A Sign, a House, and the Memories We Shared

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There is a sign in our yard.

Moving on means letting go, and while I know that this is good and right I am not flippant about it.  I brought babies home here.  There is that black crayon scribble on our laundry room wall that we will have to paint over before we sell.

We made use of the little land God gave us with its lilies and hydrangeas.  We grew peppers, herbs, and tomatoes that eventually became food for the squirrels.  The girls have a secret hideaway behind the shed.  We braved mosquitos, wasps, and a mama squirrel who birthed babies down our chimney.

Many meals were shared around our table.  We’ve hosted friends, neighbors, Bible studies, life groups, play dates, and extended family.  There were birthday parties and dinner parties.  We’ve counseled couples, prayed over burdened brothers and sisters, and were prayed over ourselves.

We survived our narrow staircase, except that one time when Travis fell down them.  He was okay, and made it through without a scratch.  I tried not to laugh.

We tolerated the Fed Ex planes, trains, and the 3am birds in our yard.  We’ve mastered backing out of our driveway without hitting the light pole or our neighbor’s car across the street.  If I ran out of eggs or needed an onion I could walk down the sidewalk to Easy Way (now Curb Market) and buy what I needed.

Our neighbor, Clay, recently moved away.  He always called Travis “Preacher.”  Another neighbor named Kay was our neighborhood watch lady.  She would sit on her porch, smoke cigarettes and let you know the business of the day.  If anything out of the ordinary happened, she’d let you know.  She always asked about the kids and would say kind things to them.  Kay passed away a couple months ago.  We said goodbye a little early to her.

The weekends are for kids running from house to house to jump on the trampoline, swim, and play.  The St. Jude race wraps around our neighborhood, and this past year down our street. We can hear the music and fanfare from the Liberty Bowl on game day.  There is always action.

A lot of sweat went into this house. Travis and his dad painted the interior, and Travis painted the whole exterior himself.  Our cozy bungalow was built in 1917 making it almost a one hundred-year-old house.  It has a history, and I am thankful that our little family had the chance to contribute to its story for the time we were here.

Some say, “It’s just a house.”  And it is- a house.  Brick and mortar.  Dusty.  Creaky.  But there was life here.  Noisy with laughter, some yelling, pounding chubby feet on hardwoods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of talking.

So when our realtor put a sign in our yard yesterday it hit me that our time here is coming to a close.  I got a lump in my throat.  I don’t think it is by accident that I am reading Ecclesiastes this week, and I am reminded that there is a time for everything. Now is the time for uprooting what we’ve planted and dig roots down deep in a new place. Travis has been called to pastor First Baptist Gallatin in Gallatin, TN, and we are excited about this next step in our journey.  Though we are sad to say goodbye to friends and our church family at UABC, we know that God is leading us out.  He is good and He does good (Psalm 119:68).  He is good in giving us a family, a home, a church, and a community to do life in.  And He will do it again in a new place with new people sharing in the grace that is ours through Christ.  But we will always remember Memphis because for us it is where we began.

“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.”  ~Wendell Berry

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