16 November 2009

Grateful Girl

A friend invited me over for lunch today. While it's not unusual to spend time with this friend, the invitation intrigued me--a luncheon, no kids? So I went, fearing that she was going to tell us she was sick or something...you know how your mind goes. Anyway, before we blessed the food, she said to the ladies gathered around the table, it's Thanksgiving, and each of you have blessed me or impacted my life this year and this is my way of saying thank you for what you've done for me. WOW! Blew me away, that she was sooooooo thoughtful and so grateful. What's ironic is that the girl who did this, if everyone I knew in town were to have a lunch and invite someone who's done something for THEM this past year, this girl would be on most of the lists--she's a natural born giver, and is always calling me to see what I need, can she feed Sami for us when we're out of town, you name it. And after Mom & Dad's fire, and at the end when things were so tough, she was always there to help out. So really, I should be thanking her, not the other way around. It was cool, too, because two of the ladies at the table are also great friends of mine who are always there, always encouraging, always OFFERING. And the 4 of you who read this blog, you would totally be invited to my table if I were to take time to say thank you for being my friend, and for making my world a better place. Makes you think, doesn't it? I guess in one way, it makes me think that the little things I do add up and people do notice...but that's not why I do stuff. That's not why YOU do stuff, either. What it really made me think about was this: who would be at my lunch table? Hmm. I'd have to get a bigger house!

And speaking of...last week sometime, there was a knock at the back door. I opened it up and there was our neighbor. You know, THE neighbor I referred to in the scary Friday night post a few weeks ago. Naturally, after all that's occurred, they're moving out of the house and he thought we might be interested in renting it. Let me stop here--we/I LOVE this little green house. We LOVE the owner, Amy, and she is just the best-case renting scenario. She's awesome! We have no plans to move until we buy another house, which will be after we finish paying off our debt and save up the cash to do it right...so, a while. Lately, as much as I love this house and as happy as we are here, I've been feeling very cramped. It's a pain to have to get my work stuff out and then cram it all back in the closet before I go pick up the kids, blah blah blah. Wah, right? The kids' room feels like it's overflowing with books and clothes. The bathroom cabinet and kitchen pantry are both so disorganized...ugh. Basically, I didn't do my spring cleaning this year and I'm feeling the pain. And I'm really interested in my work right now so I want to be able to get it out, leave it out...I'm a creative. I need space to create. These two things are at war in my head--the house is, behind cabinet and closet doors, at least--getting messy. I don't have enough space to work the way I want to work (see, I know it's a want, not a need).

Wow, I digressed. Anyway, when he knocked on the door, James thanked him but turned him down nicely. But I thought about it and thought about it, and so I asked James if we could at least look. I had to ask him twice before he'd agree (of course, the second time I told him what I just told you, about needing space to work, which he understands better than anyone). Since then, it's been on my mind constantly. Like, even putting clothes away I've thought, well, I don't need to worry too much if we're about to move. Furniture shopping last week I thought, we can totally get a bigger bed if we move. Stuff like that...I've been imagining having my own dedicated office, and how I would decorate it. It's sad, but I've really been thinking about having more space and getting excited. Discounting, completely, the work and expense that would be involved in moving--these were fantasies, right? :) It's taken us a while to get it coordinated, but we just got back from walking through the house. And it's a cool house, in a lot of ways. Great yard, covered patio, garage, two fireplaces, two bathrooms, three bedrooms, two living rooms, bigger kitchen, huge dining room. It's more than double the house we have. And if you figure in what we pay in storage fees every month, about the same price. Tempting, right? Well, it was. Until I walked through and realized that the house we have now is our HOME. Sure, we want more space but we can totally live without it. It's not worth trading Amy the awesome owner to rent from an agent. It's not worth trading our laminate floors that James laid himself for some crazy indoor-outdoor carpeting someone thought was a great idea for a rent house, even if it's more than twice the floor space. It's not worth having a bigger kitchen...if it's not my kitchen. As crazy and small as it is, it's mine. I love this house. I love that it feels like home. It's not as pretty as some of my friends' homes, and it's not as big as anyone else's home. But it's home to us. We've been happy here, and we ARE happy here. We've actually lived here longer now than we've lived anywhere else our entire marriage. For a lot of reasons, these have been the happiest few years of our marriage and of Kayci's life. We've had great holiday gatherings here, a hurricane party that lasted two weeks, lots of dinners with friends, and tons of great everyday memories. Sitting here, I can see my Dad standing over the counter or the stove. I can see him sitting out on the deck, so proud after he had it pressure-washed and stained. I can see him pushing Kayci on her swing. I can hear him walking through the house with Sami at 3 AM, waking everyone up with his whistling as he headed outside to smoke. I could go on...but when I think of him here, I smile. I remember the last time he visited, how as he stepped across the threshold I thought, this may be the last time he ever comes to my house...and it was. But you know what else I remember about that visit? We made the PERFECT guacamole, and James and I have had it probably 50 times since then. It's that good. :) There's a lot that I love about this house--I love that it represents the place where James and I learned--and are learning--to eat healthy. I love that it's the place where Kayci will lose her first tooth. I love that her first day of school picture was taken outside in front of our red door. I love that each of the four of us has a place here, our own place but also places where we spend so much time together. Would we do that in a bigger house? I don't know. If Kayci had her own room and could go upstairs and watch TV by herself, would she? Probably. That's a bridge I'm just not ready to cross, yet.

So much on my mind today. But there's so much in my heart, as well.

Thank you, Lord, for this little green house and for the little life we live here. Thank you for showing me--before it was too late--that a bigger house isn't necessarily better. Thank you for my friends, and all they add to my life. Thank you for this beautiful day. And thank you for all of the memories, and that I'm able to remember the happy and sad times and be grateful.


Brenda said...

Amen! What a great post! You always make me stop to think. And make me smile.

Kristi said...

You too, Chica! Sounds like you're falling apart this week, my friend--feel better! :)