Dave and Donita (not their real names) had a pretty little home on a corner lot a long time ago. There, they raised their 3 adorable kids, some pets, and, during the summer, a large group of neighborhood kids. They were quite happy, but eventually, their happy little home got a bit too tight. They needed to move. And so they packed up Kim who was 10 and Steven who was 5 and Becky who was 3 and moved to the Big house.
Not the Big House as in jail. Just a big house.
The Big House needed a lot of renovations and they worked tirelessly to get it to perfection. It was a huge undertaking, especially while carting 3 kids around to soccer games and karate class and tap dancing and band practice and girl scouts and boy scouts and football! But they did it…most of it anyway.
It was always a happy home full of screaming, laughing kids (most not even their own). A place where everyone gathered for Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter dinner. A place where the youngest could spy the oldest kissing her boyfriend on the sofa. Or the lone boy could practice throwing balls and accidentally break a window…or 2.
It wasn’t all perfect, of course. I’m sure there were arguments and hurt feelings and unkind words. The doors were slammed and children cried and parents looked to the heavens for an answer. But at the end of the day, everyone would come to the table or to the bar or to the sofa or the front porch…and talk it over, apologize, forgive, and love.
For 30 years Dave and Donita created a pretty great life in the Big House. But times moves on and lives change. The Children moved out and it’s just the two of them plus Grandpa Bobby. Donita’s knees aren’t so great for going up and down the stairs anymore. Dave has grown tired of the maintenance and upkeep. They both agreed it was time for the next act of their story.
They found it in a ranch-style, 4-bedroom, 2 baths country home. There’s a nice sized kitchen for those big dinners Donita loves to cook. And Dave has the biggest garage he’s ever had. Grandpa Bobby is looking forward to the new view; nothing compares to a pink painted sunset in the country. Their granddaughters are excited cause the neighbors have horses and sheep, and the two grandsons are plotting a summer of camping out underneath the stars. It takes a bit longer to get there, but the drive is nice. And when you walk through the doors, it already feels like home.
And the Big House? The Big House was practically an extended family member. It shook with joy while the kids ran from room to room then out the door and through the gate and back up to the steps and through the door to start it all over again. It held comfort when there was broken hearts. It creaked with laughter when someone would retell those hilarious family stories from long ago. It shielded this family from storms and rejoiced with them during sunny afternoons spent on the patio.
I’m happy to say, the Big House will continue to do that.
Dave and Donita’s son Steven will soon be packing up Tommy who’s nearly 10 and Laurie who is 5 and Jack who just turned 3 and his wife Rachel who is…well, that’s none of your damn business! They’ll be moving in soon enough to a house that has been home for years.