From a Four-year-old Photojournalist
Vernon Sings

“Home is the nicest word there is.” —Laura Ingalls Wilder

I have been so busy tying up loose ends (and trying to untie some knots) before the end of the year that I nearly forgot to mention our good news.  We found a house to rent…starting mid-January.  Plenty of time to enjoy the piece of mind before getting everything packed and moved. That had been my biggest worry. Moving out and into places is no big deal. Vernon and I are pros at that. Its the period of unknown between two homes that is hard. So my biggest prayer in looking for a home (beside the wish list of specs) was “Please let us find something soon. Of course I know something will come up…it always does. But this time, I REALLY don’t think I can handle the stress of waiting till the last minute.”

This new place is a ground-level, single-story home (no steps!) which will allow wheelchair access.  Our town is pretty much a series of hills, so many of the houses in our price range are built up above garages or car-parks, and I’ve noticed most of the ground-level homes still have steps leading up to the front door.  It is small, but we’ve lived in Europe…we can do cozy.  Who cares, as long as it has  three bedrooms, which it does.  And though this item fell off my wish-list a long time ago: it has a little shed in the back, which could easily be an art studio!

backyard

Also…it’s blue! I always thought it would be great to live in a brightly colored house.

As if things couldn’t be better, our good friends Jeff and Cathy will be our landlords.  Jeff is the mastermind behind the recent craft-market fundraiser, and it was only that very weekend that he got notice that the current renters would be moving out.  Oh glorious timing!

He also told me that the original owners, the people he bought the house from a few years back, were in wheelchairs themselves.  How’s that for a fun fact?

Now, all this talk about home brings me to Vernon, who has been bringing up talk of “going home” every single time I see him for the last couple of weeks.  Visiting is becoming a little more difficult for me, as I don’t know how many ways to tell him he can’t come with us. Today he was so annoyed and hurt at me for not taking him with us that he shrugged off my hug and said he didn’t love me.  Poor guy.  It must be hard staying there all the time, but I think its a good sign that he is becoming aware that it’s NOT his home, its NOT where he belongs.

Today he told me to call his parents. “They’ll pick me up, just ask them!”

Sometimes I tell him he needs to learn to walk before he can come home, sometimes I tell him we have to move house first. Today, he asked how long it would be before we moved.  “About a month,” I said.

“A month! That’s FOUR weeks! You can’t leave me in the hospital for four weeks!”

“Vernon, you haven’t been home for thirty weeks…”

Of course, that make him think I’m lying to him…another reason to get frustrated with me.

Here is Vernon trying to express how he feels about HOME.

He also sometimes explains how he feels ‘lost’ when we aren’t there.  So to those friends who have been meaning to visit, but haven’t known when was the right time…I’d say it is the right time now.

I’m going to end this post with my favorite rendition of a wonderful song….about HOME.

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From a Four-year-old Photojournalist
Vernon Sings