It’s Wednesday again, and again I’m participating in Giving Up on Perfect’s prompts about working through fairy tales in comparison to adult life. This week, I take a look at my dream home of then versus my present-day reality.
Had you asked me twenty years ago where I would have liked to live when I achieved adulthood, I probably would have given an answer like, “New York City, London or Paris.” Strange, because I grew up on forty acres fifteen minutes outside of a small farming community in northwest Missouri, and I really was a homebody at heart. Family was the most important thing to me during that time, and while I might have lamented our location (It’s so far from town!), I actually enjoyed our home, my room, those forty acres. So for me to say that I was going to be living in some worldly metropolis – what was I thinking?
Now, I did have a second kind of dream, probably stemming from my (slight) Gone With the Wind obsession that started sometime in middle school. That dream had me living in an old house out in the country at the end of a long, winding driveway (or straight, it didn’t matter) lined with huge, ancient trees. It wasn’t so much the house I could see, but that tree-lined driveway.
Fast forward to the present, and I no longer live near the place I grew up, and I’m not in an old house at the end of that driveway I’d pictured so long ago. Currently, I make my home with my hubby and two kiddos in a suburb of Buffalo, New York (and no, it’s not snowing as I write this, thank you for your concern). We live in a ranch that was built in the fifties and has the same look as every other house on our street and the surrounding streets; our neighborhood’s streets pretty much go like this: small two-story, L-shaped ranch, small two-story, L-shaped ranch, etc. etc. But it is home, as cluttered and messy as it is, and I’ve come to appreciate our “small” ranch (I say small, because it’s roughly 1,400 square feet just seems so little compared to some of the homes I’ve been in!) and the comfortable, homey, lived-in feel it has.
Here’s the thing that’s cool about this post: last week, I turned the family minivan down our street as I’ve done countless times before in the ten years we’ve been here, and I saw it in a different light. Not that the sun was extra bright that fall day and not like we were having one of those weird weather days, where the sky is the color of a deep, healing bruise, but it was a beautiful fall day with plenty of sunshine and a mild temp – and yet, as I turned onto my street, I saw it was tree-lined. They were gorgeous, full and lush, limbs covered in greens, reds, yellows and oranges stretching against the blue sky. Now, of course, I’ve seen these trees on our street before in all their fall glory and lush with summer green shade and bare with winter coldness . . . But that day, I thought of this post, and my childhood dream of having a tree-lined driveway.
God is good, isn’t He? While I may not be in the city I imagined, I’m in a wonderful location that’s great for families where you can get to just about anything in twenty minutes or less. And I may not be in that old house, the one that could have been in a Civil War movie, but I have a house that I look forward to returning to each day – a home. And I certainly don’t have a long driveway lined with trees – I have a whole street filled with them, standing as proud, sheltering as much as I could have hoped for, and more.