Wednesday, May 07, 2014
The exterior looks the same as it did over 10 years ago when Tim and I purchased it and he carried me over the threshold. A first home of newlyweds married just nine months. Nothing special makes the red brick ranch stand out but still it tugged at my heart today.
Who lives there now? I found myself wondering. Are there kids running down the hallway? Do they snuggle on a couch in front of the fireplace on cold winter evenings?
And it surprises me that while a flood of memories come back to me when I look at the house, the current owners know none of them.
They don't know about the painting party our friends joined us for to spend a day laboring as worker bees to get the house ready to move into.
They never laughed while Pippin, our first baby - a chocolate lab puppy - got into all sorts of mischief and tried to convince us as he grew that he was still just a 75 pound lap dog. Love me, love me, pet me, love me, he would pant as he jumped onto the couch and curled up between us.
They don't know that there was an evening where candle light framed a marriage proposal between two of our dear friends, one who was living in our basement at the time. A marriage journey began in that living room and thrives today, years and two children later.
They never heard the shriek of happiness and joyful tears that filled the bathroom when a pregnancy test came out positive.
They are not aware that there are spaces on the floor where I have crumpled, sobbing and crying out to God to heal my heart after the loss of my grandmother and soon after the loss of our first pregnancy.
They never saw how I stilled myself on beds in the rooms and stared at walls willing the hurt and grief to lessen.
Then, quick months later, more shrieks - hesitant this time - at another positive test, then one more, just to be certain.
That wainscoting in the back room? It was a labor of love by Tim and a friend to prepare the nursery for a baby boy's arrival. On the small wall in that room, I painstakingly painted a Hawaiian themed mural that matched crib bedding.
And in the wee hours of August 16, 2005, they never know my eyes flew open as I felt my first contraction...then more...and after a few hours of walking that hallway and timing contractions, Tim and I walked out the side door for the last time as just a young married couple.
They weren't there to witness our arrival home a few days later as a family of three, to have hearts full of joy and anxiety as we tried to figure out what to do with this small bundle the nurses let us bring home from the hospital.
Those rooms and hallways have been crawled through, walls have been used as support for a toddler learning to stand and then walk along.
Fires have been enjoyed in that fireplace, nestled between built-in shelves that made a young bride quite happy to have a place for her books.
The dining room saw many happy gatherings with friends, family, and held a table graced with food for bridal and baby showers.
And yet, we were just one owner for a short time in a house that is over 60 years old. What other stories and memories does that house hold?
I think that about the one we live in now, too. What laughter, tears, fights, joy, parties, decisions, and growth have these walls held? It is easy to think of our home possessively. It's "ours." But it hasn't always been and it probably won't always be.
I am certainly thankful for them - both the house we occupy now and the journey being lived here, and the first house we bought and the memories made there in our very young and early marital years.
I wonder if they know that...