I am on an adventure.
The only problem is that there isn't an end in sight.
In exactly 7 1/2 days; 162 hours, the large moving truck will park alongside our house, the doors will roll open, and large, capable firefighter friends will move us.
I am packing with fervor and anticipation and angst.
Our little home has been our home for the longest time...7 1/2 years. That's the longest I've been in one place since I was little.
I'm trying not to let the memories cloud my vision but they come so fast and fall so heavily.
The board we ripped out of the kitchen wall to preserve, because our son's growing height is marked in fading pen.
The dent in the wall when we brought up the beautiful wooden antique desk I found.
The circle out front where my son learned to run, to ride his bike with training wheels and without. Where he learned to catch a sponge ball, a rubber ball, a softball, a football. Where he took his first fishing rod and practiced casting onto the pavement in shorts are bare feet. Where every winter we would beg the city plowman to push all the snow onto our lawn so we'd have our own mountain to build tunnels and forts and dips to sled down. Where I threw the ball, three times a day for our aging lab and she'd carry it faithfully back to get her cookie.
The backyard that held a decrepit deck, then patio stones, then a tree fort with its own rope bridge and zip line, then a bigger inflatable pool with noodles to spit water at each other. With the growing number of bird feeders because I love to watch my cheerful chickadees, my flirting golden finches and my curious nuthatches.
The sunroom that was so cold to be in until my husband installed a heated floor, and then my son would pull off his socks and lie down. Every spring we stuffed more tables into it so I could grow even more tomatoes, sunflowers, echinacea and peppers.
My son's room where he graduated from a crib, to a toddler bed, to a bunkbed.
Our room that we've painted three times, with its gigantic snuggly bed, perfect for watching movies with popcorn on a Friday night.
The countless bubble baths with spray bottles, crayons and lego toys.
The kitchen that we redid twice, with its hundreds of meals, and perhaps as many guests.
I'm not normally a nostalgic person. Sure, I'll find the old photo album, or a box labelled 'memories' and I'm gone for hours. But I usually press on, looking for the next thing, the next adventure, where are we going next?
And I think nostalgia has crept on me because perhaps I am to be grateful for everything I had, and everything I have now.
Because in 7 1/2 days, 162 hours, we are filling a moving van and we do not have a destination. We know that we are going to a friend's farm house, a house with many rooms and we will only be there for a few days. But we don't know where after that.
It's been a long and trying process of trying to buy a house. I shake my head in disbelief when I realize that we are trying to buy house number 10. Something always happened. This time, we lost house #9 two weeks after we sold ours, giving us only 3 weeks to find a new one. The owner changed his mind. And we found another great house but.. banks aren't as fast as they should be when it comes to buying a farm. So what do we do? Do we wait? Do we set something up to rent? But then they'll want a year's lease, and we don't want to do that. Do we? I mean, we could go anywhere, but we have a dog, and an idiot cat.
I have no idea.
I know God has us. How could He not? And while He is allowing it to be very difficult to pack (what goes to storage? Where are the winter clothes? Which kitchen supplies do we need?), I am filled with peace and nostalgia. This was a good home. A very good home. It was loved.
And it loved us back.
Jenn Kelly is an adventure-seeker who will one day, write another book.