A few more months, the Preacher and I hope, and we’ll have completed our move. Meanwhile, it feels strange, living in two houses. No matter which house I’m in, I feel at home. The two places feel connected, albeit with a long, paved hall.
Sometimes, when I’m standing in one room, I realize I need something from another. Taking three steps forward, I pause, remembering. That other room is thirty miles down the road.
We don’t schedule our stays at the houses; just do what works best that week. Between his essential rests, the Preacher packs what he can at the old house while I’m at work. I do what I can in evenings and on weekends; pack, unpack or paint, depending where I’m at.
When we’re at opposite places, Rick and I have long phone conversations. When to finally put Hope House on the market? Do we have a garage sale or just give our extra stuff (a lot) away? Can we make that neat little nook at House #2 into a tiny home office?
“Where’d you put the coffee table?” I asked tonight, by phone. Helped by our lanky grandson Benjamin, we had loaded his van in preparation for today’s trip to the other house. Coffee table, books, console table, stereo, more books…
“I told Benjamin to put it in the dining room. But I said it really didn’t matter. You’ll put it where you want anyway.” I chuckled. I’m a frequent furniture shifter. Our new (oddly configured) living room will require numerous shifts before the furniture comes to rest. Like our dog, it’ll turn around at least three times before (my) final sigh and comfortable flop.
As more of our treasures have made the transition to our second home, I find, to my surprise, that I’m growing less attached to our first. Parting with things I once thought essential is easier. I’m eager to settle again in a home with the partner who knows and loves me better than anyone but God.
When we’re apart, we call each other at 7:30 to open our day with prayer. It feels a bit like our dating days. “I miss you,” we say. Even after almost forty-four years, we mean it. Although there is occasional pleasant space in solo living, like our possessions we are, inescapably, joined.
We’ll leave Hope House together, with a heart full of gratitude for a blessed decade there. But we’ll bring the hope with us, I realized tonight. And the memories. It’s just the house we’ll leave behind.
We anticipate joy in our new smaller home. But we recognize we have more years behind than in front of us. This move carries us another mile down life’s highway to our forever home in Heaven. We pray to make that transition, when it comes, with a full heart and empty hands. Clutching just one thing, the key to Heaven’s door, freely offered to all—the beautiful, nail-scarred hand of our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ.