a springy home that’s a sight to see

Time flies when you’re having fun.

And sometimes when you’re just sitting at your laptop in a friend’s house.

Or simply an altogether different environment from the usual or familiar.

Seems like yesterday when I arrived at Bill’s place here in southern California, stumbling in late, fried and frazzled from a 3-hour logjam in the desert followed by California’s evening commute.

A mere 38 hours ago it was.

Since, and through this visit, I’ve been uncharacteristically disinclined to get in the car and go anywhere.

I’m happy simply being at their dining room table (since they got rid of their kitchen table) with my laptop while their lives go on around me.

Bill going to work, Bill returning from work.
Bill and Carleen culling dinner from an array of leftovers.
Bill and Carleen talking about their day, dropping names, planning activities.
Carleen going with her son (19) to the passport office and then lunch.
Carleen running errands. Going to yoga class. Returning from yoga class.
Their youngest son coming in, hugging both parents, chatting, then turning around and leaving.
Rat terriers Max and Bonnie playing ruff rough ‘n’ tumble, mouthing and chasing each other through the house.

With two college-age sons and their buddies, their own friends, two lively dogs, there’s rarely a dull moment. Or enduring quiet one. In fact, I’ve suggested he put wooden lettering across the front of his house reading Bill’s Community Place.

I love my old college friend and I love being here for these very reasons. A lively, engaged and highly-interactive family dynamic is wholly foreign and unfamiliar. (as a comparison, mine’s best described as isolating, dark, warfare environment.)

I learn simply by being here and I leave enriched by the experience. By observing, I learn about a different way of interacting within the family, one friendly and invested in one another’s well-being. One of communication where people listen to one another and invite others’ opinions, thoughts and viewpoints. One where the kids willingly share about their lives and too the parents.

One of laughter, levity and affectionate teasings. There’s affection and concerns for one another’s health and life choices. There’s actual hugging that happens! Whoa!!

In simplest terms, it’s family where the left hand knows what the right hand’s doing.

By no means do I mean to paint a picture that it’s the Beaver Cleaver household free of conflicts and issues! They have theirs like we all do. They “simply” navigate them quite differently than both my family did and I do. Less embedded in controls, rage and toxicities, more flawy and expressive — so it seems to this outsider.

Delightful’s a good word to summarize my visits.

Whatever the scene at the time, I’m delighted to be in their home, exposed to and learning from that wholly different dynamic. Delighted that amid busy schedules we’re able to carve out a few days for friendship and fellowship.

Delighted to be in a home so lively, a home where even in the quiet moments, something’s about to spring forth again soon. It’s a springy {poing! poing! poing!} home.

Tomorrow a visit all too quick to pass comes to a close. No extended chatty goodbyes alongside the car this time, he’ll be at work by the time I hit the trail back to Arizona. Though too short, a visit at Bill’s is the pause that refreshes. Who’d a-thunk that all this lively activity and continual comings-and-goings could invigorate rather than drain?!!

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