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The Summer we came back home

Kids are back in school and summer is fast wrapping up.
It's still hard-to-breathe hot, but August is saying it's goodbye.
I love summer.
It's still my favorite.
This summer we moved back to our old house. The house that didn't sell.  And God knows why because He foresaw the future and knew what we most needed.
It's quite old, but it's now "new" to us.
We needed to move back home.  To rekindle our family in the space we grew in.  The place where almost all of our little families' memories were hatched, nurtured.
The old house with windows in desperate need of replacing, but that have been plastered with so many fingerprints.
It's a tiny house, and we have added another baby to love; however, we reconfigured some spaces and we all now fit.  And comfortably.

I remember one of the first days I came home, back to the "new old" house and I felt comfortable. Like I could breathe again. Finally.  Back in familiar walls, where so much good had happened.  Back when things were happier. Almost like despair had been lifted.

I remember the first time I set my baby in the almost empty house as we moved boxes in. He scampered quickly crawling all over the old hardwoods.  He was giggling.  Bars of late afternoon gold slanted across the old creaky floors and he delighted in his new home.  The home all the other littles grew up in.

We spent the summer filling the new old house with memories.
We had people over, steaks sizzled again on our back deck.
Girls rain danced in the giant puddles that always form in the front sidewalk in flash thunderstorms.
Literally, dancing until soaking wet and then oldest girl stretching out in the summer rain and laughing contagiously.
We visited parks we used to go to frequently. Feet dangling wildly under monkey bars.  Legs longer now that dragged in the mulch.
We spent afternoons in the library we used to visit. Piling books on tables and deliberating on movies to check out.
We invested in two kiddie pools that were filled with our kids, and neighborhood kids. Swirling around in floats and running across the yard to crash kiddie pool landings.
We had water balloon fights in the front lawn, neon latex balloon shrapnel littering the sidewalks, followed up by so many popsicles.
We heard the ice cream man come to the neighborhood again and the girls sprinted to find me.  They begged for at least one more over priced ice cream cone.
We even got a puppy, (and this time it wasn't a nightmare like it had been previously.  She fits us.)
We had drop in visitors like we used to; only now they didn't seem to aggravate.  It was nice to open up the door and see their smiling familiar faces. To have old friends and family circle up in the living room and chat.
We talked to neighbors as we carried recycling out to trash cans or brought groceries in from the store.  
It even kind of felt like a treat going into the grocery store that I used to always shop at.  I remember when I saw the old cashier that always used to ring up my late night purchases I could hardly contain my smile.  I know she had no clue why I was smiling, but I did . Buying miscellaneous necessities at 10:30 pm and seeing this lady's wrinkled worn mouth curve up in her simple smile felt like home.

This summer had its definite rough patches as we try to regroup and rekindle but homecoming was sweet and felt like fresh air, fresh perspectives, and kind of a fresh start on 'us'.

Have you ever left something only to come back later and realize how good it was?  Have you ever went through something difficult, arduous and went back to a familiar place that tangibly comforted you of better times?  That brought you home? A sense of home that propelled you to once again hope?

Things that I noticed before don't bother me so much.  The mouse I heard scurry over my head in the basement ceiling.  The loud cars driving fast by.  Even the small closet sized bathroom. I didn't compile a running list of home improvements to be made.  I just wanted to be here.
No problems.

I know my friend Ellen said to me recently the old adage about staying in love, how one has to be able to look with fresh eyes over and over again at the old.  To see what has become a mainstay, the usual as new and breath taking all over again.  We don't do that.  We forget that.  We lose that.
We forget to actually study and find the good in what we have.  We so do. It becomes commonplace.  The wounds we receive while in the day to day, wear.  They wear us down and blind us to the beauty that is.  
Sometimes it takes the losing of some of that to refocus us.  To be an even better us than we were before.  Because the us that came back home to the new old house now knows things we didn't before.  We have lived out lessons, we didn't want to, but we aren't taking things for granted or holding life so loosely.  We are being more real.  Authentic.
It's not just true of romantic love, its true of all of those that we love.  We forget how truly breathtaking the people that stand beside us and live right with us are.  We forget to notice them, and they do the same for us.
We forget to nurture us.
We need a reminder, literally and tangibly or something strong symbolically to reel us back in.
That's what coming back to the tiny house was.
This summer we came home and started over. This summer I did old familiar things with a new perspective. This summer I was more appreciative of this tiny house than I have quite possibly ever been.  It could have been a veritable palace and it wouldn't have been any better to me.  It was a symbol of hope, for what was once, and for what will be new to come.  A new that comes even better, stronger, and wiser than before.  A new old.


  1. Hi Summer ... It's so good to reconnect with you today. I loved this story about making your house a home, finding peace in this sense of place.

    And your children ... precious.

    Enjoy the final days of your namesake season!


  2. Somer,
    This is just beautiful! Your words about the new and the old are so insightful. I'm so glad to hear the house is holding memories for you of a better time and renewing your hope for the future. And I love the puppy! It looks like the one my family had growing up! The girls and baby are beautiful too -- and so are you! xoxo


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