I stop by the house three or four times a week--I water the plants, I pick tomatoes, I get the mail, I check on the progress of the floor/ framing/ etc. The kids come with me and get stuff from their rooms or they sit in the car and do homework or they hop around in the front yard, peering up and down the street for signs of their friends. I do this a little bit, too. Then I sigh wistfully and think how this was such a great neighborhood when we used to live here.
Then I remember: oh yeah, I still DO live here. Sort of.
After only a week and a half at my MIL's I feel like we've moved out. The house is so gritty and beat down that it is not at all a pleasant place to be (and oh, the yard, it is in a dreadful shape, white and baked and dry). But I miss being able to walk to the library and the store. I miss being five minutes from the kids' school. I miss my running routes. I miss talking to all the neighbors, even the ones who irk me just a little bit.
The house is progressing. The hall and bedrooms have black tarpaper down (I guess this is what they put between the subfloor and the floorboards.) The laundry room has hardiback subfloor, ready for tile. The front room is promisingly filled with bright new yellow lumber. Progress is on the horizon.
But meanwhile I wake every morning in a tidy white duplex on a golf course, go for a run beneath the stars, wave at the active 55s-and-over who wave back ever so slightly accusingly (aren't you and your children what we moved here to get AWAY from? uh, probably so.) I walk Costi on the lush green lawns and when I scoop her poop into the bags, as often as not a little crinkly crabapple leaf sneaks in too. It's starting to be fall, and I long to be home.