Two years ago Dan and I undertook a huge project to build a deck. In my head it looked simple enough, big enough for a patio set and perfect for a BBQ. The ground up here is hard. I don't just mean grab a couple of guys and get some shovels. I mean, rent a jackhammer and spend all day trying to jackhammer through the rocks to create a hole big enough to cement in posts. As Boise summers seem to be in recent years, the weather went from tolerable to HOT overnight, so as soon as we had the wood, it was in the upper 90s to low 100s. And yet we still stained (it was that or warped wood). Our neighbor, Donna, was fantastic (as she always is) and helped us stain. We got flood lights and worked in the early morning and late at night to avoid some of the heat. And it took us over a month to build. It was 750 square feet. It wasn't perfect, but there was beauty in the imperfections. It was our first home, and it was a reminder of this first major project we had undertaken together.
Last year we had a party the first of June to announce to our family and friends that we would be having a boy (we had found out a few weeks earlier). The deck was perfect (it was large enough for a hoe down to be honest). I had envisioned many parties out there, including Kellen's first birthday.
While I love our backyard now, I miss our deck. I miss walking out onto it and thinking about the work we put into it. I had thought often about Kellen playing on it, crawling on it, walking on it. And yet it is something he will never know.
This is the hardest part about the first year. Every season brings a new memory and new sense of loss for that time of the year. It's hard to believe that we are entering summer again, fire season. It's hard to believe it's almost been a year. We're home. And yet our home is a different home. In some ways it is easier that way. And in others, it magnifies the loss. I miss our deck.