We are settled at the new house (at least the main living area–the basement and garage have been the answer to the question “Where should I put this thing?” a little too often, so we have a bit to go through there. But we have the rest of our lives for that, right?). It is a ranch, just the right size, in a beautiful neighborhood. And it is ours.

It was meant to be ours. The universe wanted it to be ours. We were the first of four to see it the day it was listed, and we made an offer in 5 minutes, which they accepted. The next day, there were 47 calls on the property (and I believe the seller’s realtor was kicking herself for not pricing it higher). But that’s not remarkable. That’s just good luck in real estate.

The street is May, which is my mother’s maiden name. I love the Mays. They are nice people, with nice smiles, and they can tell a great story. In fact, one of my great uncles still lives in their little town in Morley, MO where my grandpa and his pack of brothers and two sisters grew up. He goes to the Morley Cafe every morning at dawn and sits around the table with “the liar’s club” where they never let the truth get in the way of a good story. These are my people, and our address pays homage.

Now, are you listening? Here is where it starts to feel odd. At my previous house, my favorite people were my friend Jen, her husband Justin, and their son Jack (who is Wally’s age). Jen and I spent hours walking around downtown Elgin with the boys. You could say we were chatting, but really, we were learning to be moms together. This family was one of my favorite features of our life there.

The day we moved in here, my neighbor stopped by and introduced herself, bearing flowers as a welcome gift. Her name? Jen. Her son? Jack. Her husband stopped by later that day. Luckily W4 met him first and was able to warn him. When I came out and he said his name was Justin, I screamed and then was gasping for breath. Some introduction!

But it doesn’t stop there. Those are just names—street names, neighbor names. Together, a nice package. But Justin starts telling me about his house, the house next door. They bought it last year and tore it down, building a new beautiful home in its place. They had to tear it down, since the previous owners had been original owners, never updating a thing for 60 years or so. They were a 90 year old couple who passed away in the house within one week of each other.

Screen-Shot-2013-06-30-at-8.11.28-AMToday is our 5 year anniversary. 5 years ago today, we were in Mexico, on the beach, sweating and smiling until our cheeks hurt with our families, listening to a little Mexican minister give an amazing sermon on love. Then we danced to our song, which has 3 verses. The third verse is our favorite. It goes like this:

Next door, there’s an old man who lived to his 90s and one day, passed away in his sleep.
His wife, she stayed for a couple of days and passed away.
I’m sorry I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong.

-The Luckiest, Ben Folds

Literal, right? The first time I heard this song, when it got to that verse, I teared up. I had never been moved by a song in that way. And now I have love like that, which is mine forever, and a story of our neighbors’ house to remind me of how lucky I am, every day, that W4 is mine, and that we live here, and that this is our story.

God is good. Amen. Happy anniversary, husband!

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