Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The past few days have been
fairly hectic around here.
My daughter and son-in-law
and my two grandchildren
have temporarily moved in.

The house they were renting was sold
and their thirty days of searching
ended up with no acceptable prospects.
Their only other option was to come live
at my house for awhile.

It's kinda like a giant sleepover here.
With noise and snacks and laundry
and dirty dishes and cartoons and movies
and doors flapping and the
water heater working overtime.

It takes me back to a time
when I had to settle temporarily
for a less than perfect place to live.

We owned a large building in town
where my husband ran his plumbing shop.
We ended up having to move in there
for awhile as a family.

It was fairly comfortable.

My husband built some walls
and improved the kitchen area
and we plopped our king sized bed
into his once private office-

We stuck the kids in a storage area
with a brand new Nintendo system
and full reign to the soda and snack machines.

There was an existing bathroom
with shower and sink
and we pretty much had everything
a person needs in a house.

Except that it was never home.

I missed flower beds
and long walks through the woods
and listening to the birds sing.
I missed quiet
and my crooked mailbox
and the wreath on my door.

I started to envy
people with clotheslines
and dinner tables
and picture post card lives.

I started to hate the carpet-
the drapes-
the hum of the fridge-
the tick of the clock-
the naked feel of a cold, block
building that kept me prisoner.

We ended up spending two Christmas's there.

I likened us to the Boxcar Children.
A little family doing what had to be done
and making the most of it.

As a mother, I tried to make it fun
and comfortable-
but, at the same time,
hide the sadness that welled up
inside of me.

I am so blessed and thankful
for my home now.
It's quiet in the country
and I can hear the birds and the wind
and catch the autumn leaves.

The hum of the fridge
and the tick of the clock
are comforting reminders
of where I am.
There's a wreath on the door
and my very own mailbox,
and a happiness that cannot be explained.

I try to wear my daughter's shoes for awhile.

I try to imagine the effort it takes
to wake up to a small bedroom
stacked with boxes of clothing-
and having to dig out bluejeans
and deodorant
and find some organization
to the mess.

I know it's got to be a sickening feeling
to lay in bed in the morning
knowing this is not your house-
and wanting more than anything
just to have a real place to live.
I'm sure she hates the humming fridge
and the ticking clock
and the walls that hold her prisoner.

I have faith that they will soon
find a suitable rental home
in their school district
and they'll be back to their
slumber-party-filled lives
and will love it even better than before.

Right now,
I'm remembering the smell
of toaster pastries in the morning-
heavy backpacks by the door,
late night giggles from the bedroom,
and long drawn-out stories
about school and friends
and playground adventures.

I know that there will be
plenty of time for my quiet later.

I know that they will be too soon gone-

...and that this trial will be just a memory
that will make them
even more grateful.