Perfect ending

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After a long day at my desk, Lucy and I spent some time outdoors as the end of another day neared. The cool air that greeted us this morning remained tonight as Lucy chased one of her tennis balls. She went absolutely nuts sprinting in every direction. I love when she goes nuts, it’s adorable to witness.

Tonight as we played outside my mind kept drifting to the house we will be moving into next month.  Lucy’s not going to know what to do when she has a full, grassy yard to play in,  instead of a driveway. The excitement is definitely building.

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I seriously don’t know what I would do without this little lifelong companion.

Now with Jason working two jobs, it’s nice having her here with me.

Jason started working at his second job Tuesday night, which means I barely see him anymore. He leaves before 5 a.m. to go to his first job, returning in the late afternoon, before leaving a few hours later to go to his second job.

I’m grateful he is doing this for us. Working nonstop. I can’t help but love a dedicated man like that. I hope he makes incredible tip money without completely wearing himself out in the process! He’s worked two jobs in the past, so I know once his body gets into the routine he will be okay. But, I worry about him, especially since his day starts so early.

Although I work three jobs, I have the luxury of stepping away from my desk when I need a break. I can go outside for 5, 10, 15 minutes without worrying about the clock. The benefit from working from home. I just hope this two job situation doesn’t have to last too long.

So, I’m trying to make the best of the time we spend a part because I know it’s for the greater good, our future.

Lucy created that perfect ending tonight. She got me laughing nonstop! I love how much an animal can lift your spirits. How much they can make you smile, laugh, and enjoy life a little more.

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Another beautiful Kingsport sunset!

Another chapter begins

Another chapter will soon begin for Jason and I in Kingsport. A new chapter that was unexpected, but very exciting nonetheless.

On Sept. 4, Jason and I headed to Bays Mountain for a morning hike outdoors on one of the many beautiful trails. On our drive back home Jason turned into a driveway, which I was not expecting at all. This cute little house had a “For Rent” sign in the front yard. Since we had Lucy with us, I stayed in the car, while Jason peeked through the windows and walked around back.

Ever since we moved to Kingsport last May, the houses on the way to Bays Mountain have always caught our attention. I think it’s the nicer part of town, for sure.

Before we left the house, I plugged the phone number that was written on the sign into my phone and we were on our way home. It never hurts to call, right? The lease on the place we are living in now is up in October, so timing was, well, perfect.

I decided to give the number a call and spoke with a nice older gentleman, Bobby, on the phone. My excitement grew as we were talking because it sounded doable. There were no restrictions regarding the number of animals we had, just a separate pet deposit for each one. A separate deposit that was cheaper than what we owed when we moved into the townhouse and we only had two animals at the time. The last time we were apartment hunting, it was hard to find a place that would accept cats. If they accepted cats they had to be de-clawed, which Jason and I don’t agree with at all.

When I told Bobby that we have two cats and a puppy, he didn’t skip a beat. He just asked how large the dog was.

The conversation continued on the positive side. The rent was not much more than we are spending now on a two bedroom townhouse. A two bedroom townhouse where we can hear our neighbors through the thin walls. Early in the morning when the world is still sleeping I can hear Jasper, our neighbors cat, digging around in the litter box on the other side of the wall while working in my office.

Privacy and having neighbors further away has been a part of our plans for quite some time now. We had a glimpse of that privacy when our good friends in Estero let us rent their house. We lived there for about six months before we moved back to Fort Myers.

Royal Poinciana Tree

Royal Poinciana Tree

The yard at that house was absolutely beautiful. Everywhere we looked there were gorgeous flowers and numerous royal poinciana trees.

So the following day, Jason, Lucy and I met Bobby at the house and had a look around. It’s a cute little two bedroom, one bathroom house with a decent kitchen and living room. The living room is larger than the one we have now, as well as the guest bedroom. There are also more windows in the house AND it’s one story.

Our last apartment before we left Fort Myers I miss from time to time because of all the windows. It was such a bright, sunny and happy apartment. I miss that natural sunlight. Our townhouse now often times feels like a dungeon because of the lack of natural light.

So, the house had all that going for it . . . but there is so much more.

We both instantly fell in love with the porches. There is a half porch out front, where I am already picturing rocking chairs, and a porch the length of the back of the house overlooking a gorgeous rather large yard. Yep, we were sold.

Ever since Lucy entered our lives, there has been a ton of discussion about having a backyard. I’ve always said I will not own a dog until I had a backyard. Well, with that said, Lucy was very unexpected. Although she is a very small dog, barely 9 pounds, she still deserves grass to play in and run around, space that she can call her own.

When we stood on the back porch and walked in the backyard, I was already picturing Lucy and I playing.

The porch, oh my gosh, the porch. When Jason and I left the house, the discussion had already begun of how much time we would be spending outdoors. There would be chairs, tables, a fire pit, you name it . . . Jason could also barbecue on the porch next to a table where we could eat. The best part is there are outlets on the banisters, so I can work outdoors!

10389088_850300231654723_2340627226820874762_nWe stood in the front yard and talked with Bobby for a while and let him know that we were really interested in the house and we would be in touch.

