabeth on the day we came home from the hospital. I recall sitting on the front steps 8 months pregnant to take a break from painting and renovating, because we didn’t have chairs in our house yet. Thousands of bubbles have been blown in the past couple years from this swing. Lots of blog posts have been written on this porch. Tons of coaching calls have happened here, in the quiet escape from the busy house. But even before we lived here, I remember playing on it as a child (it is my aunt and uncles home in case you didn’t know). I remember CJ, as a toddler, finding money my Paw-Paw would hide in the “money tree”, which is what we still call the tree Andrew & Bean are standing by. I also remember my mama driving her huge clunker car to pick us up in the afternoon, when we stayed with my aunt. There have been lots of hide-n-seek games played behind the trees in this yard. By my generation, and Elizabeth’s.
But now, we’re on to our next adventure. Ready to make NEW memories. To hopefully raise our children and grandchildren in a home we loved before we walked in (you know that “this is it” feeling?). Soon, the walls and walls of boxes will be moved to our new home, and this home will be passed on to another family to create memories in.
Throughout this whole process, I just keep singing, Building 429’s song. (on a side note, their lead singer is our current worship pastor, and we will sorely miss our church).
I’ve sang this song, the entirety of our stay in this house. We knew, going in it would just be a temporary home. We had no idea how long we would live here, but we are thankful for the almost three years we’ve had here.