Decisions, decisions…

Life is full of decisions. Small decisions, like what to make for supper. Large decisions, like how many children to have, or where to consider treatment for an illness. Sometimes, the decisions that we pore over seem to be the right ones at the time. For me, my husband and I decided to move to the city this summer. We lived out in the country with a beautiful house, a big backyard, and our kids in attendance at a wonderful school. As a one-income family, the expenses that came with living so far out in the country began to take its toll, and we felt we could no longer live in our beautiful home. We added the bills up every month, and what was coming in never equalled what was going out, so we made the decision to move to an apartment in the city close to work.

We found one that accepted dogs. In a good school system. With a pool, and a private garage. We
packed up our beloved belongings, and headed for the big city. The kids did fine – my daughter could make friends with a tree stump, and my son is fine as long as he can get chicken nuggets in the city. The dogs adjusted well. And my husband has a tv, so he’s fine too. The problem lies with me.

Yes, I love the fact that I can hit the snooze bar three times before I *have* to get up and get in the shower. Yes, I love the fact that I can go all week on $20 in gas. I love that my friends are closer, and that I’m right by the highway so I can go to a Thirty-One party in any direction. We’re close to our doctors, our kids’ extracurricular activities, and we can have a pizza delivered for the first time in 12 years. But if we stay in the city we’d have to stay in our apartment. Home prices are two to three times what they are out in the country for the same house. To stay in the city means really city living in its finest – apartments, no mowing the yard, parking in a parking lot in front of our home, and always hearing footsteps from the people in the flat above ours.

There are some things I like. The kitchen bar that could fit twelve people. And the fact that I have a closet now for my purse business. That my husband hung my wind chime from our house, just because he knew it would make me happy.

But I miss the little things. My kitchen pantry that had enough room for the local soup kitchen to store their goods. My beautiful wood floors that shined to a sparkle… and even that one dent in the floor just behind the couch that no one admits how it came to be. My kitchen (and my bathroom) that were just remodeled. My yellow rosebush (Golden Age) that buds in bright yellow, then fades to a creamy moonlight color with a smell so sweet you could bottle it and sell it to kings of nations. The stories I could tell you… like the lady that came to the house when the sod was still taking hold and sold us 10 bradford pears out of the back of the trunk of her tiny hatchback. Or the $75 twig that she sold us that was supposed to be a Japanese Maple… that eventually did grow into a beautiful tree. Or the kids’ playhouse in the backyard that my husband and I built together over twelve straight hours. The columns in the front of the house that I wrap every year with white lights. Not the halogen blue-white lights. But the old fashioned white lights that are supposedly bad for the environment but so much prettier. Or the neighbor that always hops up on our roof and hangs our Christmas lights each year so we don’t have to. The snowmen that we built year after year. The cul-de-sac that we lived in, where the kids could ride their bikes with the neighbors. And that fact that it always, no matter what, felt like I was home as soon as I walked in.

I know my house wasn’t perfect. The septic backed up when it rained for more than three days in a row. And every Fall we would routinely have a family of mice that tried to move in. And somehow our utility bill was always $200 more than the house next door every single month, even though we had the same builder and our houses were built at the same time. But the good things far outweighed the bad. And it was that place. That place of comfort, of joy, of Christmas cookies and memories.

Can you go back? Can you EVER go back once you make the decision to move on? And should you? When do you know? Should you let the fact that you’re saving $1200 a month in the city sway you? What price can you put on nostalgia? There is no scripture reference I could find to tell me to stay or to go. To move back to what’s comfortable – what’s home. Or to stay where life is faster but never really feels permanent, never feels like HOME.

They say home is where the heart is, or that home is always just the people inside. But I think home, real home, is where the heart sighs when it gets there, like wings unfurled after a long flight back to a place long ago and far, far away.

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