Thursday, February 3, 2011


Our youngest son recently spread his proverbial wings and flew the nest. This resulted in me having to keep one of the "not-until-the-kids-move-out" promises. This one involved carpeting several fully furnished rooms.

We built this house twenty years ago on a few acres of old family property. It was dream of mine to give the children something I never had. Roots. A home they could always return to. Growing up in a military family did not allow me the luxury of a geographic point of reference that I could call home. My kids have that. I wonder if it means as much to them as I imagined it would have meant to me.

But I am off point. That happens a lot to me these days.

The carpet men moved furniture from the fully furnished rooms into other fully furnished rooms. The ability to move about the house became even more challenging than normal (for me). It was frustrating to be so limited and the obstacle course magnified my inability to move fluidly. So I spent the day holed-up in my office.

I almost missed rediscovering a moment from twenty years earlier. While the house was being built, before the original carpet had been installed, I visited to check on the builder's progress. It was a gray December day, chilly but not cold. As I wandered through the lifeless structure a warmness rose in my body. I was a starving plant whose shriveled roots had finally grown deep enough to reach water. I flushed with life knowing my home was to be real.

Alone, I stooped, and just outside the master bedroom, I scratched the shape of a heart into the new concrete. "Bob loves Gale," I scrawled inside the heart.

I had long since forgotten the act but when I looked down and saw the heart, I was again warmed to my soul. The house we had built had become the home I never had and my roots were still pulling nourishment from the spring that was our love for each other.