For Delton’s first birthday, Aleisha and I put together an iPhoto book titled Going to Market. I wrote this in the intro:
Our house at 534 North Mary Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is not our ideal home. Noisy neighbors, peeling paint, creaky floors and lack of parking make us pine for something better, something rural.
Despite the drawbacks, city life does have its charms; chief among them is living within walking distance of work, school, shops and restaurants. This book depicts the mile-or-so stroll from our neighborhood in the northwest quadrant of the city to Lancaster’s historic Central Market, smack dab in the center of downtown.
More often than not, we drive to market before work on Tuesdays, scurrying to find a parking spot and rushing to pick up our usual items. However, when we don’t have to be at work and the weather is nice, we find joy in walking this small journey, exploring the city and market stands at a leisurely pace and watching you discover the world beyond our front door.
We initially bought this place because it was affordable and close to work. I don’t think either of us intended to fall in love with it, and I’m not sure that either of us did. But, for seven years, this home gave us more than shelter. Within its walls, our dreams of creating a family came true—arriving first on four legs, with a cat we brought home on the Fourth of July, 2002.
Tonight, as I tucked Delton into his mattress on the floor, I said a prayer thanking God for our good memories in this home and asked for His blessing on the next family to move in. This past week Delton has been excited about the move, but my short prayer must have made him realize that this was it, and he began to cry. “Please, can’t we stay a few more days,” he sobbed.
I quickly changed the subject, reminding him of all the good things about our new home, including the neighbors’ children we met briefly yesterday after dropping off the truck.
He calmed down, but then I realized that I too had tears in my eyes. This would be the last time I would squeeze myself next to him in his toddler-size bed, beneath the child-like drawings of cars and trucks in the wallpaper border of these four blue walls.
No more loudly rattling door knobs to alert us that Delton has gotten out of bed. No more squeaking floor beneath us as we rock with Julia in the room that our family and friends helped to make a cozy nursery.
We leave here excited and hopeful that our next house—and the world beyond its front door—will contain as many good memories as our first.