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The roofing supplies waiting patiently in position at dawn for work to begin.

The other day was the soup cooking day and taking care of my daughter, who still has a sore throat.  She came home early from school yesterday and ended up sleeping for several hours which allowed me to work more in the closet.  I always appreciate those times when I have surprise ‘free’ minutes to finish things that need to be done.  Suddenly, from her bedroom she called out,

“Mama, I’m grateful.”

It’s rare that my 13 year old, or any 13 year old for that matter, has something so positive to say – out of the blue.  Paint brush in hand, and potentially dripping bright white semi – gloss trim paint on the carpet, I headed toward her bedroom to find out why.  She explained her reasoning; it was something she had seen online and she listed a couple of reasons that were parallels in her own life.  It’s funny she would think that at the same moment as me.

My husband always tells me that he identified my ‘life span’ on a house early on.  I get the ‘seven year itch’ to move after living in a house not even seven years – eager for the fresh canvas, blank slate of a new one.  I’ve had the itch – more like a incessant rash – to move for several years but we put it off.

Each time I start a new decorating project and transform a room, it brings new life to the space, and my desire to move dissipates for a while.  As I was painting the closet, I had a deja vu moment – my paintbrush rounded the arch of the ceiling around the closet door and it was like it was the day before that I had painted it the last time – only it was 9 years before.  The last time I painted, I worked feverishly in the summer with a crew of painters to finish what was my dream home at that time – the best house I thought I would ever have and the only house I would ever want, anxiously anticipating the sound of a moving truck rolling down the street with all of my furniture that really meant this home was ‘ours.’  I can’t believe where the time has gone – especially since I fell out of love with my house and wasted time savoring the time spent here – how many joyous Christmas seasons we have had, summer barbecues, lessons on riding a two wheeler up to the end of the street, dribbling basketballs in the cul-de-sac until it was too dark to see, seasons of pruning new plants that eventually developed into mature plants, as my children grew like weeds before my eyes filling this house with memories that could never make it old.

It makes me tired to always have a project under foot, but rewarded at the same time.  All of the work I put into the house is returned in the moments I am able to enjoy sharing time in it with my family.  The closet is coming together – almost complete in fact – and today a new roof is being installed.  There is nothing like an old roof needing to be changed that makes you appreciate the roof over your head.  While I am at work, everything that has sheltered us for the past nine years will be torn away, trashed, and replaced with new glistening black shingles that will hopefully shield us from Mother Nature for the next 30 years.  Fare well today little house on the hill and I will see you when I get home.

My daughter is right; I am grateful too.


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