Here's a peek at a couple little corners of the new place.
I really like the little corners here - filled with open brick, chippy paint, and architectural features. The one on the right is a door that leads out from our kitchen to a beautiful little side walkway. I love it. I love opening the door up when my cooking gets too smoky, and I love cooking and talking to my husband while he smokes. (That poor door wasn't ready for us.)
We are really sinking into this new place. Need it be said that there will always be some small part of our hearts left out of that puddle and firmly placed hundreds of miles away at a little cottage-y place with a red roof? And isn't that a wonderful thought? That our time under said red roof had not been wasted, that we are actually blessed enough to choose to leave what is good in hopes of searching and finding something even better.
The people we have met are precious. (And precious few.) I have been calling the clerk at Circle K who likes my hair "my friend" (although I don't think she knows it yet), and I have a feeling I will always remember her as the first "friend" I made here. Ashley - that poor girl, I was so excited she talked to me that if she touched my shoulder, I would have probably sniffed at her hand.
This house is pretty posh, but the alleyway is scary. Robert will take out the trash from now on. Little exception. ;)
Having Sam's Club around the corner is so money I can't even tell you. And Barnes and Noble? We must have looked like total rubes walking into that bookstore all wide-eyed - gasping, and oohing, aaahing and "look what's over here"ing.
In my mind, this place is beautiful. It has all the features I love of the desert, but turn just the right corner, and you find yourself surrounded by crops. I'm told everything grows here, and I saw it firsthand when our washer leaked and sprouts came up from the carpet. Even the carpet grows. I may or may not have entertained the idea of watering it and mowing what came up. Grass carpet on the inside of the house - it's gonna be a thing.
I'm so grateful our girls are flexible. Our first night was showered with precious tears and groomed by a cold, echoey house, and back aches from sleeping on the hard floor - but the next morning two little exploring eyes cried out, "Okay. This place isn't so bad." and their mouths soon followed.
It took this move for me to realize I have rarely heard a siren stop. My mind has just been accustomed to hearing the crescendo and diminuendo of a siren. The first time I heard it just stop dead, I thought it the driver accidentally leant on whatever button turns it off. It was a good 30 seconds before I realized it was just around the corner. True story. Also? The yelling. There's a lot of yelling here. Children screaming and crying, and parents yelling to quiet them, quite unsuccessfully. I can't quite explain it - there's just yelling.
It takes some getting used to - being in a bigger city - one filled with not quite so many retired old folks as our previous hometown. But I'm ready. I'm ready to grab this town with both hands and pull it in for a hug if need be (lean into it, Yuma.). I'm ready to bask in both the pleasantness of the Target, and the unpleasantness of the heavy, old woman walking around my corner wearing only a nude colored bra and mom jeans (not. a. metaphor).
I'm ready for empty walls to be my canvas and churches filled with strangers to be my party - and isn't that just God's grace? Me?! I complained to the convenience store clerk when they renovated, that "I liked it the way it was when I could find everything." Me?! When it sprinkles at night, I rush home because 'I don't need the trouble of a car accident and I just should have stayed home anyway.' Me?! If they invented water tomorrow that could give you lifetime health for 99 cents I would tell them, "I already have a brand of water I like."
I am set in my ways, to say the least - but this Thanksgiving, the gift God's grace has given me is a heart of gratitude. Because here's the deal: time goes by fast, yo. And it's not always a general warning for our time on this earth or the time we have left with our elderly loved ones , but sometimes it can just be time in a certain place surrounded by certain people, or the time it takes to have a nice dinner with a friend, or the time the neighborhood child comes over to visit. It's all fleeting.
And the shameful truth of it is I have spent too much time with goals about what would be next. Standing on my tiptoes over what was present right in front of me and trying to peek over at the future of how I could make it better - always trying to bottle the smell of those flowers and put a pretty package on the bottle. And that's not to say that goals aren't good or don't have their place, but I just want to be grateful presently.
I have always been a champion at thanking God for our family's health, and a beautiful home. It's easy to be grateful for the beautiful and perfect things. But this Thanksgiving I want to be grateful for more. For the leak in the plumbing, the extra fat on my arms, and that thing my husband and I just don't agree on. I want to be grateful for the aunt that said horrible things about us and the warning light on the dashboard of the car.
I could insert a thought here about how these things teach us or ground us or challenge us. But I don't even care about that right now. I just want to be grateful for the way life is, for the good and the bad - without rhyme or reason. Without a beautiful bow to tie it all up as I am so accustomed to striving for.