A full house
I moved into a new home a little more than a year ago, thinking at the time that it was much more space than I really needed. I had planned on buying a smaller house, but I fell in love with this one the first time I saw it and a low interest rate made it affordable.
Fast-forward one year, and my life has changed quite a bit. And I’m thankful I bought that four-bedroom house with the big garage.
Before I even moved into the house, I adopted a stray cat. Then about six weeks later, I added a dog, Ivy, to the mix. Sadly, the cat decided he preferred the street life and ran away soon after.
In December, a roommate moved into one of the spare bedrooms, along with a cat of his own. Then, one of the dogs in our Pet of the Week feature was just too cute to ignore. So, it became me, my roommate, my roommate’s cat, and my dogs Ivy and Rizzo. But the biggest change was yet to come.
In June, I did something I swore I would never do again. I proposed to a wonderful woman named Lisa and for some reason she said yes. I’m hoping her eyesight doesn’t clear up and ruin everything.
We settled on a wedding date of Dec. 11, but as it turns out, we can’t seem to get all of our kids together in one place at the same time. My oldest son, Ronnie, is scheduled to graduate from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy on Dec. 10 in Camden.
The next day, Ronnie and his wife, Christi, will have a birthday party for my grandson Liam in North Little Rock. On Dec. 18, Christi will graduate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Meanwhile, Lisa’s daughter, Lauren, is a sophomore at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and works part time at the local hospital. My son Ryan works full time as a probation/parole officer and his wife, Harlie, works a lot of nights and weekends as an Arkansas State Police dispatcher. Trying to find a good date to get married that would fit all the kids’ schedules was pretty much impossible.
So, as I write this on Friday, Lisa and I are planning to visit the county clerk’s office this afternoon to obtain a marriage license. Then we’ll have a friend who is an ordained minister do the honors of making it official. In the meantime, we’ve already started moving Lisa from her home in Centerton to mine in Berryville. Fortunately, Lisa is able to work from home and we’ve been able to get her set up in a home office in one of the spare bedrooms. The fourth bedroom will be Lauren’s, and after my roommate is able to find an apartment or a home to buy, the room he’s using will be set up for Ronnie and his family to use when they visit.
In the meantime, we’ve been busy getting the house ready to move in the rest of Lisa’s things.
We’ll move some more stuff this weekend and hopefully organize the garage a little better.
When I moved into the house, I didn’t install blinds or curtains anywhere, because the house sits on a hill and the front windows are all at least seven feet above the ground. A privacy fence makes it pretty much impossible for anyone to see in the back windows.
Not completely impossible, though (that’s a whole other story), and that’s why Lisa kindly asked for some window treatments. So we have shades and blinds on most of the windows now. I have to admit, they do look better. A woman’s touch does make a difference.
In addition to Lisa’s clothes and furniture and the contents of a fully stocked pantry that’s twice as big as mine, we’re also adding her two dogs, Luna and Snow. Luna is a black Lab and Snow is a 15-year-old Bichon Frise.
So, if you’re keeping track at home, we now have me, Lisa, my roommate, his cat, Ivy, Rizzo, Luna and Snow. Except for Snow, all the dogs are 50 pounds or more. As you can imagine, things can get a little hectic at times, but all that once-empty space is now full.
And so is my heart.