Sixteen years ago today, Dave and I signed our respective names and initials no less than a hundred times. After renting for eighteen years, we were finally buying our first home. It was bittersweet for a whole host of reasons, but truth-to-tell, it was more “sweet” than “bitter”, and very exciting (and scary!) all at the same time.
After we finished the closing, we arrived at our little house and turned the key in the lock, stepping into not just the first home of our own, but a new chapter of our lives to start an awesome adventure. In this “new” place (hardly…it was built in the late 1800’s!), we would make endless memories, of which I was certain. After taking a look around for the umpteenth time in all six rooms, sans the one bathroom, we made our way to the front porch and sat together on the 50+ year old glider, complete with bright yellow and green flowers adorning the vinyl cushions. It revealed its age by the few tears in the vinyl along with the squeaking of the springs that probably hadn’t seen a can of WD-40 in many years. I wondered how many people glided back and forth on it over decades passed.
As we glided to and fro, I kept saying, “I can’t believe it’s ours…we FINALLY have our own home.”
This house and all the previous acreage (split up and sold over several generations), was the “homestead” (and once a cow milking farm) of the previous owners for over fifty years. The thought crossed my mind as to how many people, on how many occasions, sat in the kitchen having dinner, creating memories…all of the holidays that were celebrated here. Love, loss, happiness, sadness…I thought about it all.
So now, sixteen years later, this house has witnessed two kids grow up, graduate from high school, attend college, make their way into adulthood and recently move out; one lives a few miles away, and the other took a big piece of my heart all the way to Texas.
The quaint front porch is my refuge. Dave has his man cave, but I happily claimed the porch, sharing YEARS of laughter and tears with my best friend, his brother, who has since passed away.
We’ve had many family holiday dinners here. This year marks the first without my beloved Dad, but “life is for the living; life goes on”, as he used to say. Even as things continue to change, things that are beyond our control, we’ll still continue to make new memories in our little house and someday, when Dave and I are gone, I think about some new couple signing their names a hundred times, turning the key in the lock and starting their own new adventures.
Perhaps the future new lady of the house will also claim the front porch, and as she sits in the quiet stillness on a cool summer night she, too, will think about the family who lived here before her and wonder what their story was all about.
It may not be my “dream home”, but it’s what God has blessed us with, and for that, I will always feel humbly blessed!
~Let Love Lead The Way~ TP
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