I was sold, Jason was sold, we had to make this happen.

So after crunching numbers, we decided we could afford the home. With the generosity of both of our parents, we got the ball rolling.

I have to be honest, it was a hard week while the planning, nonstop discussions, were had about moving into this home. We had some great conversations about staying where we are now compared to living in a home.

Jason, like always was my rock this past week. He knows how to calm my nerves.

He simply made it happen.

When he called me Thursday afternoon telling me we were meeting Bobby at the house, that we were going to give him a deposit, my heart sang. I think I asked him “really” a few times.

To make sure we could afford this new chapter in our lives, and to live a little more comfortably, Jason is taking on a second job waiting tables at The Texas Roadhouse. His orientation starts tomorrow. This is what I love about this man. He saw how much it meant to me, to be fair, it meant a lot to him as well, to move into a home that he is doing what he does best, providing for us.

A week later, Sept. 12, we met Bobby back at the house and put a deposit down after taking another walk through, meaning the “For Rent” sign came down, and this house is now ours to move into come Oct. 1.

I haven’t been this excited about moving into a new place in a rather long time.

The possibilities of how we can turn this house into a true “home” is what is making me excited. There are places in the backyard where I can start a garden. There is a tree in the backyard where I can hang a bird house. There are places where I can plant flowers.

Endless.

On Sept. 9, Jason and I celebrated five years of being together.

Photograph by Dorene Lowe Photography of Jason and I in 2013

Photograph by Dorene Lowe Photography of Jason and I in 2013

Although I can go on forever why those five years  have been among the best five years of my life, there is one thing that stands out the most.Jason will do anything and everything to make me smile. The best part, as a team, the sky is our limit. Whatever we put our minds to we find a way to make it happen.I am so excited to see what our future has in store for us.

I’m going to finish this post by pasting what I wrote on Facebook the day of our anniversary . . .

I never thought a friendship that started 18 years ago would turn into a relationship with a man who I would want to spend the rest of my life with. It’s hard to believe five years have already passed, five of the best years of my life. This photo is my all time favorite because it’s a symbol of our relationship. (a photograph of both our heads leaning back laughing uncontrollably) I love all the laughter we share, all the great memories we have created. I love you more than words can ever express. Here’s to another five years of wonderful memories . . .

 

Samson

100_0535Last night I watched a few movies of Samson, the family golden retriever, who unfortunately passed a few years ago. This incredible dog touched each and every one of us in a very special way.

With the images and memories lingering in my thoughts long after the little movies ended, I dreamt beautiful dreams of Samson on and off throughout the night. I have not had that vivid of dreams since he died, which left my heart full of joy when I finally woke.

Although I think of Samson from time to time, especially when I pass a golden retriever, the intimate memories, the ones that stop you in your thoughts, have not occurred for quite some time. It’s amazing what dreams can do, how they can pull you back into time. It’s incredible how those memories surfaced again while I was asleep, all because of a movie or two that I watched.

I still remember the day my Mom and Dad opened the front door and this adorable puppy poked his head through. That was, and still is, the best Christmas present ever. I, as well as my siblings, instantly fell in love.

100_1747With 12 years of having this incredibly intelligent dog in our lives, the memories are endless.

Samson had a few favorites – riding in the car, going to swim in the ocean at the beach and playing in his backyard. Whenever we took him to the beach, we grew tired way before he was ever ready to leave. As long as you had a tennis ball he was happy retrieving it in the water. Of course Samson became aware of the smells of the beach and everything else that went with the salt water. He knew when one of us was going to the beach and became instantly excited following us around the house, which made us feel bad when we left him at home.

I remember taking Samson for car rides to the gas station, bank or any other short ride, which left him as happy as can be. He never sat on the seat, but rather the floor board of the passenger seat with his nose sticking out of the window taking it all in.

100_2003He was definitely an outside dog. It was not until he was older when he finally enjoyed being outside by himself. The lizards that darted from here to there kept him busy. He was always jumping into Mom’s plants and bushes trying to capture the lizard.

Oh Samson was such a water dog, the summer time was the worst – those were the days when the rain would fall on a consistent basis leaving puddles in the yard. I can still see the look Samson gave before running for the water leaving you only yelling his name even more. He received so many baths during the summer.

Although these are all wonderful memories, the ones that will stay with me forever are the ones when I came home from college to visit. The way Samson would greet me as I was getting out of the car and unloading the trunck of the car made me feel loved beyond belief. As soon as he figured out it was me, the crying and whimpering were nonstop.

And to think these are only a few of the memories . . .

100_0632Dogs are such wonderful companions, they know when you are happy and sad and comfort you in any way they can.

It was such a sad day when this member of our family passed. I will never forget the text message I got from Mom telling all of her kids that Samson died. She could not call because she was crying and I could not respond because the tears were flowing so freely I could not see the keys on my phone. Samson was such a special dog, such an incredibly smart dog who will forever be missed.

I am so glad my dreams were filled with so many wonderful memories of this beautiful dog last night.

Samson you will forever be thought of and missed.