Six Months and One Day

Six months and one day. It has been six months and one day since we packed the remainder of our stuff in cars, put the cats in their carriers, and signed reams of papers in two different states. Six months and one day of being bombarded with new. Our new house is coming together. My husband likes his new job. We had to get new license plates and new drivers licenses. I am learning to meet new friends. We have tried dozens and dozens of new restaurants. We’ve had to find new doctors, dentists, and optometrists. All of this new has at times been jarring, kind of like a drive on a narrow, curvy two lane country road. You never know what is around the next bend. We are discovering how to navigate the route, but, I must admit, some of it has not been easy. When I moved around in my younger years, I crammed all my belongings in my car and took off, never looking back. This move, though, has been exhausting and complicated. Our lives were uprooted from the known to the unknown, and every blind turn gives us something to either learn or unlearn.

We are discovering how to live new lives while holding onto old attachments. We miss our families, our breakfast joint, and our slew of friends. My husband misses his golf buddies. I miss hanging out with my sister on the weekends and practicing yoga with my tribe. We both miss Sunday dinners with the grandchildren, crayons scattered all over the family room floor, and playing piggy back and stacking towers of blocks only to watch them fall.

Instead we have Sunday FaceTime visits with the kids and occasional trips back home to check up on things. We are quickly learning, especially with the holidays approaching, that everything is different. Our house was the gathering place, but no longer. We will improvise and create fresh memories. Everyone will be okay, because traditions are not meant to be dictated with a permanent Sharpie. Instead, they can be erased and rewritten, fitting the new flow of our lives.

Six months and one day of new. Most of it positive. Some of it frustrating. All of it a unique adventure in this New Town of ours.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

— Walt Disney
 Our New Town
Our New Town

Our Front Porch

For years now I have wanted a big front porch. Not a puny one with just a few steps and barely room for a potted plant. A porch with comfy furniture, big pots of herbs and flowers, and, of course, a swing. A place to gather, to contemplate the day, to nod at neighbors, to just be quiet. That has been my dream, and now, finally, it has come to fruition. 

American architecture of homes has evolved over the years. Once upon a time the front porch was a staple in most houses. Before air conditioning, families gathered on the porch after dinner to catch a cool breeze and visit. Even after WWII when suburbia creeped outward, children played games in the streets as their parents gossiped together over coolers of cold beer. Eventually, though, houses became fortresses where families locked themselves in against the world. Two car garages now faced the streets while large decks were built behind fences, and high tech security systems protected the ones inside against the evils lurking beyond the front stoop.

In all the homes I have inhabited the porches have been small, nondescript cement blocks I attempted to beautify with pink begonias and tinkling wind chimes. These spaces welcomed visitors, yet did not invite people to stop, sit, and share stories. When we knew we would be moving to a new town, I had a wish list and a spacious front porch was among the important items. I looked at dozens of places, yet nothing spoke to me. I knew it was out there, this new smaller home where we would live and love. I would feel it as I walked in the door. And then I wandered into this community where almost every house has a front porch, some even two. I saw stately Adirondack chairs facing quiet ponds and wicker plumped up with colorful pillows. But most importantly, I noticed the porch swings. Somehow, this was where we were intended to live.

This past weekend my husband and I assembled four vintage looking metal chairs, two small tables, and, of course, a swing. Last night we sat on the porch, sipping drinks, and relaxing in the beauty that is our cottage. Even this morning I spent time on the swing with my journal and a cup of coffee. Later this week I will make a pilgrimage to the local garden store for flowers and herbs, but for now this porch fills me with gratitude and simple joy.

“I return to my front porch to find a place where the air smells sweeter and the sun feels warmer than at any other bend in life’s long road.” – John Sarris

A job offer has presented us with a new opportunity for adventure. We have moved our stuff from our hometown to a bigger city filled with rivers, arches, and Cardinals. It is both exciting and terrifying, but we welcome the journey. I hope to chronicle this odyssey as we stumble toward the future. Stay tuned.