Monday, July 25, 2011

One thousand gifts and still counting (1957-2062)

What soaking-in looks like. A tumbling list of thanks from deep-down places ... my longest list, and still it was hard to stop. Thanks, thanks, right through endings and into beginnings.

purple flowers growing wild along the roadside
ice cold water in a bottle
a play set disassembled
colored Sharpies

cupcake calling cards
multicolor envelopes: two purples, two greens
a fabulous week of VBS before we leave
three hours a day to sit with thoughts
Reggie's open door

ten months of waiting
six weeks of discovering
baggage unclaimed and left behind
faith walks
moments of peace in uncertainty

for all the things I didn't know, He did--in advance
His good in all things
and still, the acute awareness of time ... to number days
times that are in His hands
reminders of the fooling facade of control

bedrooms and thick white blinds
a kitchen I loved
a patio Shane built by himself
a swingset where my kids were rocked to sleep on summer afternoons

a modest vegetable and herb garden, neat and tidy
front garden beds and rounded bushes for a man who likes things orderly
purple coneflower in bloom
nights in front of a big desk, tapping away on a keyboard
walls with inscriptions buried

Dr. Seuss on a school room wall
pink and purple for a little girl
closet forts
a soaking tub for hiding
a kitchen pantry

and the years: Halloween nights and light-up shoes scampering ...doorstep "boo" surprises ... shoveling driveway snow alongside neighbors ... horses at a farmhouse ... pictures of pictures

green and yellow stripes in a closet
a red powder room
sidewalk chalk on the driveway
summer breeze

playing tag in the yard
a line of trees we planted as sticks, growing ... growing
kite flying on windy days
hot air balloons in the sky

to be different
softened, tender heart
the way the willow branches sway fluid in the wind
these weeks of remembering, healing, hoping
a tree branch that holds her, and her long arms that reach

her kids' calls to ours from across the street
open invitations to play
coffee breaks between moms
friendships that come naturally and easily

white tufty blossoms on a crepe myrtle
pavers for a future garden
the fruity hue of summer strawberry jams
the VFD carnival
cotton candy in pink and blue

twisty cones
a Ferris wheel with farmland views
a brave ride rider holding tight on turns
movie night with a friend
Anita's arms embracing David, longtime love

lunch at Wegman's
99-cent spaghetti sauce
leaf spines hunched for summer storms
a box truck
a friend to water plants

Erin's mommy-love songs
Anita's free and generous offers to help
rainbow magnets for the fridge
a place to put things
someone to take us in

enough toilet paper and paper towels to get us through last days
finishing off the fridge
wine in a juice glass
sisters styling hair
burgers on an old grill

Lanie and Kaelyn holding hands--very good friends
Erin and Becca--head-to-head chats
VBS movie updates while she bounces on a hoppity ball
old, country back roads, new to me
for slow, easy seasons that nourish now in the crunch

air conditioning
last library runs
a cat in the sunshine, tail tapping
a green light--go!
12 rolls of packing tape

last boxes, packed, sealed, moved
walls bare
the lock box off the door
a key in my hand for just a few more days
the ache in goodbye

coffee cake and card, hand-delivered from Becky
a box of munchkins for my kids from Chrisi
a full truck (and the playset fit!)
color fading, the stripping out of things that made it home
a swim invitation

friends I'll miss
and that they'll miss me back


6intow said...

You're moving won't even change our relationship, but I feel the bittersweet ache of good-bye as well. Looking forward to settling into your new home with you. ;)


Courtney said...

Thank you, Erin! Thanks for coming along with me. =)

Been thinking about you bunches and how you are settling in, wondering how you managed challenges, etc., if our moving experiences were anywhere near similar. Let's catch up soon.

Beckie said...

Thinking about you as you part with the old and move forward to the new and wishing I could be more of a support and help to you now. Looking forward to that first invite, once baby comes and you are settled in. Lots of love to you and your wonderful family! <3