Loaner Furniture

I’m not loving my kitchen table. It’s loaner furniture–wobbly, charmless, and bland. It’s a symbol for life in temporary housing. Not really here, not really there. A purgatory of broken light switches, swarming ants, and washing the same four forks every day.

I recognize how lucky we are to even be here in temporary housing. I mean, we could be in a hotel. Instead, the kids have their own room, and the dog has a verdant, flat paradise of a backyard. I have a kitchen, and a washing machine. The elementary school is a five minute walk away, and we ride our bikes to our choice of safe, fun playgrounds. We can see the ocean, and smell the salt.

But it’s not our home. The walls are white and echo-y, and we lack the photographs, textures, colors, and softness of our own décor.

We will get our belonging at about the same time that we move into our rental home, and it will be an explosion or normalcy and nostalgia. The familiar will become exotic, as we unwrap each item from its protective paper.

As I was shopping yesterday, I bought a baking pan. I selected onions and potatoes, green beans and chicken. Even if my house doesn’t feel like home, I thought, it will smell like one.

And tomorrow, as I am out and about, I will buy flowers. Bright petals, an organic promise rooted in the earth. And I will place those flowers on my bland, rickety table.

Those flowers will wither and die before we move into our new home. But they will be lovely in the moment.

And that’s what this is all about. Finding loveliness in the moments. Seeking out beauty today.

After all, it’s really not about the table, but about the people sitting around it.

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