Saturday, February 10, 2018

Thoughts on a Rainy Saturday Morning. A Man Who Once Was Homeless...Longing For a Home

This morning is a very rainy, chilly February morning in Lynchburg, Va.
We're expecting rain for the next 36 hours, maybe as much as 3 inches. (Thank goodness this isn't snow! It would be three feet!)
When I lived in TN and owned a home, I enjoyed days like this. I didn't want them often, because being a single dad and busy in my business at the time, I didn't have the luxury of very many weekends with nothing to do. There was yard work, or housework and every other weekend was filled with time with Daisy. (Which, of course, I never minded) 
But once or twice each winter I'd wake to find a cold, rainy Saturday and it became a chance to just relax. Typically, I made soup, or chili, for Saturday and Daisy and I would make gravy for Sunday. 
I would read a lot. If Daisy was with me that weekend, we'd watch movies and she would draw for hours. 
I could relax. I could let my breath out, realizing that; nobody would have any expectations for me on a day like this. No mortgages to write, no reports to run, no real reason to go to my office.
I didn't have to cut the grass. You can't hang your clothes on the line when it's raining. (One of the things I miss the most is a clothesline!) Nothing to do outside the house on a day like this.
Often, in the morning before Daisy awoke, I would make coffee, and sit in my living room with the blinds open and look out at my front yard and across the street to the cattle farm. I'd spot some deer making their way across the fence line, or the flock of turkeys that ranged from my neighbors yard, to mine, and over to the farm in their grazing pattern.
I could read the Bible and pray and think. It allowed me time to sort through the tangled yarn that our hearts become every few months or so. 
In a lot of ways it was healing. Healing from the divorce that broke my heart and from the intermittent fatherhood I had to accept due to that divorce. The rainy Saturday's when Daisy was with me were the best. In the quiet of those mornings, when the only sound was the rain hitting the roof, I could be sitting in the living room, knowing in my heart that she was asleep in her room, in my house, and for that day at least...everything felt normal.
In the two weeks since I found this house we're looking at, and since I let the idea of home ownership make it's way back into my heart, I've found myself reminiscing about when I last owned a home. How much I miss it. How much days like today were a gift. I can already see the new house in finished state. This morning, if we lived there, I'd be sitting in the living room, with the blinds open, looking out at the woods that the house backs up to, and the Peaks of Otter off in the distance to the West. Daisy would be asleep in her bed and it would feel like we finally landed from this difficult journey we've been on. 
I'm safe. I have a good job. I sleep indoors again.  Homelessness is over. But our life here is punctuated by noisy neighbors, doors slamming, car alarms going off, people who drive as if the gas pedal only has two positions...all the way up, or all the way down.
The music of the rain outside is interrupted by cars passing, the echo of the factory across the open field behind this townhouse, and the trains that run up and down the tracks at the end of the block. 
Of all the things that others consider negative about this neighborhood, the train tracks are the least negative in my book. Whenever a train comes by, I still stop to see it. Trains still turn me into a little boy.
I'm a little afraid because I've let myself hope about this house and at this stage I'm not close to getting it. I know God is able, and this is no big thing to Him, but to Daisy and me it is, literally, everything right now.
If you're sitting in your house this morning, and your day is stalled because of the rains we're getting, or if you're about to spend a busy Saturday running errands...stop and think about what you have. Home is truly our haven. It's our safe spot. It's "home base" in the great game of tag that we play each day. 
Whether your home is a mansion or a shack...if it's yours, and those you love are there with you, and you're relatively happy...it's a kingdom. 
Please keep praying for Daisy and me...so this can be our Saturday one day soon.

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