Friday.  Friday. FRIDAY. Some weeks you really need a Friday, and the weekend that follows.  It was a long week.

In their defense, the kids are so ready to be done with school.  The weather has been less than helpful.  Rainy and cold.  Repeat and repeat again.  They finally made a break for the back yard regardless of chilly temps and mud puddles under every swing, slide and monkey bars.  I *might* have locked the door behind them.

There are soccer tournaments on the weekends and soccer games during the week.  End of year shows for the fifth grader who is moving to middle school next year.  (She begged me to come…and I did even though it was my morning off.)  Coming up we have a dance recital, piano recitals, guitar recitals and did I mention a volleyball tournament out-of-town?   Stick a fork in me…I am done!

Add to that some screaming from one of the kids who is still working (not hard enough) on controlling her emotions.  That is like waving a red flag in me, Taurus the bull.  Don’t scream or yell at me.  Go upstairs, slam doors, whatever, just don’t scream at me.

I’ve begun packing for the opening of the lake house.  Packing clothes to leave up there.  New pool floats, games, books for summer reading and household things like lamps.  Then this morning the 8-year-old came down with shorts that didn’t fit.  I sent her up to get another pair.  They also didn’t fit.  She has suddenly gone form a slim size to a regular.  I wanted to cry.  Everyone has outgrown their shoes, soccer and crocs and gym shoes.  The teenager had “nothing to wear”. She really didn’t so we sat and ordered online.  A trip to Dicks was needed because everyone needed a larger tennis racket.  Don’t even get me started on buying new socks for everyone.

What I really want to do is finish setting up my patio and sit out side in some nice weather and just be.  But before that happens I need to wash my fence.  (Apparently the condo fairies don’t do that)  In order to do that I need to clean the winter detritus from my garage.  The hose is inside my garage…somewhere…I’m sure I’ll find it.  And so it goes.

But it is the weekend and I am off duty for the whole weekend.  Even better the temps are supposed to continue to warm.  I’m really hoping for that.

Happy Spring??

My niece and her family left 2949 Richmond today bound for their new adventure in Philly.  My niece will be working for the National Park Service at Independence Hall.  (Independence Hall is home to the Liberty bell.)  Cool, huh?  I’m excited for them, for this new adventure and where it will lead in six months.

You see they moved to Grand Rapids seven years ago.  Linnea wanted to help make it possible for my parents to stay in their own home.  They ended up actually living in the house with my Dad since just before my Mom died.  They did more than I could have ever expected, hoped or asked of them.  Grateful just doesn’t begin to cover it.

But 2949 Richmond is the only house I ever lived in (that I remember) until I left for college.  We moved in when I was 18 months old.  Every corner of that house was packed full of my parent’s life. (Ask my niece, she could tell you how packed full it really was) Every inch is filled with memories.  Every creak of the floor boards is familiar.  It has always been “home’.

I knew this day was coming.  The house isn’t being sold…yet.  But it will be in the future.  It’s right that it becomes someone else home.  But today when my niece sent a picture of them packed up and ready to leave the driveway, I burst into tears.  Not silent tears either, huge, gasping sobs.  I didn’t expect it to hit this hard.

(While my niece and her family are excited ,she told me they were traveling out to Philly, with some of my Mom’s prize peony plants to replant in their yard there.  We all take something of the Richmond house with us. Memories can reside in prize plants too.) ( I have been corrected. They didn’t take plants but flowers in bud form, hoping they will bloom out there.  Stupid spring!  They should have bloomed by now.  But I digress..)

I think I know why.  Even after my Dad died, there was a sense of comfort, knowing they were still living there.  It was as if some tiny bit of my parents and my childhood remained in tact.  Memories were still being made.  Life was going on.  Today, it felt as if I’d lost my parents all over again. If that seems dramatic, that is  not my purpose.  But I am being honest.

The adult part of me knows that for every memory that was made in that house, those same memories now reside in our heaped up hearts.  Nothing can alter those memories, made in a house where my brothers and I grew up, where my nieces and nephews came to see Grandparents they dearly loved. A house where my Dad lived out his life, surrounded by those same memories and making new memories while living with his great-grandsons and great grand-daughter.  I am so thankful.

It’s the end of an era.

Life is Good

"It's ironic that we

forget so often how

wonderful life really is...

C'mon, let's be honest.

We have an embarrassment

of riches. Life is good."

-Anne Quindlen

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