Thursday, August 14th, 2008 • No Comments on Finding Home (5w5d)
For a year or so now, Jay and I have been contemplating moving out of our little suburb in Chesapeake and into Norfolk’s Ghent or West Ghent neighborhoods. Actually, I think Jay just goes along with my whims as I contemplate being able to walk to the neighborhood coffee shop, movie theater and a couple of my favorite restaurants. Being able to ride a bike down tree-lined streets (instead of making a continuous loop in our subdivision) or go for a long walk and end up in a wildlife preserve appeals to me, as well. And did I mention the coffee shops? A Starbucks and an independent right there within walking distance. A little slice of heaven just for me. Oh, and Jay would be very close to work, too.
I had lunch with Jae and Nick today at one of my favorite places and then we went for a walk to hunt down houses (and work off lunch). For the first time, I really considered something else that’s within walking distance of West Ghent— an elementary school. I never really noticed it before today, though I’ve walked that neighborhood many times. But now I have a reason to notice it.
It was easy enough to envision walking Junior to school in the morning and then hopping on my bike (that I don’t own yet) and heading to the coffee shop to write. It was easy to imagine having Nick’s daughter Cierra come play in the backyard while my little one (and Jae’s little one) try to keep up with her. It is easy to see us living in West Ghent, amongst the Obama 2008 signs and neighbors who walk dogs in strollers and kids who leave their toys in the front yard.
I love where we live now for the backyard and the trees and the wildlife who visits my back door. But I’m so over living in the suburbs where everything requires a drive . Still, we’ve lived here for eight years and it is home, though my heart longs for a house with character and history. I don’t really have a big incentive to move— coffee within walking distance isn’t really a reason to pack up the belongings and move across town. And unless they take down all the trees behind my house— which I worry they will eventually— I still have my favorite things right in my backyard. But now, envisioning that morning walk to kindergarten and the afternoon walk home… that feels like the right incentive to find the place we really belong.