Honestly, I don’t expect anyone to read this.  It is about the weekly two-hour journey from my weekday home (“Here”) to my weekend home which I have nicknamed “There” and back again.  The trip takes me through horse country, rural South Jersey, the Pine Barrens and other places I have grown quite attached to. 

Here’s the back story.  In April 2006, my husband and I finally bought the second home that I had been praying for.  It took nearly 10 years to convince him but he finally understood that it would be a good investment, someplace to relax and a way to make me very happy.  About six months after we closed, the housing market crashed,  just the way it did six months after we purchased our first home.  Because we plan to keep the second home for a while, the market doesn’t matter. 

There is a townhouse, about 1500 square feet with 2 master bedrooms each with their own bathroom.  Downstairs is a small eat in kitchen and a living/dining room combination.  The sliding doors take up the whole back wall and outside is a 10 x 15 ft. cement patio, and then about 20 feet of grass and then a pair of paver patios built at the edge of the woods.  On one is a wooden park bench.   The pale mint greens and soft blues were lovingly chosen for a bright calmness.  Downstairs the artwork is all woods and trees, save for my little niche of paintings.  Upstairs is dedicated to the sea, with lighthouses, shells, photographs and paintings of crashing waves and serene beaches.

My flowers and gardens, the patios, the squirrels, the birds, the trees have been my salvation and sanity.  I sit on the bench, tilt my head back, listen to the wind chimes and watch the trees sway.  I am at peace. 

Twenty minutes from There is the Atlantic Ocean and Atlantic City.  I watch the ocean waves and the people on the boardwalk and the children  in the sand and I feel healthy, strong and whole.

My husband, R, enjoys being There, but not as much as I do.  For him it’s a place and not a dream.  My best friend, W, probably loves There as much as I do and it was he who put his blood and sweat into so many of the improvements we made.  W and I built the paver patios.  We moved about a ton of paver stones, bags of top soil, bags of pebbles, lumber and sand.  We built the patios in a weekend.  It was probably the most difficult thing I ever did physically.   Every year W and I go on Easter weekend for the spring planting.  I plan for weeks what we are going to buy and what plants we are going to replace. 

W is going to retire at least part-time at the end of the year.  I am hoping he spends more time There, with or without me.