Our family moved in on the last day of July 1987. We overlooked the worn shag carpet, the1970s flowered orange wallpaper, and the steel windows, which we had to push from the outside to close. We knew we'd someday remodel the kitchen with very little cupboard or counter space surrounding the old ceramic sink. Yet to us, it became our home. With a wonderful job opportunity for my husband and two little girls underfoot, we moved in with young energy and resolve.
Over time, we tore up old carpet, tamed walls with quieter colors, replaced windows, reworked the bathroom, and after much deliberation, gave the kitchen a makeover. In 1998, we tore down the tiny garage and replaced it, doubling its size and adding a guest room in the back. More recently, we sided and insulated. In between all that, Barry mowed the grass, cleaned out gutters, and repaired broken faucets and leaky pipes. He primed and painted. He took good care of our little "estate."
He's gone to live in his heavenly home now, where he's free from all the chores he so faithfully took care of day after day, year after year. I suddenly inherited all those responsibilities. And I'm finding it a bit overwhelming.
Our daughter, a senior in high school, has done a wonderful job keeping the yard looking trim. I've appreciated help from extended family, neighbors, and friends. Yet I worry about how long I can live here and keep the place up. Our place. Our home.
In the past couple weeks, I've noticed a couple of neighbor friends, single like me, caulking and painting. One just retired and the other is 70-something. There's courage to be found in the initiatives of those around us. I've set mouse traps, cleaned siding, and fixed doorbells the past few months, so why couldn't I scrape the doorway leading into the garage, pull out the paint, and brighten up the side entry a little?
So next time you're pulling' out the paint, remember the deeper purposes of home. And even when we have to downsize, we can take that part of it along with us.