Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Home

Space changes when people move into it. Its no longer space, but shaped and defined; marked and bounded by its occupants. A home isn't a home until people live in it and create memories there. Its just wood and sheet rock and cement. People are what make life live.

I struggled to feel at home in this apartment. Part of it was knowing that we'll only be here till March and then we'll move into a house. The other part was something I couldn't put my finger on until now. I didn't get it. I bought pillows for the couch and hung pictures on the walls so why didn't it feel homey? I hadn't lived here before. Living here meant loving here.

It happened slowly. Grandmama and Pa-pa stopped by and then Jared's Mom came. They brought warm, sweet familiarity to this place. They were reliable and comforting in the midst of stark newness. Then, we invited a series of people over for dinner. In between, Jared, Sadie and I developed routines and patterns of loving one another in this space. There were kisses and snuggles and stories read. There were prayers and blessings and tears. Sadie marked the walls and the carpet. I wore in the kitchen cabinets. Jared found his favorite spot on the living room floor. Little by little, this place became less sterile and hard.

This past weekend we had dear friends visit. Troy, Lexi, and Peyton stayed with us and we did our best to show them a little of what we've discovered of San Antonio. I was nervous, wanting them to feel comfortable and welcome and like the brutal drive here was worth it. Hopefully, mission was accomplished. We went to the Riverwalk on Saturday and took a boat tour down the river. That afternoon and evening we ate out; lunch at Genghis and dinner at Perico's. Sunday morning we went to the Japanese Tea Gardens (i'll post those pictures in a later post) and Brackenridge Park before heading to church at 1pm. That evening we made a pizza, played a game and talked and laughed till it was bed time. It was the best weekend i've had since we moved here.

After they left on Monday, I walked around the apartment. I saw how Lexi had taken such great care to make the bed, fold up the pack-n-play, tidy the bathroom (she took out the trash!), and reset the toys in the living room. She reminded me of myself. I have this philosophy of "leave nothing behind but the memories." But the funny thing about this was that by doing those things, she was leaving her mark. That night, right before Sadie went to sleep, I looked at the books she had tucked into a basket in the living room. I saw the puzzle on the floor and the bucket of letters Sadie loves to play with. All of these things were neatly arranged in a way that was different from the way that I normally do it. Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, I started to bawl my eyes out. I missed her and Peyton and Troy. I wanted the apartment to stay the way that they left it. Why? Because having them here was another piece of what makes this place alive and home and love.

I'm really looking forward to August when my brother Kevin will come to visit. It will be so great to see him after so many months. I've never gone so long without seeing him or the rest of my family. That's really been hard for me. But i'm finding that over time, with the help of people (friends) and my family, other things are getting easier and easier.

6 comments:

jessica & co. said...

Courtney, we have only had 2 visitors to Omaha, Bart's dad and Will G. Both times we had the same feelings as you, and missed them when they were gone. I have found getting totally involved in church and a local mom's group have helped a little...it takes some of the bored and lonely away.
I still haven't hung up many pictures...it's as if I am waiting for some magically moment that will turn this house into our home.

Troy said...

Courtney,

We had a great time- so mission accomplished. Our only regret was the limited amount of time we had to see all of the cool stuff there. Thanks for letting us come stay and for showing us the town. Lexi and I felt like were at home the whole time we were there. Hopefully, we can be back in San Antonio, or at least Texas, very soon. Either way, we will definitely being coming to visit again.

aidanjordan said...

I know what you mean, but wea re going to have to fight over who gets dibs on Lexi and Troy! She said they were thinking about either San Antonio or Dallas. I was thinking, "PUH-LEASE pick Dallas! Pretty please!". Hey, you already get Jenny and Mike in a couple years. It's only fair.

aidanjordan said...

Jeremy just remninded me they are going to Houston not San Antonio...but you will still see them more than us since his parents are there. It was so good visiting with them at the party. I miss them!

Joshua said...

I can't believe what a small world it is! You know someone by the last name of Gasave? He is the Elder Gasave that baptized my wife on his mission in Calgary :) I keep telling Melissa that that is a good enough excuse for us to go down and visit Louisiana and Texas :) Who knows, if I can get cash together, it just might happen one day!!

The Nielsons said...

Hey girl! I had no idea you were preggers again! So happy for you guys, is it another girl?