On May 5th, 2011 we moved from our four bedroom home of 20 years with its family room, finished basement, screen porch, three stall garage, huge yard and countless memories into a 39 foot RV at a campground south of town. We have downsized tremendously and eliminated not only debt, but an enormous amount of “stuff” that we no longer need. It was a rather interesting process during the days of packing as I had to select what to keep, store, sell, give away and what to completely toss! Simplifying our lives and cherishing what truly matters has taken on a new and more vibrant meaning as we have sorted and purged our way from homeowner status to RV dweller.
We have been asked often if we miss our house. I answer there are many things I miss about our home– namely my washer and dryer, side by side refrigerator, our neighbors and mostly the crazy controlled chaos that was our life as we raised our family. However, I do not miss being a homeowner with its responsibilities, repairs and upkeep. I can clean my RV top to bottom in less than an hour. We are able to dine al fresco almost daily and we have met some wonderful friends. We have no grass to cut and we will have no snow to shovel!
The last night in our home was emotional as we enjoyed a fire one last time in the living room. We were surrounded by stacks of boxes as we prepared to spend the last hours together at 2181 Easy Street. We reminisced and tears flowed as this chapter in our life came to a close.
Our four walls had rocked and rolled with laughter and countless memories over the years. We had raised our three children in that home, welcomed our grandchildren and dined with friends and family around our table for more meals than I can count. We knew that no matter where our days took us in the years ahead, never again would we live in a place that would hold these precious moments.
I chose those same memories as the last “piece” that was most carefully packed as I left our home that day. I tucked them deep in my heart as I gently closed the door and looked around one final time . With tears running down my face, I breathed a silent prayer for the new owners that would soon make it home and thanked the Lord for the joy of family!
While the journey ahead for my husband and I is yet unwritten I am more convinced than ever that what is most valuable is that which is priceless. Stuff is just stuff. None of it really matters at the end of the day.
Today the breath I have been given, the laughter of a child and the sunshine that warms my shoulders is precious. I see just around the bend new memories to be gathered, more love to be given, friends to make and laughter to share. While I may gaze wistfully back to a time and place that was familiar, I am making plans to embrace this new stage of our lives and am making the choice to look forward to what God has ahead!
How about you? What do YOU see as priceless today? What dreams do you have and what keeps you from running towards those dreams?