I'm doubling up today!
It's Day 21 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, started by Two Writing Teachers. I am writing around the theme topic of "What I Know For Sure." (See Day 1 for a full explanation.)
I love linking up to a wonderful celebratory community, inspired by Ruth Ayres, on Saturdays!
Spring tip-toed in last night at 6:45 EST. It was a chilly evening, but signs that it might actually be spring have been popping up everywhere - tight purple Hellebores buds are lifting up out of dead, brown leaves, yellow crocuses are emerging delicately from the muddy soil, and clusters of daffodil stems are promising soon-to-be trumpets of cheer. Birds are chirping, geese are honking, and neighbors are emerging from their cozy houses. Left behind are the crystal-cut snowflakes of winter, ice-covered lakes, hot chocolate and Christmas, sledding and skiing, mittens and bare branches. Winter has passed, and spring is here.
When winter came, I was excited about it. I love sweaters and boots, cozying up by the fire, and snow. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and there's nothing better than the childlike excitement of a snow day (or eight). I love reading under a blanket on the couch while watching the world transform to white. But now, I'm ready to move on! I'm ready for the sunshine, sitting by the pool or outside on the deck, warm evening walks, beaches, and bare feet.
Katie, our youngest daughter, went off to college this past fall, making us empty nesters. I have to admit the fall was a little difficult. It was harder than I thought it was going to be. All the things that made me a mom and gave me lots of purpose, were changed. You don't realize how much you do for your kids when they are in the house until you don't have to do them anymore. And I missed them. I also missed the company and fun Katie and Libby brought to the house. I realized the days of the girls living permanently in our house were over. I loved having the girls around and realized how fast time had gone. News of Libby's engagement in October was so exciting and joyful, but it was also the end of an era. A season ended. A new one beginning.
This isn't to say I didn't enjoy the freer lifestyle. Ed and I took a couple long weekend trips - one to visit my parents in Florida in September and one to Washington, D.C. in October. We only had to worry about our own schedules and meal preferences. The t.v. became completely mine again! I had more time to read and work and mornings before school were slower and easier. However, I looked forward to having the girls home again at winter break. It was great! We enjoyed lots of time together and fun holiday activities. In January, off they went again. This time, though, I was much better. I was okay. I had readjusted much easier.
Now that life has changed, we're ready to embrace a new season. Ed and I have decided to downsize, and we took the plunge and bought a condo. We closed on it March 13th. We have loved living in this big house on the hill. We have been here just over 10 years, and this house has held many wonderful occasions. Our kids were only 8 and 11 when we first moved in, so lots of growing up happened here.
We held Friends' Thanksgiving weekends, Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, birthday parties, graduation parties, showers, youth group events, Super Bowl parties, company and school holiday parties, and small get togethers here. I've loved sitting out on the deck with woods surrounding us, sipping coffee or wine, listening to birds or the chatter and laughter of friends and family, grilling steak or hamburgers, and just lounging and reading. I love the way the sun streams in through the Palladium windows and the fireplace flickers in its stone setting. I loved the parties when teens came over and played pool or air hockey downstairs or got together for pictures before high school dances. I loved the New Year's Eve parties when we played darts and card games. I loved having the room for all those celebrations. However, it's really big. And really full of stuff. And a lot to take care of. And now it's only us. We're ready to go.
We won't be selling our house until after Libby's wedding, so we still have some celebrating to do here. We're not going far away. I'll be right across the street from my school, and still close to my best friends. We'll still have three bedrooms and room for family and friends. We have a beautiful view of a large lake; however, the place is much smaller. Our new condo is actually an old condo and ready for its own new season. But that's another blog post. Now it's time to get organized and purge! It's spring, and we're celebrating!
What I Know For Sure: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..." Ecclesiastes 3:1. Happiness is having enjoyed a season, knowing it has ended, and embracing the one to come.