Hope and Joy

We are moving soon, and for the first time in six decades on the planet I will live in the city! The country mouse moves to the city–well, suburbs. I will miss my old houses and the decorating style that blended so well with them. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and was very happy to leave behind the orange shag rugs, the avocado green and harvest yellow appliances, and the Colonial Americana textiles. The house we just bought was built in the year of my birth–1963! Mid-Century modern is NOT my style, having lived through the real thing. I do admit to a bit of nostalgia for Coppertone wall ovens. I could like that again.

Moving is a big deal. There is so much work ahead, packing up and downsizing 5000 square feet into roughly half that. Compared to all of the other recent changes in my life I am reminded that it is not insurmountable. In fact, I am looking forward to it.

Although I will miss the gorgeous vistas I have been blessed to see daily, the winding Missouri River, the distant hills, and inviting woods, I am envisioning a simpler life. We are having a fence installed and I’ll work on a cottage garden, as much as my back will allow. A window over my sink will invite tranquility within as I wash up after meals. This will become the stuff of my daily vistas.

Those meals will be smaller, as I learn to cook for fewer and fewer on a daily basis. One of our sons will be moving out on his own when we pack up this old house, and another will be head to college in the fall. But I have visions of big family Sunday dinners. We will be a few houses up from one of our daughters, her husband and our one-year-old grandson. We’ll be an hour closer to my pioneer-woman daughter in the hills of Central Missouri. and still within a day’s drive of our two oldest daughters and their families. I can hope that one day they will move yet closer.

I really think that the years growing up watching The Waltons imprinted on me a desire for a large family. It is not for everyone, but I count blessings that this came true for me. We don’t travel as other friends do who have smaller families. One good friend of my late husband and mine, with whom we vacationed regularly, travels out of the country once or twice a year. Another good friend is in Kenya as I write. These travels are not possible for us now, and any envy I feel is instantaneously replaced with happiness for them and gratitude for all I do have.

Gratitude is “where it’s at.” It keeps us focused on what is real, and fills us to overflowing with hope and joy.