Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GRATITUDE POSTS, November 20, 2013

I've spent the past week fretting over paint colors, redoing a tired bathroom, then recovering from twisting my body around in weird ways to paint the wall and trim above the tub. My house is growing old, and like its owners, it needs some love and help here and there, but I still love this old place. This is the winter view from the front porch.

The dreams of a comfy house on several sprawling acres played out well for our growing family, but now Tom and I are the last Lews left, and our days on this old place are likely numbered, and that is a sobering truth.

Though we've painted and changed things a bit, each room remains a time capsule of memories. Joshua was the only newborn brought home to this house. Adam, Amanda, and Tom arrived in stairsteps from one to five years, but they all grew here, graduated and launched their lives from here. Their bedrooms still have some of their stuff squirrelled away in closets and drawers. Stuff they pull out on semi-annual visits home during their own momentary retreats into childhood. Our oldest son is 35 and he occasionally runs down the hall and jumps on our bed to demonstrate the belly-flop technique his perfected on Sundays after church.

The voices are silent now, but I can remember the quiet talks over broken hearts and after disciplinary incarcerations, laughter in abundance, and prayers spoken by bedsides. I remember snuggling under blankets and eating popcorn as we watched the old Christmas specials, and the weekly games of Monopoly that almost always degraded into a war. Three walls still have scars from wrestling matches and overly exuberant, plaster-cracking hugs. Peace and love at home was not measured by stillness but by volume, and numbers of feet as kids gathered in a no-alcohol, no-tobacco, my-momma-will-kill-you-if-you-swear household after games, after proms, and after plays. Our kitchen became the Little Debbie Cake-eating capital of the world.

I'm actually crying as I write this thing. That's how strong the memories are, but you know. You have powerful memories of your own that are tied to places and moments you'll treasure always.

So the day will eventually come when we'll hand the key over to someone new, hopefully to a family with lots of kids, and we'll settle elsewhere, in a smaller house on less land, to make a new generation of memories. But for today, I'm grateful for this old house, and for the privilege of raising our tribe here.

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