This last weekend we went to our old house to mow the lawn. I thought the kids could play with friends or in the backyard as we mowed the lawn. That way I could help Robert and he didn't have to do it all. It turned out the lawn mower lost a wheel and the gas hose was all cracked and leaking. We called it quits after the front lawn and almost half of the back was done, which is when the wheel fell off. I told Robert I could go back on Monday since it was early release with the kids and they could watch the little girls while I finished (and fixed the hose and the wheel).
On Monday I was mowing the lawn and just thinking... it brought back so many memories of that house and living there. I recalled birthdays in the back yard, summers spend with kids in the pool and where I would set up my chair to watch them. I pictured the girls jumping on the tramp and sometimes even having the sprinkler under it while jumping on it. We had a few croquet games in the back yard... the endless hours of me pushing the girls on the swings out there... the snakes we would chase. I remembered what the yard looked like in the back by the apple trees when we first moved in and were just renting. It was all tall orchard type pasture grass. It took lots of work and time taking all that out and seeding grass. Robert even lost his cell phone out there when he was dragging the dirt getting ready to plant seed. It was a miracle we even found it.
As I mowed the grass I remembered the different places we had the garden, and how I would change things again to make better use of the large yard. I mowed past the different mulch piles we had. I mowed over rocks that the irrigation water brought in, I mowed down the small hill the kids would sometimes roll down. I mowed the areas that we had a tent set up to camp out in the back yard.
I spent several hours mowing the lawn and just thinking of all the things that happened in this house... all the birthdays, Christmas', new babies that we brought home to this house. We had lots of game nights playing "Don't eat Pete" which was a favorite, but also played many other games too. I remembered when Robert was going to school on the weekends, so every Friday night was movie night. The girls and I would rent a movie, pop popcorn and sometimes have some sugary treats while we watched a movie.
It was both happy and sad for all of these memories to flood my mind. It made me grateful for the memories we have made, the traditions we have started in our family and some that we have carried on from our childhood. I am grateful that I have healthy happy kids to have all these memories and that I am able to be home with them.
It made me realize how coming to this house makes me feel like I am coming home... even though it isn't our house really anymore and we have a new place somewhere else. I still feel like this house is my home. I feel like this is where my friends are, this is where I belong, this is where I would like to be, where my life is. I pull up to the house or drive down the street and I am recognized and greeted by those around. Those that I love are here. I miss each of them. We lived there for over 8 years so of course it feels like home... and since we have been at our new place just a little over a year it doesn't really feel like home yet. I know it will come one day and I will feel like I am home and my new place is where I belong.
It kind of made me sad that Amber didn't remember our old house... she didn't remember it had a swing in the back or what it looked like inside, she does still remember her best friend Jacob. I knew Samantha wouldn't remember anything at all. The girls looked at the house and commented on how small our old house was. Which is precisely why we moved. My older girls will remember the house, the friends, the memories that all belong to our old house. I will still probably hear them say, "I wish we never moved" for some time to come. I hope one day they will feel like our new house is where they belong too. I am glad that they have those memories of our old house and all the wonderful things that were a part of our lives there. I hope those memories never fade for my girls.