I’ve logged a lot of hours in the corner of this leather sectional.
My in-laws, bless them, have given us a home the last three weeks, and we will be here until our departure for Asia in just two more. Their home is grand but regularly empty, as the two generations that live here work tirelessly at the family business.
I suppose many women would cringe at the thought of a month with their in-laws, but our presence here seems to fill up the space. My energetic kiddos stirring up the waters of the unused swimming pool. Our bodies squeezed onto couches every night at 7 for the family viewing of Wheel of Fortune. Annie has taken to playing her own version on the kitchen window, leaving smudgy handprints as she calls out her consonants and buys “another owl…A!”
Eleanor is more busy than ever, climbing stairs and dining tables and pool tables and legs and just about anything else that towers over her still-tiny frame. I think she’s learned more than twenty words in our time here. The most used, a gutteral rendition of “Chloe!,” the family’s aging black lab who basically sleeps in different places all day. She knows she’s hilarious, howling at the sky or blowing raspberries, followed up by the cutest “Isso fonny!”
When she’s not playing Vanna, Annie’s been taking swim lessons in the back yard, coloring a thousand pages, making up rules about what little sister’s not allowed to have, and eating popsicles for breakfast. Life is good at Mimi’s house.
For me, my corner on the sectional has been a welcome respite– the place I sit to listen for the kids as they nap, working daily on the newspaper crossword and (of course) knitting to my heart’s content. At night, we cozy up here to watch Anne of Greene Gables or the Democratic National Convention, computer screens glowing with just enough light to read a pattern and move needles. We’ve napped, chatted, and eaten too many late night ice cream sandwiches. I’ve made packing lists, composed emails, and prepared for our move with little concern for much beside tomorrow’s dinner menu.
As our departure date nears, I’m cherishing the slowness of our Summer of Transition. It’s been a sort of sabbatical for the soul, a deep pause before stepping on that plane headed to cultural stimuli and fast pace. I’m thanking God for family, slow routines, salty air out our window, and a temporary dwelling that feels every bit like home. And in a few short weeks when the suitcases are loaded into cars for a pre-sunrise departure, I know I will have stored up enough energy and love to face our Big Adventure with fresh resolve.