Thursday, August 2, 2007

Days of Grace

After a long month's absence, we're back home. We pulled into our garage yesterday afternoon and Sam immediately had to touch every toy, push every car, and explore this home that he had forgotten about while we were gone. For our part, Joy and I looked around and began to remember the small things we had forgotten while we were away - the piles of new Kindermusik equipment for the new location, the washed dishes left to dry for a month by the sink, the hum of the air conditioner and fan murmuring as we go to sleep.

Mainly, though, we noticed how much stuff we have. The past month we've been on Greers Ferry Lake, living in the cabin Joy's parents purchased a few years ago. They've slowly been fixing it up, and since it exists as a get-away, not a full-time home, it hasn't accumulated the detritus of life. Our home is full of stuff you pick up and bring home, always meaning to throw away but never quite moving it out from under the pile of other stuff you pick up and bring home. We both looked at each other as we wandered around our house, looking at it as though it were someone else's, and declared August a month to shed a few pounds of stuff.

Living in Greers Ferry was an exercise in living life more simply. Last night's excursion to the grocery store to restock our refrigerator is a good example. Wandering the florescent aisles was like a small miracle after shopping in Greers Ferry. Here were items we only dreamed of in that small hamlet and all reasonably priced. If we wanted something, we reached out and took it. In Greers Ferry, we bought fresh and had luxuries (like hummus) brought in by parents coming to visit. Sure, they had food both prepackaged and suited to more exotic tastes, but it was hit and miss what you might find. It was a life more in tune with the rhythm of the area rather than the rhythm of the world trucked in to your doorstep.

A typical day this past month was one where I wrote and watched the water while Joy and Sam played and read. Family came to visit and we had long games and longer conversations. We played in the water and on top of it and took walks so Sam could see the horses and cows down the road. They were days of grace, rarely obtained, that made us want to clean out the clutter of our existence here at home.

The next few days I'll fill you in with stories from our month in between the hectic runnings here and there that comprise life as usually lived, stories of a small place and a way of life we had almost forgotten. And maybe we'll be able to slow down, move some of our stuff to Goodwill, and bring a bit of that time home to Kansas City.

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