Masking tape bits, cardboard, screws, leaves—the detritus of moving littered the living room after the loaders drove away with our worldly possessions.
Chris and I sat on the front porch swing to game plan about what was left to be done before handing back the keys.
There on the front porch is where it hit me—this is what I’ll remember and miss about this house. Moments of calm, fellowship, joy. That’s what happened on this porch. This porch was everything charming to me about Norfolk. Hot coffee while oak leaves cascaded down on the first cool fall mornings, countless glasses of tea with friends, bottles of milk for Eloise on the swing, wine with Chris after the kids went to bed. The neighbor’s Japanese maple fanning out on one side, afternoon sun filtering down through the oak branches on the other side. Squirrels overhead throwing bits of branches at us. The kids laughing and screaming and tattling and whooping. Cozy trucks and cozy coupes racing up and down the sidewalk. Our happiest moments in Norfolk were on this porch. Walking out the front door and waving to Megan, hearing those most glorious words: “want to come over and play?”
I walked back through the house. The kids’ rooms gave me a pang of loss. This is the house where we brought Eloise home, the first home she’s ever known. Isaac picked this bedroom as his because he liked the blue walls.
The rest of the house though…meh. Least homey home I’ve ever had. No need to diatribe here about the various ways the house annoyed and tried to kill me. We had some tough times here, and I am happy tonight to be in our first of many, MANY hotels for the foreseeable future.
But hardly anything bad ever happened on that front porch.