I could write about how sad it was for me to lock the door of our house on 11th for the last time, tears streaming down my face. But I’d be lying. If there were tears involved they were joyful ones. I don’t think I realized how unhappy I was there. Not that we didn’t have happy moments, we definitely did, but having given up my career to become a stay at home mom I didn’t realize how important “home” would be. Now having finished unpacking our new house to the point where I don’t wake up and feel swallowed by brown packing paper and corrugated cardboard boxes Abigail and I have time to do fun things like see salamanders at the library and play endless amounts of peekaboo. We have our space back, not exactly as it was before, but dare I say it? Even better than it was before.
I can look back on our time at the house I affectionately call “tiny 255” and even smile at our experience there. But a month ago the things we now remember while laughing were once a source of stress and a lot of low moments for me. Time is interesting in the way that it sweeps things right along and what feels like forever can quickly become a billboard you pass on the highway – so big and urgent, then quickly gone and forgotten. And through it all I find myself wanting to remember, not just the fact that it was our first place in Oregon, but the little things that took some getting used to. My generation typically doesn’t have many stories of hardship, you know, the ones involving snow and hills and folding up aluminum foil. And those stories are important. Very important for keeping snarky teenage attitudes in check. Now, I can proudly draw from my own little bag of hilarity thanks to “Tiny 255” when my kids, ahem Abigail, start whining about the unfairness of life (perhaps an unfairness like being 16 and not wanting to drive the minivan to school.) This is all hypothetical of course. Abigail will be perfect. Kidding.
But kidding aside, there will come a time when I don’t remember exactly what it was like at “Tiny 255” with only flutters of things coming to mind as the wind blows them my direction.
The next door neighbors that so graciously saw their bathroom window as the perfect place to shout out greetings to me whenever I was in the back yard. The other neighbor that Ryan fondly referred to as “What was that lady’s name? Rainbow…Sunshine…” (10 minutes later) “Peanut!” The single gas heater that was perfectly positioned beside our sofa and was so loud that we had to turn it off to watch a movie, with double socks, a sweatshirt, and a blanket. The ghost that I swear took Abigail’s navy pants, enjoyed watching me look for them all over the house for weeks on end, and then neatly deposited them on Abigail’s dresser one morning. And the attic, that beautiful master suite where I spent many very cold evenings listening to the wind whip around the house praying a simple prayer that involved the words, “Get me out of here.”
I’m proud that we made it work, some people do with a lot less for a lot longer, but I’m also happy to know that part of our life has blown on by.