Wednesday, March 15, 2017


It's amazing how much your dreams for the future can change in a year, five years, ten years.... I distinctly recall in high school wanting to live in a giant Victorian monster of a house filled with antique furniture and secret passages. Shortly after Alaina was born the dream morphed into a country farmhouse with a huge backyard and a small barn for chickens and goats. Not so long ago I watched the "tiny house" movement spread across the country and salivated over the clean lines, wood interiors and lack of clutter.

I've been in three houses in my life that I could easily have just melted into and stayed forever - one was a country farmhouse, one was a lofted log cabin on a river, and the third was an artist's hideaway surrounded by trees and chock full of fascinating bits and pieces both natural and handmade. The architecture of each was interesting in its own way, but it was the sense of presence that the owners put into it that made them so intensely homey. From the moment you stepped across the threshold in each place you could feel that these spaces were occupied by people who were fully living, centered and content in a way I can only hope to achieve. The building and decorations weren't there to be flashy or make a statement - they were a naturally occurring extension of these folks' inner selves. (Funny thing...I didn't notice it before, but they were all artists and musicians. Coincidence?)

We're now ensconced in (to my mind) a delightful old fixer-upper: a 100+ year old Craftsman with room and to spare for our little family. It's a work in progress, certainly, but I hope to be here long enough to find some contentment in the idea of "home".  Over the life of this blog (has it really been kicking around this many years?) I've lived in at least 10 different spots, so an average of maybe a year and change in any residence. Not enough time to settle in and put out roots, certainly. There's nothing wrong with wandering, if that is where your heart happens to lie, but I'm finally at a point where I'd like to stop running and actually connect with a place. I'd like my girls and their friends to dash in and out the door, feel comfortable popping into the kitchen for snacks and drinks, have the perfect spot in their rooms for looking out the window and dreaming. I want people to feel as welcome and comfortable when they walk in our door as I did when I visited my musician friends; as though they had been here forever and are welcome to come and go as they please, because it feels like home.

I know that the "home" feeling has very little to do with whether I've finished painting the walls or if there's just the right curtains in the window. It's really about whether, deep down, I've finally given myself permission to fall in love with a spot; to let go of the fear that something is going to jump up and take it away, and then proceed to just be. I want to go ahead and hang ridiculous pictures above my desk because I like them, and not worry about what other people think or whether or not they 'go with the room'. I want to fill the place with the smells of baking bread and incense and clean laundry, and wave at the neighbors when they pass by outside instead of ducking out of sight and worrying that they'll find me odd for using the antique reel mower instead of the perfectly serviceable gas one. (It's good exercise, and a lower carbon footprint!) I want to be excited when people drop in unexpectedly, and drop everything to have tea and scones and conversation, instead of panicking because there are toys on the floor and the vacuum hasn't been run.

I think, for a little while, I'd like to let go of all the expectations I've taken on from others, and just. be. me. In my home. 

1 comment:

Scienceandart said...

Having just bought our first house,.... we're slowly forming the carapace of it. The smoothness that makes it slide on when you walk in the door. I'm just getting the feeling that I won't actually have to move in a year or so.