Today is sunny, the kind of crisp, clear, blue day at the tail end of winter that brings with it the promise spring will come. The kind of day that draws you outside to walk, to breathe in the cool air, and feel the warmth of the sun as it grazes your face.
I spent part of the morning walking with the dogs, bringing them in after lunch for kibble, yogurt, and a nap. Maddy, at five months, still needs that midday meal. Or so she thinks. Afterward, I went out to purchase some new dress shirts for hubby and pick up a few necessities. In between the 7-11 and Kohl's, I came across a thrift store I hadn't noticed before. While I generally hate to shop, I infrequently have moods conducive to wandering through unique little thrift stores and gift shops.
The thrift store had a name we've all seen before, something to the effect of "Second Time Around". I went in and began to wander about the store, picking up a piece of pottery that caught my eye and inspecting a Swedish Modern headboard in a lovely blonde wood tone. As I made my way to the back of the store, nearing the register, I heard a man and a woman talking. It was all business, talk of rent, transporting goods to the store, and collecting bounced checks. The man was older, perhaps the woman's father, and he peppered his sentences with various phrases meant to thank the Lord for their good fortune. I smiled to myself and thought about Brother Bill, the preacher at my childhood church. Something in the old man's manner and phrasing reminded me of him.
I finished my errands and came home. The dogs, fresh from their crates, were delighted to see me and ran immediately to the back door. The cats even slunk in to see who had come home. The house had grown too warm and stuffy while I was gone, so I opened the bank of windows on the kitchen wall, looking into the backyard. Suddenly the cats could hear, rather than just see those birds, and now, even though I closed the windows twenty minutes ago, they are still meowing at me, pleading for open windows again.
This time last year I wouldn't have given you a plug nickel for this town. I would most likely have wished to be elsewhere. Suddenly, undeniably, it is home.
- I believe this is heaven
To no one else but me
And I'll defend it long as
I can be
Left here to linger
If I choose to
Would you try to understand?
from Elsewhere by Sarah MacLachlan