“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were……..”

I just had to push kitty over off my lap to make room for the computer…..sorry kitty!

Today is Wednesday — ALREADY.

Seth and Sarah almost weren’t ready for the bus this morning; we were having too much fun together.  Seth is making a binder for his “comic club” and I gave him animal stickers to put on the cover.  And Sarah was happy that she remembered how to tie her shoes (she usually wears velcro) but it took much longer to get her sneakers on this morning.  We also put together a little gift bag for her lucky teacher who will be receiving a beautiful beaded necklace made by a 7 year old devoted student.  I cautioned them to walk carefully because the driveway had a thin film of ice on it from overnight freezing.  Seth happily wore head to toe black and Sarah wore a green shirt that said “bloom” on it, and luluroe tomato leggings.  I told her she looked like a garden today.

The house is quiet, the outdoors is quiet too, I know just by looking out the window.  Although the tops of the trees are gently swaying in the wind, it’s a calm breeze, cloudy sky, quite gray with brightness through the cracks in the clouds.

*****

On Saturday, Grace had one last morning at work.  The children would be with their Dad when she got done, so she said goodbye to her siblings who all ADORE their big sister Grace.  She had flats on her feet so the boys came up from the snowy lawn where they were sledding, to give her hugs.

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Seeing this, Sarah got upset and hid under a tree so we got in the car and drove down to the lower driveway.

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The same tree that Grace spent her hiding times underneath.  I watched the scene from in the car and I admit my heart ached with love. . . . .seeing that after all, Grace DID get her feet cold and snow-covered for her little sister’s sake.

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Just so thankful for a family that loves.

While Grace was at work, I got the kids ready and drove to the HS wrestling meet.  We arrived just in time to console Dave, who was standing in the busy hallway outside the gym with his Dad, recovering from his second loss.  It’s so hard this year for him because he went from youth wrestling where he was the oldest and more experienced, to High School, where he is the youngest as a Freshman.  But he is so strong of body and heart and oh how proud Rich and I are of him.  Our own Davy-do.  A joy.  I left after just half an hour, and I left the three youngest with their Dad because I needed him to take care of them for the rest of the day.

I stopped at a second hand store on the way home and found (not that I needed them) EIGHT fiesta ring handled mugs.  I did buy them, because they were half price and I knew I could save them for the older kids who might set up house keeping for themselves sometime within the next few years.

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Persimmon was exciting because I only have one other piece of that (retired) color, and cobalt (yawn–I have tons)…..I got home, snipped the tags off their sweet circle handles and popped them in the dishwasher……….

“We have too many cups,” groaned Caleb two days later when I told him to empty it.

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I picked up Grace from work at 3.  The vehicle was all filled up with the things she needed to take back to college with her after a generous Holiday break.  We were excited because we were heading to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to spend the night.  Alas, the moment we got on the highway we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.  It took “forever” to clear up.  In fact, by the time we got moving again I had to take the next exit and find a bathroom…..We ran in and ran out of McDonalds, laughing.

We had smooth sailing and arrived at 7pm to be lovingly greeted by my parents and the family dog and cat.  I had the magical feeling of slow-time.  The house was warm, calm, and still decorated for Christmas.  Every corner cozy.

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Mom served us delicious chili for supper and tea cake for dessert.  We visited and watched tv until about 10 and then went to bed, Grace and I together one last night.

Next morning was Sunday and as soon as he could, Dad headed across and up the road to their sled run.  We watched through the window and then went out, too, deciding to forgo Sunday school (a video) for some fresh air and togetherness.

 

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It makes me so happy to know my mom and dad have fun together.  They were outside for hours on their “luge” trails this weekend, knowing with warmer weather coming they wouldn’t last.  Dad drives the four-wheeler up with the dog in his crate on the back and then lets him run loose.

We stopped sledding when Dave came to pick up Grace.  He was so good in offering to drive her the rest of the way to college to save me some time and also give him an excuse to visit a great Greek place in the same town as college.  He sent these photos to me as they ate lunch together.

I went to church with my parents and what a blessing that was.  The people are so nice and the sermon was edifying.  Just wonderful.  The best part is that Rich and I have visited so many times through the years that I have the feeling that it is also “my” church, too.

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THE BEST STEAK EVER

Dear parents spoiled me with an absolutely wonderful lunch after church.   I could cry just thinking about it.  Mom and Dad on one side of the table, me on the other, conversation, love, a fireplace, busy waiters and waitresses, an amazing quilt mural on the wall, and people-watching.  Great food!  What more could we ask for in an afternoon?  I wanted to pick up the bone and gnaw on it when my steak was gone, it was that good.  🙂  We also had french onion soup and freshly baked rolls with a lightly sweetened butter.

