I remember walking Andrea to her first day of Kindergarten from this place. I remember taking Amber to the Rec Center and dropping her off for preschool classes. I would come home and sit on the back porch drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying an hour by myself and for myself, both girls in "school." Now they come home from 3rd and 5th grade, wanting to tell me all about their days. We have spent hours apart from each other, and I am just as excited to see them and share my day.
I remember many days waiting to hear the garage door opening, signaling to me that Daniel was home from a long day of work. It's amazing how sounds become part of our memories. I heard that door opening as I was sitting in our bedroom yesterday, and I got just as excited as I used to. Never mind that I had just seen Daniel a couple hours before. That door tells my brain that we have given our part to the outside world; now it's time for us to be a family.
When I opened all the windows to let in the very welcome fresh air, I remembered the times we used to foster dogs. At one time we had six in this house from three different rescue groups. By the time we were done fostering, we had 97 dogs come through, some for just an overnight stay, some for close to a year. My favorites will forever be Cody and Lexie. They were Golden Retrievers, and I can definitely see why this is my mom's favorite breed. They were amazing dogs. Yesterday I reflected on the time Cody jumped out of the window in the living room because I thought it would be safe to have the windows open to bring in the cool air while I walked Andrea to school. There were screens on the window, so I didn't think twice; I would only be gone about 10 minutes. Cody, however, decided he wanted to walk to school, too, and took advantage of the window being open. I cried and cried, walking up and down the streets calling his name. When he found us he ran right past and into the open garage. Cody had ALMOST made it to school, but he went straight at one point where he was supposed to turn. I learned a lot about the loyalty of pets that day. We took Cody with when we went to pick Andrea up from school.
Sitting with the windows open in the early afternoon I could hear the children playing outside during recess. Our house is very close to the school, and some days I used to be able to hear the morning announcements and the Pledge of Allegiance. It's comforting to know that even though my children are away from my care they are literally still within hearing range. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration; I can hear the collective voices of the students but would not be able to hear a single child. Regardless, being able to share in the morning and recess activities from a distance is really cool. I kind of miss that now that I leave for work before their school day starts.
I heard birds chirping, lawn mowers cutting grass, and the sounds of the city all around me as I sat clicking away on the computer keys. I'm sure some of those same noises happened in the townhouse, but the dogs barking constantly and the sounds of police helicopters overshadow the pleasantness. It was funny that I was thinking about the birds yesterday. Daniel came home from work and decided to put some bread out for them. He wants a bird feeder now. That will definitely be something we will get eventually. Our bedroom window looks right out into the backyard. So does our living room patio door. We would, for sure, be able to enjoy seeing what the feeder attracts. I would also like a humming bird feeder in the front yard as I have seen some of those birds flying around at the neighbor's house.
My favorite part of the house is the natural light. There are huge windows in every room of the house, so there is not a place anywhere that is dark and cave-like. I can open the windows and sit watching the street out front. I can lay on my bed and see what's going on in the backyard. It just feels bright and cheery. At night, as the sun is going down and the lights come on, it feels natural. It is time for our bodies to slow down and relax. The world is telling us so.
I can honestly say that moving back to this house felt like coming home. I feel this is a great fit for our family. It is large enough that we are not constantly on top of each other. It's small enough, though, that I don't feel completely isolated if I'm working on lesson planning at the kitchen table while the rest of the family hangs out in the living room. Today we bought a plant for the backyard and one for the front. It looks like we plan to stay for awhile.