Unpacking boxes is like trying to chew edamame. It only seems to grow. When I finally got all of the boxes out of the bedroom, I realized I had simply put half of them in the hallway. There’s a different smell here. A mixture of fresh paint and strangers. Poor Sophie has sniffed every orifice of this place and couldn’t settle down until she found my Gamecock garnet red hued blanket and then the sweet girl collapsed in exhaustion grateful for something that smelled like home. 

Philly ate with a serving spoon and paper bowls for three days until I realized that was the last bowl and I had to figure out where our dishes and silverware were. He never complained. At least he had found his cereal. It was the three days he spent searching for his underwear that had him more stressed out, even though I told him to pack a bag to get him through for a week. I’m not sure if he actually found them before he went and played a round of golf or not. But, after walking 18 holes of golf in the Tennessee summer, no one would ever know the difference. Don’t judge him for playing golf in the middle of a move. Because I have got to say I moved out of one house with one husband and moved into a new one with another. This man has discovered he actually has a little “handy” in him. 

He fixed my dryer the movers messed up. He fixed my washing machine the movers messed up. He fixed our bed the movers messed up. He fixed the guest bed the movers messed up. He fixed the bike chains the movers messed up. (Don’t ask us who moved us – it was a very long day…) He fixed my bird feeder I messed up. He fixed the dishwasher I think I was just operating wrong. I mean, who is this guy?! One of my close friend’s husband, Jerry, is usually the one who comes and fixes everything we need done. And I’ve always said, “Everyone needs two husbands, a Philly and a Jerry.” But low and behold I moved twelve miles from my old house and a miracle happened! And he smiles a lot after he’s accomplished something. I wish you could have seen his face when it popped up from behind the washing machine and he realized the water wasn’t going to explode in our faces like a perfectly orchestrated prank. It was Instagram worthy.

As for me, it may take me another month before I quit wildly slapping at the left side of the bathroom wall in the black of night in search of the toilet paper before I remember it is actually on the right side of the wall. And then there was the middle of the night run in I had with the dresser, as my old house had a clear path from the bathroom to the bed. If I’d quit drinking coke I might not have to get up in the middle of the night, but that is a small price to pay… so, I just moved the alarm clock to my side of the bed so I can now use it as a nightlight for my bed to bathroom nightly jaunt to prevent as much bodily harm as possible. 

We don’t have a ceiling fan in our bedroom here. As I go through menopause, I have found a new temperature I like at night. It’s called “artic blast.” You can see your breath. It’s wonderful. My friends who come to stay bring electric blankets and overcoats but I feed them well. So, the first night when we went to sleep I told Philly, “well let’s see how we do without our ceiling fan.” I think he was silently looking forward to a few years to actually thaw out. We cranked the air down to 65 and went to bed. By 2 am, I was convinced the house was on fire as I threw the covers across the room. The next night we had the box fan out and I slept like a baby. 

My bonus daughter lovingly and skillfully organized my pantry. I’m lost in there. It’s like Greek. It’s beautiful. Everything is displayed so I can see it but I knew my old pantry. Now I just open the door and stand there asking God to simply let what I need jump out and land in my hands. It may take a year before I figure out where I’ve put everything in the kitchen too. And I’m the one who actually put everything there. Philly says the shelves are going to collapse because of all my dishes. (I like dishes. My parents like dishes. My parents give me dishes.) I ask him, “What might you need to go fix now?” 

I did discover last night he doesn’t like my topiaries. I’ve had them for over fifteen years. I love them. I use them at events. At fundraisers. At parties. They are beautiful. They are actually dried boxwoods. Apparently, he has not liked them for a decade. In the old house they were in the foyer. In this house they flank the television. I’m thinking now that he has to see them virtually every evening he’s decided to speak up. He asks me, “Do you like them?” I look at him the way Sophie looked at her new patch of grass. “Ummm…. I take them everywhere except on vacation. Yes, I like them.” That conversation didn’t end with a solution, so I’ll keep you posted. 

Yes moving… it must be a lot like birthing babies. You just forget…

But there is beauty. Our middle girl came over the first night and brought us dinner and we lingered on the porch and shared stories with her of how we both thought we would be one thing when we finished college (she graduates next year) and how the Lord brought opportunity that opened the door for our real callings. We encouraged her to look more for the opportunities that God brought her way and to keep her hands open for what He may have. It began to feel like home…

The second night our small group brought us the most delicious meal of pot roast and salad and cornbread muffins, and Philly and I sat out in our courtyard and talked about what life would be like here, what God may do here, how He may call us to use this space, and why He brought this house at this time to us. We lingered longer until our heads almost fell into our plates from exhaustion. It began to feel like home… 

I decorated my first room yesterday. The master bedroom. Hanging pictures and decorating bookcases and coffee tables was so much a part of my heart coming back to life after the loss of my first marriage and I’ve discovered I absolutely love decorating a home. Putting the finishing touches on a space, and as the crystal vase with my dried wedding bouquet hydrangea and a piece of artwork that I treasure of a mother and her child took their place it began to feel like home…

As my childhood friend flew in to help me finish unpacking and we finally cleared off the sofa, got the television hooked up, (oh yeah, Philly did that too!, along with organizing and decorating his office and completely organizing the garage) ordered pizza and sat down after a very long day to watch an episode of Blue Bloods, it totally started to feel like home…

Sophie is still figuring out where her food bowl is. I’m still figuring out where the tea mugs are. But I’ve found a place to pray and I’ve found a place to write and I’ve found my electric skillet to fry chicken and I’ve found a place that is beginning to feel a little more like home…

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