To be an honest blog author and historian of this return home, there should be an honest recounting of the details of the realities that have accompanied it and the consequences that have resulted in the making of this journey.
First, I have to say that I am filled with incredible peace and joy every moment I spend on the mountains—but I must remind you that there is no home there yet! So, in the interim period some of you who are reading this may wonder, just where is she staying now? And the answer is—with the in-laws! Yes, I can almost hear the groans or sounds of sympathy coming from each of you, even as I type.
My father-in-law and mother-in-law live right here in our community, just a few miles from the future site of the house and yet I admit there are times it feels very far away indeed. We all get along incredibly well! I must be one of the few daughter-in-laws that can honestly say that. When we visited each other all these years before; we felt they both are truly friends whom we can drink with, play games with, and truly enjoy each other’s company. And yet…this has not been without sacrifice—on both ends I’m sure.
My belongings that once filled a 2500 square foot house now reside in what we laughingly refer to as the “calf condo”. Once a milking barn for cows, my in-laws worked and slaved and it became a getaway spot for them here on the creek while they planned to put a retirement home here. Not everything fits in there mind you. Much of my furniture is in a storage unit down the road. There is an unvoiced amount of stress in all of this as I worry about mice, moisture, and other things that might leave a lasting impression on my “stuff”.
My current living space is a small bedroom that is packed to the gills with clothes and shoes and a cat, Amelia, who won’t come out of the back of the house because there are also two dogs—my Riley and their lab Misty. Oh, and I can’t forget the outdoor cat that my father-in-law tamed years ago, Bobbie. She comes every night for petting and food. And so there are four adults and four animals living here together on the creek banks. And I’m sure each of us is praying our house is finished very soon!
Add to that the fact that my father-in-law injured his back and has been unable to do his usual incredible feats of aging well. He typically moves, builds, hauls, and works tirelessly on one project after another on the property and that they own over the mountain. He is an avid hiker and amazing 76-year-old man. But this injury has been hard for him to deal with in many ways. He is going to get better in time with care and intervention to be sure. In the meantime—he has struggled with sitting while others do the work he usually does to care for everyone around him.
I go over the mountain, or hike the local area to enjoy the connection again to this place. But I admit there is a great deal of unsettledness in not having a place to call your own—especially at my age! It is not so much the ownership of the “thing” called a house, but a place that is yours no matter where it is. As a military wife I have lived in many places and homes that were not mine, but they became home when filled with our own personal things. This experience however has been the first of its kind for me since I was living at home with my parents in high school. I know mine is a transient and very temporary condition. Still there is a much more intense awareness of what it must be like for those countless people for whom this feeling has no end in sight.
And so I thank God for my in-laws who are living their own “truth or consequences”! They have their son and his wife a daily part of their lives, in their kitchen, their family room, and every other area of their former privacy. I want to remind you both that this is TEMPORARY! And we love you!