We did it. Last week. Twenty-three years of Orchid Street miscellany packed into a Big Blue Box and stored away. Childhood memories of five boys preserved in Rubbermaid tubs—and imaginations. One boy, once the youngest, now middle, sends a text from Colorado: I honestly can’t even think of a bad memory I had in that house…
And I text back: NO bad memories??! Because, really. Let’s be honest.
Of course, I can probably relate. Forgetting the pain and remembering the joy—like childbirth, right? LOL. (Have you ever listened in on a group of women telling delivery room stories? Just saying.)
I drove past it yesterday. Our Orchid Street house. There was pink on the porch. A doll buggy, I think. Which made the whole thing seem rather final.
A few minutes later I sat in Cheryl’s three-season doing Bible study with once-neighbor-friends. Laurie and Sandy, Jean and Sharon. Barb, my former across-the-street neighbor, and realtor’s wife. Each of these gals twenty-plus years in the neighborhood, and ten-plus summers sharing stories of family and faith at Cheryl’s house. Jamie and Julie were there, too, brand new to all of it. Delightful women. And I can’t help thinking of the friendship ditty. Make new friends, and keep the old ones…
I have no intentions of NOT keeping them, and I said as much. The first Monday evening of each month set aside for dinner with the gals, and I won’t be missing out. Laurie and I have a walk scheduled for the week after next, a run at the lakes as soon as Cheryl gets back from vacation.
Maybe I’m in denial, or maybe it’s just that everything seems so RIGHT. Moving in with my in-laws for the next several months while we build our place. Friday morning, last, I drove home from where I’d been speaking at camp while my family wrapped up the final details of the move without me. They’d been sending texts, sentimental, with sad-face emojis. Enough to get my stomach knotted for the drive back home. Home. And that, of course, was the conundrum. Was I going home?
By day’s end Kyle and I had our bed set up downstairs at his parents’ house, a matching chest of drawers, clothes neatly organized in our first ever walk-in closet. Both of us weary, me from hanging out with Trailblazers all week, and him from doing the heavy lifting. Our dog Maple, my father-in-law’s new best friend, curled up on the floor with a sigh. I’d been home for a total of six hours, and I could already say, it was.
Next day we left midmorning to head over to Brian’s to see the boys in their new space. Felipe’s apartment is still under construction. New bathroom finished except for installing a mirror. Kitchenette in need of food and flooring. Kyle tackled jack-hammering the old tile to make way for new faux-wood, while I took the boys and Sidney to Costco and Aldi for some power-shopping. Later I loaded up laundry for washing at Grammy’s, a washer and dryer still TBD at Brian’s, a good excuse for me to Mom these guys a little longer. Jimmy—who’s temporarily apartmenting until the start of college soccer in just a couple of weeks—let me lay on his new double bed, exceedingly more comfortable than the twin currently packed in the storage box. He thanked me for the grocery splurge, told me he loves me. Which of course, is exactly what I needed.
This weekend they’ll all be HOME, driving up from Iowa, flying in from Colorado. Here for a cousin’s wedding. Grammy has a storage room so big and so neat, it fits a double bed and a twin, with room to spare. We’ll be spread out, but together. Gathering around a table at Acapulco, a Twins game, a day at the lake. Green Lake, where Kyle and I have been spending our evenings, moving woodchips, mowing weeds, cutting logs for a firepit circle. A circle for family at our future home.