I just finished cleaning up tonight's dinner and am sitting here quietly in my living room with a glass of wine (ok, my second glass of wine), listening to the dishwasher hum.
Squirt is in bed with his binky and bear, because he just couldn't make it another minute.
Hubby has Hunter, Sauce, and Rufus playing four holes of evening golf on the municipal golf course that runs through our neighborhood.
I have been thinking for the last little while about the literal meaning of loving thy neighbor. I know that Jesus meant so much more when it came from his mouth, but we have a neighbor that we simply love.
And it is a very unlikely match.
We have virtually nothing in common except our address.
She has no fear of conflict (very unlike me) and one would be best served by never getting on her "you know what" list. Because she says what is on her mind and really means what she says. So watch out.
But I really love her.
When we moved into this house, we bought it from a very elderly couple who built this house 30 years ago as empty nesters. They kept to themselves and weren't social with the neighbors.
Then the woman surrounded by men moves in.
Miss Roots didn't even attempt to meet us for the first six months that we lived here. She came and went, 20 feet from our garage and didn't even wave.
Then, early one snowy morning, Hubby was out snowblowing the driveway in his winter coat boots and pajama bottoms, and Miss Roots is out there doing the same thing to her driveway in the same outfit.
"Allright," she said gruffly, "You can stay."
From that point on, we were o.k. in her book.
Maybe it was the fact that we clear our own driveway like she does rather than hiring a service. Maybe it was the pajama bottoms, or maybe she had decided that our boys wouldn't be as much as a pain as she thought they would be.
Miss Roots occasionally comes over for a cold beer at the end of the day. She beckons my hubby for help when she can't carry something heavy or needs help starting her lawnmower or snowblower.
Often at dinnertime in the summer, she walks through our sliding glass door in our kitchen, sits down at the breakfast bar and just chats with me while I make dinner.
She loves to make fun of my white trash meals that I often call dinner. But, many moons ago, she was a professional chef, so I don't feel my normal insecurity, because I know of her talents.
And, well, my men must eat something.
Then occasionally, when she doesn't have a better offer, she accepts my invitation to stay for dinner. Like she did tonight.
There are SO many people in my life that I struggle to really love. How many sermons have I heard about clothing ourselves with the love of Christ to love the ones that are hard to love? Many.
I feel like I have been given a gift because there is no reason why love should come so easily.
But it does. And I'm grateful for my neighbor.