|Rascel (front) and Bertha (back) enjoying the sun today!|
The storms ripped through north Georgia yesterday and a small town suffered more damage than the mind can take in. My dogs and I were huddled close waiting to see what weather would come across Decatur. We were lucky here, only some heavy rain. My downstairs basement room had some water trickle in from the baseboard, as it always does when it rains. One day I'll fix the problem. For now, my idea of home repair is to drop a few quilts to soak up the puddles, and file the problem away for tomorrow.
It is a scary thought to loose everything to mother nature. She is really mean spirited lately. You can't turn on the TV without hearing another weather related horror story. I pray for my home when she gets riled up and I weep for those who have suffered under her rule. As a nester, I know how much my home means to me. It is my safe harbor. What if it were gone?
Last night I started to think, what makes a home? I love all my possessions, as most everyone does of their things, but they just fill a house, with beauty, with clutter, with memories. Home is different when it holds a family, a husband and wife, life seems to be in constant motion. Sometimes by myself, since I've lived on my own now as a widow almost five years – single woman, my new title - how different the space feels. The energy level is different when it is just one. Good, but different.
Even with six dogs by my side, there is a quiet that you don't have when you share your home with someone. My house is very still this week, since my teen foreign exchange student moved on to another host family. I was her welcome home for five months. There are no text messages, no dogs howling and carrying on to greet her, no waiting up late to be sure she got home in time, and no late night conversations and laughter before she headed downstairs for sleep. It is a quiet that stands out from the last months. It is a quiet I needed. My head was about to explode from all the teen activity! (A note: I have never been around kids, so this was a new and wonderful experience).The timing for her to move on was perfect. She is with kids her age and I am with my dogs, writing again at my computer.
Have I gotten so used to living by myself that I am happy with just my dogs? I needed my life back to be able to connect with friends, a hard, almost impossible thing to do, when you are on call for a teen. Now I am home alone, but not lonely.
I am back in my social groove, a new groove actually, for I've met some new friends. After months and months of looking at real estate ads, it dawned on me, maybe I need friends in my neighborhood, rather than to change my neighborhood to make new friends. I got online and started a meet-up group for boomers who want to get out more in Decatur. The response was amazing. Over sixty members in a few weeks. Many from outside the area who want to come to Decatur to be social. As great as that was, the best news is a small group of ladies who live close by joined and we get together on a regular basis. I love my friends outside the perimeter (that beltway that circles Atlanta) but it is a joy to drive only a few miles to have fun. I plan to keep up with all my friends, but it is good to be grounded close to home.
So, to answer my question on what makes a home? Family, friendships, love and, for me, a pack of dogs. Those are treasures you can't replace. I like living with my dogs, our house is a happy place. I am more content here now since my list of friends close by is growing. And because I know my mother will read this, I love that we talk every night, even though we are miles apart.
I'll still worry myself sick when mother nature comes to visit. I'll pray for my safety, the safety of those I know, and those in the direct path of such a wicked turn of weather. My dogs and I will snuggle together and I will remember that home means love, and I will treasure that above all else.
|Rascal. Oh to be a dog on a sunny afternoon!|