Julie Lyles Carr: Still Changing, Changing Still

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still Changing, Changing Still



I hate moving.

I think I've mentioned that a time or two. Or a thousand.

And I am Oh~So~Happy to not be moving. I adore my present city. We've set down roots. We've made decisions.

We're here to stay (please, oh, please, oh please, Lord...)

There are lots and lots of things to love about our present city. Amazing friends. Awesome church family. Beautiful place. Excellent weather.

And one thing we love is that we can get back to our 'home' town, the city where Mike grew up and where we lived for 15 years with relative ease. It's a fairly easy drive and we can zip into town to see family and friends on a regular basis.

Handy, it is.

But there's an odd phenomenon that happens. I somewhat expect that hometown to stay the same. I'm the one who moved. I'm the one who had to go and change everything.

But that hometown...now that should stay the same.

I mean, sure, open a Super Target here and there. Expand the roads. Develop a few new neighborhoods. It's all good.

But the homes and locales where I left my people, my family, my friends...now that feels like it should remain.

My in-laws sold their long-time home and recently moved into their new house. They had been in that other house for Mike's junior high and high school years. It was the house where I first arrived with Mike in the early months of our courtship, eager to take in Mike's hometown, entering the door on a cold November night to the scent of homemade chili and Thanksgiving decor.

Home. It became home, the place my oldest children knew as MiMi and PaPa's house, the site of Christmases and birthday dinners.

And now someone else lives there, building memories inside the walls that held so many of mine.

Another friend is in the process of moving as well from the house in which she raised most of her kids. My oldest kids practically grew up there, slumber parties and camping and adventures always on the agenda. I know the time is right for she and her husband to move on.

But still.

It's feels like another little sliver of home slipping from my fingers.

I admire people who can move from place to place, always embracing the adventure, always enjoying the next locale, always geared up to decorate and spruce up a new house. It's admirable. It's confident. It's life.

But I tend to fall in love with people and walls and vistas and trees. I hear whispers in hallways. I experience time travel standing at kitchen islands where so many conversations and so much laughter has transpired. It all comes of loving much, I suppose, to blend the places where I love people into an mosaic of the heart.

It's the people that really matter, of course. Not the settings.

But I'm sentimental all the same over the buildings and landscapes that have sheltered those friendships.

As I sit here writing this, eyes brimming, one of my dearest friends here in my new city has texted me. 'Go look at the moon,' she instructs me. I obey.

Standing in the chill of my backyard, I tilt my head and see it. A clear, white, full moon, shining bright. Glowing. Washing down through the trees, splashing across the vista of darkened grass.

And suddenly I am transported. Because that same moon shines on that hometown. Shines down over my friend's house that has meant so much. Shines over people and places I love, both here and there.

And everyone feels a little closer. And it all feels like home.



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