After our divorce my co-parent and I decided to nest our children. We maintained a house that our kids lived in full-time and we, the parents, moved in and out. The situation provided great stability for the kids but requires each parent to have a separate place to go. In addition to the moving back and forth, this gets tricky. When I was not with my children I was with a significant other. But in January, 2012 that relationship ended. At that time an apartment seemed like a waste of money as I only needed something part-time. So what did I decide to do? I spent fourteen months wandering a bit. Never lost, always had direction and purpose, but no permanence.The 14 months brought friends and people into my life who have enriched it in ways I never thought possible, the journey was nothing short of phenomenal. Here is what happened...
First, there was safe haven I found at the home of a dear friend in Suffern, NY. In fact, she was put on alert weeks before as the relationship spiraled so the call was just a formality. My space in her home was ready. It was a bit of a distance for me to travel but worth each mile I drove. I was welcomed with my own space, endless laughter, and the connection of a friend who has known me for so long she is family. The key to her home gave me entrance to a retreat, and one that I used often. In a way it was a place to hide, for me to write and dream a bit. I worked on my dissertation at the nearby library and wrote my business plan at her kitchen table over a weekend she was not home. I did not suffer in Suffern, this butterfly dried her wings. In fact, the butterfly tea cup she gave me when I moved in remains in her cabinet for my visits.
While the New York retreat was a gem, I also wanted space closer to my children. So, I found my way to a friend who was my divorce welcome wagon years ago. Since she herself was divorced I knew her children would understand and not think my current situation was all that weird. We committed to communal living without judgement. In her home I found a place to rest my head and also my heart with three amazing people who became my family. I now consider her my sister and her two boys my nephews.
A few months into this time I found a new special someone. Not rushing into the relationship I wanted more local time and while my situation had my heart singing it was time for me to start thinking of another option. One afternoon I found myself helping friends pack-up their home as they had just announced they were moving to Kansas. They needed someone to watch over the house until it sold. Ureka. So, the third key is to their five bedroom colonial in town. This one included a hot tub - what a bonus. While I came to this arrangement through the feminine I am now honored to call both members of this couple dear friends.
And now, I find myself in my own home. While none of the above mentioned parties have asked for their keys back, I am not offering. Just because my nomadic days are over doesn't mean I won’t be stopping by to spend the night every now and again. Also, to me, each key is a reminder of an amazing time in my life, the unconditional support I have found, and the friends I now call family. They are symbols of security and friendship; of my ability to ask for and put support in my life.
If you are astute, you are asking yourself why this title speaks of four keys. Well, the fourth is a key to my co-parent's new digs. We are good friends and know there will be times when one of our children need to pick-up or drop-off something at the other's home. Oh, and the fifth key in the picture...it recently had a trial run on my keychain but was attached to a small Eagles keychain - I think my other cooler New York keys bullied it and it didn't really fit in...just....yet. We will find a way to integrate it into the set when it is time. Sort of like how my kids are going to meet his...whhh...huuuttt? More later dear readers.