Saturday, October 04, 2008

Life as I know it.

I've been spending time in my hometown lately, because of the research on my book. Most of the time I'm on the upper level of the library, reading and taking notes. And sneezing. A lot. Those old newspapers are dusty.

Yesterday though, as I was driving through town, I decided to take another road home. The road was the one I used to live on.

There, I saw the house that used to be mine.

It was different. The new owners have added a beautiful brown siding (oddly, the same color as my house). They have taken the entire deck off the back of the house and added huge bay windows in the front. They have extended the side of the house by probably fifteen to twenty feet.

It's a beautiful house now.

A house for a family. A real family.

I thought I might feel sad by seeing it, but I didn't. Oddly, it didn't feel sad at all. It felt...okay.

I didn't feel afraid.

It's not my house anymore.

It's not my life now.

I drove on further and came across the house that my ex-boyfriend lives in (Yes, my ex-boyfriend bought a house and lived on the same street as I lived with my first husband. I know). His house was in disarray. It looked like it was falling down around them.

Oddly enough, he was standing outside the house. At the front porch. It looked like he was maybe hanging a door.

It didn't feel weird or strange.

It's not my life now.

I had a lot of mixed feelings about writing a book about my hometown. I haven't lived there in ten years. My ex-husband still lives there (as far as I know...I haven't heard from him in nine years or so). He doesn't know where I live. I don't want him to know where I live.

But I'm not afraid now.

I'm just a writer. Just a writer who is writing a book.

What's there is not my life now.

I drove the two hours back to my little house in Knoxville. With my little children and my big husband and my ginormous puppy. I drove familiar streets and shopped at my same grocery store. I picked my children up at Tae Kwon Do. My husband came home. We had dinner. We sat on the porch swing and talked until it was dark.

The same things we do every night.

Because this is my life now. This man, these children, this world.

This is my life.

Thank God.


Anonymous said...

Just like you and your family, this post is beautiful!!

Robyn said...

Awesome post! I'm so glad you really enjoy and appreciate what matters now:)

Wenderina said...

Don't you just love these moments? When you just stop and suddenly realize, THIS IS MY LIFE. AND? IT IS AWESOME! (with absolutely NO sarcasm, for once)

Frannie said...

and what a nice life it is!


God you are a lucky duck. It makes me happy every day to read what you write, I'm so glad you love it, as you are so incredibly lucky and it appears you are also grateful, which is important.

Jodi said...

I Love those moments too. I am Happy for you. I am Happy for all the wonderful things in my life too.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet post. Your family is beautiful, but every time I see Jason, I have this overwhelming urge to shave his beard off :)

Anonymous said...

This post is one of the happiest posts I've ever read.

What a great way to realize you have such an awesome life.

A Spot of T said...

Thank god indeed. And I LOVE the smell of old books and papers in the library. They make me sneeze as well but there's something about 'old' that is comforting to me. Yes. I'm a weird duck.

SJINCO said...

Oh Chick, what a sweet post. It's happy! And I love that.

I saw my old house recently and I was actually sad, but that was only because I didn't get to say good-bye to it before my Mom & Dad moved out. But it's okay, I was okay.

Unknown said...

Chick, I don't have the husband, and the new house, or the stinky-ass dog, but I can definitely identify with the whole seeing your old place where you used to live, and seeing people you used to date or once wished you could spend the rest of your life with, and having that moment wash over you of, Yeah, I am SO grateful things didn't turn out the way I once hoped that they would, and my life is SO much better now.

Yeah. Get it.

Living said...

I had the same thing happen to me when I went back to my hometown 2 years ago... it was a wonderful wake up call...

CPA Mom said...

I have similar feelings about my old life...but not sure I'd ever be so at peace driving by the old are an inspiration.

can I tell you again how much I LOVE your pictures!!

HM said...

Sometimes you just have to put your behind in the past :) (Love Lion King) Anyway, what a beautiful future you have in front of you.

Rachel (Crazy-Is) said...

What a great post, Chick!! I have to say, I'm quite jealous.

Unknown said...

and what a beautiful family it is.


Anonymous said...

Somehow, this brings me to tears of happiness...for you...and even for me...I have BTDT with a douchebag of an exH who has not seen our 3 girls for the past 6 years and has not paid child support for the 8 years since we divorced.
And yet, I am married to a wonderful man who is daddy in all ways to my girls...and I know how blessed I am...
You have a beautiful family...God bless you