Wednesday, February 29, 2012

leap day

The last day of February came a day late and thank goodness because if it hadn't I would have gone the whole month of February without posting and I really hate that I've been so flaky about my blog.

I wrote a big, long post about a huge house that is being built behind our house a couple of days ago, but it got to be so much of a tangent that I decided to postpone my post. Until today. Here it is, tangent forgone.


I woke up this morning and looked out my kitchen window. For months now construction crews have been digging, pouring, framing, raising walls and then a roof, and now even windows. A new house is going up, dreams are being realized for more than one family. Meanwhile, our dreams in this house seem to be fading and changing. When we bought this house, we stood on the back deck, looking out to the openness, the park and the trees, even the tops of the Rocky Mountains rising above them. This was one of the biggest selling points for us - this feeling of openness in an otherwise confined suburban space. No neighbors in the back - just space. We liked that, we wanted that. The house itself recognized its access to this space, with a gate on back fence that leads right through the field to the park. We would take Fiona, our beautiful and aging collie, out that gate and across the field to walk around the park that we have lovingly called "Fona Park" ever since.

I miss our girl, Fiona and now I long for that feeling of openness, that feeling as we stood there, new homeowners, in our mid-twenties. We knew what we wanted and we were making those dreams come true. Those dreams are fading now, as that space fills up in the landscape behind our house with a giant pile of dirt and a massive house designed to hold five residents and a caretaker. The homes will accommodate developmentally disabled adults who have never had the chance to live on their own. Their parents, having raised their children well into adulthood,are eager to have space to themselves again. Our old dreams are making way for these new dreams, for these families and their children.

And I know in my heart that our own dreams are changing and we are moving into a new part of our lives. The last five years have been incredible and life-altering. Buying and moving into this sweet little house. Jeremiah had one knee surgery then two, then five. Planning a wedding and marrying. 10 months of pregnancy and a beautiful baby girl. Job changes. Nearly two years of parenting with all the joys and challenges that have come with it. Many of these things we dreamed of and created, others were surprises.

Since Amelie was born, this neighborhood has become our world. Our neighbors our friends. In the fall a sign went up in the field behind our house. As winter began, they started laying the water pipes. By December there was a giant gaping hole in the ground with a complimentary two-story hill of dirt next to it. I called the construction company and asked them to please put a fence around the site that was only 20 feet from the playground in our neighborhood park, Fona Park. They did and the foundation was laid. This winter was a hard one for me and I stayed cooped up inside, watching as the frame went up and the walls.

Spring is in sight. Two feet of snow covered the neighborhood for weeks until just a couple of days ago. Under that snow lay tiny blades of green grass, the spiky beginnings of irises. The house will be finished by summer, for sure. Four more are slated for the field, but I am unsure of how fast it will all happen.

Our house is special to us. We love it and we love our neighbors. But its starting to feel small, like we can't breathe. Our backyard was a retreat, but now it is noisy from construction and the landscape is marred. Soon there will be no need for the gate out back. Now I'm thinking of alternatives. We'll plant fast-growing trees along the back fence. Perhaps a fence around the front yard so Amelie can play there while the construction continues. I think it's time to start thinking about new dreams, to once again think about what we really want and move in that direction.

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