I come home from work and find my neighbor wielding a rake and a hoe, taking care of her lawn. She asks me how my car is running, since her husband did some work on it, and I tell her it's doing fine. We talk awhile, then I go inside, change my clothes and start picking up my own lawn, removing dead branches that have until now been covered with snow, remnants of this long, punishing winter.
Back inside, I head immediately for the basement. With all the snow finally melting, and several days of rain, water is seeping into my basement. I deploy my large, formidable wetvac, sucking up what I can, and sweeping the rest to the drain. The water will be a constant for the next few days, given the forecast and the shape my basement is in. That's fine; I'll take care of it.
A quick meal, some time wasted on the computer, then I decide to wrap up this lazy evening by watching a movie. But before hitting Play, I wait for a minute, turning the volume down on the TV. Traffic is heavy on my busy street, and the pavement is wet, and I love hearing the SWUSH SWUSH SWUSH of the tires. There's something about it I find inexplicably relaxing, and somehow it gives me a measure of comfort.
Then again, I'm finding comfort in the strangest places lately. However cruel this winter has been, it has been consistently reassuring to come back to this battered old house, greet my cat, check my mail, enact familiar rituals, much like I've doing right now. Maybe this will all grow tiresome, but for now, I am content. This doesn't feel like a routine, it feels warm and cozy, something I've wanted but never had before.
It feels like home.