Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Memories that Stand Out

The van comes today, to load up and pull out for 1200 miles south. 1212 to be exact. We're ready, at least for the most part, and not looking back with any regrets. Really, we're so thankful for the buyers God provided, for the timing, for the place we found to rent and the beautiful home the van is headed to. No regrets.

But it's okay to take a look back and remember a few special moments. When I woke up this morning I thought, 'what day is it?' Then, 'what do I have to do to today?' Oh yeah, it's moving day and the van is coming and I have to get over there and direct traffic all day! So then I found myself thinking, for just a few minutes as the sun was coming through the blinds and I could hear the sound of the cars flying by on the interstate that sits next to us - 'what stands out? what comes to mind when I think over 13 years of living there?'

Choosing the house - during Sarah's spring break, and it was gray and bleak and there was a skiff of snow on the ground. Her future husband, Pace, was somewhere in Florida I believe, and I still remember her talking of the contrast in weather. Nobody spends college spring break in Pennsylvania with grey skies and freezing temps.

Letting each kid run upstairs and pick a room. There were five, and we took the master, but the others were up for grabs. Dan chose the one that had shelves on the walls with football memorabilia. I guess it had a male feel to it. Then he ran outside, and down below to the little trickle of water that could only be called a creek immediately after a rain. He thought it was grand and promptly named it 'Sadie Creek'. We still call it that. Wonder what the new kids will call it?

Watching Dan run across the back, through neighbors' yards, in boxer shorts and barefoot while chasing one of the dogs who'd escaped. Skinny Dan, yelling his head off at that dog. We still laugh over that one.

Seeing a wedding gown hanging from the light fixture over the dining room table, twice, ready to be worn by a daughter. It's long train draped over the dining room table, just waiting. Such a vivid mental picture of that.

Watching boys run in circles through the house, til they literally broke the door between the kitchen and dining room, all the while squealing and hollering. They also tore down one of the hand rails to the basement - boys..... every house needs a few boys in it, to tear it up a bit and make it feel like home.

Seeing grandkids sled down the driveway, and when there really wasn't enough snow, Papa pulled the sled down and then back up, then down, then back up. The kids' dad, Pace, scooped every drop of snow off that front lawn so they could build a teensy snowman. When kids come from Texas for a visit and you get snow, you make every drop of it count.

There were so many other moments, and parties and sleepovers and holidays - too numerous to count. Sometimes the house felt full to the seams, and loud and crazy with not enough bathrooms and people sleeping all over the place. Sometimes it felt awfully quiet, when a kid had just moved away to college and we knew it would never be the same.

Time only moves one direction - forward. So we are too. There are sweet memories to be made, even in the little condo we're renting, and of course at the lake. And the real sweetness of it is how our family lives evolve - the memories will move to the homes of each of our kids, to their yards and creeks and pets and tables and broken doors. Looking back for just a moment, but not sad - it's as it should be.


Lynne said...

You see the memories in the house, but really, those memories go with you wherever you are. And you'll be making more memories in the condo you're in right now and then in the house in Texas.

I'm having a give-away for my 1000th post - come on over.

Kelly said...

Oh Bev, how beautifully said. I am just amazed at your wonderful attitude towards life; enjoying the memories, but never afraid to move forward. As you said- time only goes one direction.

You inspire me with your attitude, I tend to hold on to life with a tight fist, so afraid of what we might be leaving behind. How much more joy there is in treasuring the past, while embracing the present.

Thanks for your wonderful words, shared on a very full day. They blessed me:-)

Travis Schenk said...

I have always been the one to be moving (maybe not forward). I've moved 15 times in my life. So, I'm not used to others moving and me staying! As a youngster it wasn't that difficult to move on and adjust. However, I think that I have come to appreciate the brevity of life, but more importantly how hard it is to surround yourself with high quality friends. I miss the relationships that I poured myself into in Florida. I am, on the other hand, grateful for the return on investment that I have been receiving on the relationships that were built prior to our move to FL (mostly your kids)!

We will certainly miss you both when you do move on to Texas and your friendship to us will not be replaced. We will hold on to the memories and the lessons that you and Don have taught us - how to love and live richly. You all have done it well, and you are right: "its as it should be". You have equiped your children (and their friends) well. And the sweet memories move on to their children and their homes because you have done so well at raising them "in the way they should go."

We will make sure to keep your one child here as long as possible so that you guys are forced to come back for visits!

By the way, you have to come see our new home. Its beautiful! Some evening in July we will have you all over for a cook out!

Becky said...

This whole post reminds me of a scene from "Father of the Bride" when they are getting ready to hand the keys to their home over to the new owner. Houses are meant to live in. But homes ... those are for memories. I am glad you have such happy ones and no regrets. A wonderful new chapter is about to begin. Take notes!!

pendy said...

Bev, beautifully written. Reminded me of the day we moved into our current home. That last day, when that itty bitty house was empty, I spent time alone in each of my kids rooms, soaking in the air and memories of their baby days.

Barb said...

I can picture the wedding dress hanging in the dining room. :-)

I'm so excited for you. And I'm especially happy for you that finally, after all the hard work, you can just kick back and relax. For the rest of your lives. xoxoxo

Diane@Diane's Place said...

As soon as Don retires you'll be able to move to TX, settle into your dream home and be done with all the painting, renovating, staging, and just general upheaval you've gone through over the last year or so.

And as Lynne said, you have so many memories and also photos of of your time in PA, so you'll always have those. And you'll make the lake house in TX home before you even realize it, with new memories and photos to be made there.

It's a time of change for you, Bev. Look forward and embrace the new things ahead, my friend.

Love you!


Karen said...

Praying for you, friend, during this and blessings, Karen

Gretchen said...

Love this trip down memory lane wit you. Darned if I'm not teary and all. Becky is spot on for me with the Father of the Bride comparison. It's all good stuff. All stuff we strive for. But still.


Blessings friend, on your new home. I'm so excited for the new memories to be made.

Jen said...

Such a great tears...just smiles...moving forward means not looking back....but smiling and laughing when we remember...good luck.

Joan B. said...

How special to find you again just as you make this change. All the best!

Karen said...

Bev, You are moving on so beautifully ..... making memories and going forward with anticipation of what God has in store for you next! Blessings...