Five Years Ago…

LivingroomFive years ago today I woke up, looked out my window, noticed the tree limbs out my bedroom window made the shape of a heart and immediately knew I made the right decision to move here. The night before, as I unpacked boxes… many, many boxes… I was beginning to doubt myself.

You see…. I downsized. Truth be told, after my husband’s passing I foreclosed on the large 2 story center hall colonial family home… and moved back to my home town at the Jersey Shore. With the help and urging of a friend I found the perfect little bungalow. My mother hated it! She thought it was ugly, too small, and to top it off located in a bad part of town. I obviously didn’t agree with her. I had visions of living a new and perfect life in that house. I should have known it wasn’t going to be that simple. Nothing in my life ever is.

The new neighbors, along with family and old high school friends, helped me pack and move. I couldn’t have done it without them. I remember being overwhelmed, unsettled, excited, unsure of my decision, and thrilled… all rolled into one.

Moving night ended with tears rolling down my face as I clutched my wok to my chest realizing there wasn’t a space large enough to store it. My friend asked if I was sorry I moved to this house. With my lower lip quivering and a small shaky voice I squeaked, “No”, but in reality I wasn’t 100% certain. Taking that as a clue to leave, he kissed me lightly and quietly closed the door behind him. I dragged my sad face to bed.

In the morning I awoke with a new attitude. Seeing that heart in the tree limbs made me smile. I showered quickly and ran downstairs… with a plan! The first thing I did was grab the wok, and place in the one and only cabinet it would fit in. In my mind I was going to store something else in there, but it was time to change my thinking!

This morning there were no tree limbs in the shape of a heart outside my window… the tree had to be cut down last year. The wok was moved to the basement, my mom passed away a few years ago, my friend is no longer in my life, the kids have all flown the nest, and they took the dogs!

As I stretched in bed I mentally listed all the good things that have happened in this house. Many holiday dinners have been shared around my tables, birthday candles blown out, and even a few wedding festivities held in the back yard. I have hosted book club meetings, volunteer quilters, a few brunches, and a cocktail party or two.

I’ve served cake and tea to friends, and made French pressed coffee for chilly guys who work outside in the cold.

This house stood strong against Hurricane Sandy… and provided shelter for my kids and me. It is a safe place I not only live in, but work in, create in, and make long-lasting memories in. Oh, and did I mention the lake is across the street and the Atlantic Ocean within walking distance?? Ah… yeah.

I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring!!!