I'm in the living room. Or what should be the living room. But the dining room table is stuffed between two leather wing chairs, the couch is trapped behind it all, and there's no room to breathe much less live.
The dining room has flowed into the living room because century old plumbing has burped and belched and broken again and the new linoleum for the bathroom is stretched across the dining room floor.
And the washing machine is broken, too. The hamper overflows. The repair man said the part would take a week and a half and then he bolted for the door like mad.
So I look at the mess and sigh.
And I weave through the jumble, dodge the corner of the table, twine the skinny path that leads to the hall.
I'm thinking about an army of undies. I'm thinking about how to serve dinner outside when the temperature hit three digits before noon. I'm thinking about that floor and I'm wondering when it will be down and I'm fretting over all the parts and pieces of this uprooted puzzle that need to fit back into place, too.
I'm looking at the unlovely of it all.
Just then Lonny comes from the bathroom. He's tired. I can see the wear of the day in the lines of his face. He sidesteps the out-of-place furniture and crouches low over the sprawled out floor. But before his hands begin to work, he lifts his head and his eyes meet mine.
I can hear our boys, overhead, playing and shouting and making all kinds of noise.
Sissy's curled on the rug in the hall, a sweet, tight knot of a long, lean dog.
And I stand in the middle of it all, looking at those eyes I've been looking into for almost twenty-five years.
And I have to smile.
Sometimes it's not crazy lovely. Life just doesn't always beat that way.
But Lonny and I are here together, and this pulled-apart place is ours. There are warm, full hearts here. Hands to hold. Time to share. There are memories and yesterdays and tomorrows and lives that tangle deep and wide to the most tender place.
There's blessing. Here. Right in the center of the mess.
And even with a jumble of furniture pressed tight on either side, and bathrooms and hampers that sometimes overflow,
there's no place I'd rather be.