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We went back home for coffee and Dad turned on the football games.  Mom and I went out shopping at our favorite Masonville General store.  I bought some chai tea mix and a lunar calendar and Mom bought one of her friends a gift and some pantry items for her kitchen.

By the time we got home it was getting dark.  Dad was still watching football and so mom and I found something to do on the couch together;

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I’ve been wanting to crochet again (always this time of year) so she got out her stuff and we each made a dishcloth.  Mom encouraged me by saying “You don’t need directions, just do what you want!  Make something up!”

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She got done before I did so she ran off to the kitchen to warm up soup for dinner and work on her puzzle.   I sat and crocheted and tried to keep the dog from sneaking away with my spool of yarn, which he thought was his.

We finished the tea cake.

We watched Victoria on PBS that night and I fell asleep on the couch, with mom and dad snuggled up on the other one watching their show.

****

more photos:

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Dad has been collecting penguins for years and years.  With five children gifting them, it didn’t take him long to have a rookery.

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Aren’t they cute?

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Mom’s jungle of houseplants and handmade wooden houses that an elderly man makes and paints in large quantities.  He makes so many that he gives them away to classes of children at school, too.   Aren’t they bright and happy?

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mid-yawn

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another christmas corner with a homemade paper garland and tree collection on top.  Mom has such fun arranging things in just the right way and has a great eye for decorating and turning a house into a cozy home-nest.

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Her office.  Above the desk.  I love.

also:

~brother Dave telling me I looked good and asked if I had gotten my hair done (he noticed!)

~Dad playing his drums as I looked through photos after mom left for work

~mom leaving the light on over Grace’s fish so it didn’t get cold in the night and then worrying the next morning that it got TOO hot.

~last thing mom said to dad as she left: Don’t get on the roof, Gregory! “I won’t!” he replied.  “does she always say that to you when she leaves?”  “only when there’s snow on it.”  (he sometimes has to clear it off)

~feeding the birds on the porch railing; they get a FLOCK of mourning doves, blue jays, chickadees, etc and never allow themselves to run out of bird seed

~mom sneezing so loud from the other room that frankly I got scared and we laughed and laughed

~putting together a puzzle

~playing foosball with dad

~listening to mom’s memories and writing a few down in my book

~listening to mom worry about Grace after she was gone, “Did you give her money?  Does she have everything she needs?”  “yes, mom”

~hugs and the words, “come again anytime you get cabin fever!”

~stopping by my cousin Erika’s house to pick up a rose cake plate that her husband found for me and getting to see her family

~stopping to hug Marissa and to give her a couple books for her mom and sisters

~driving on the familiar back roads toward home

******

(I drove back on Monday.)

And my children and husband were happy to have me back.  so sweet.

We had to laugh as Sherlock kept lazily digging his claws into Caleb and inching his way off the couch and onto his lap.  Also, more crochet!  I can’t stop myself.  I’m going to work on it today, too.  Along with folding the bazillion loads of laundry that I washed yesterday.  I might do some dancing around in my empty house, too.

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Caleb reading Michael’s story that he wrote.

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Seth decided all on his own that his special job for “moo” is to wash the dishes and so I took his photo yesterday as he busily scrubbed and got water all over (I don’t complain, I just grab towels).  He’s so wonderful.

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One of Jacob’s teachers knows of a little boy who has a brain tumor.  The boy’s dad created a hashtag and wants photos sent, so Jacob made a sign and had the wrestling team hold it for a photo during practice last night.  I have to say, Jacob has a beautiful heart.  Things touch him deeply, and he got a text from his coach later saying he was proud of him.  We could easily identify Jacob in the photo but Rich insisted Ethan wasn’t it in it, so I did my best to draw a circle around E, but circled him plus four other boys which made us laugh and laugh.

We sent back this photo:

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tuesday evening, January 23, 2018

*****

And thus concludes the photos I downloaded this morning from the long weekend.

****

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”  P Mercier

“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”  Sarah Desson

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”  Maya Angelou

“There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.”  Homer

 

 

4 thoughts on ““Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were……..”

  1. Beautiful post. So glad you enjoyed your weekend. I tried to sled the day after my 80th birthday. I needed help sitting down on the sled. The ride itself was fine, but it took 2 people to get me up, and even then my knees didn’t want to hold me. So I decided my sledding days are Tell your folks to keep sledding as long as they can. My husband ended up collecting elephants. The kids and grandkids gave him elephant cups, lamps, pillows, etc. etc.

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