I don't have any pictures today. None of my own, anyway. This morning during Jane's first nap I visited SouleMama, as I do most mornings. Today's post really stimulated me. Go forth and enjoy.
I LOVE the fall, and I love to turn inward and feather the nest. It's been a while since I've really been able to do that with pleasure. In many senses, feathering the nest for Jane was not so pleasurable. Worry and a deadline were involved. Probably the worst part of it was that many things I would regularly have done, I couldn't do. (That was the greatest difficulty of my pregnancy--the inability to do certain things I had taken for granted. Oh, and the three months of agonizing nausea.) Matt had to do them, poor soul, and he doesn't enjoy that sort of thing. But I love annoying home repairs, rearranging furniture, etc. We all have "chores" we relish. Don't we? I love to fold laundry (an acquired taste), and I like ironing things without sleeves or legs (like pillowcases--everyone needs ironed pillowcases, right?). Sometimes I really love washing dishes by hand. I love in Miracle of Mindfulness where Thich Nhat Hanh talks about drawing the line at dishwashers. To him they are so clearly beyond the pale. It's charming. It reminds me that I don't enjoy these "chores" if I rush through. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, there are two ways to wash the dishes. I so deeply enjoy the moments I am mindful in the home way.
This is a good thing to keep in mind, because for all that it has, our new home does not have a dishwasher. What it does have is pretty much everything else I wished for in my Northwest fantasies.
It is an old home on an acre, slowly and tenderly repaired and improved by its owners. I knew they were kindred spirits at once. I knew by the way the landlady laid her hands on the white enameled stove, the way the landlord's hands swooped about the property as he named every native tree and shrub present, delivering a report on its origins. They are botanists, and they have brought homeless plants to live at the house through the years. There are several madrone trees transplanted from Waldron Island, where they fell in love (the people, not the trees....well, maybe). There are two quivering aspens toward Scatter Creek, which is at the back of the property. There is a mound of prairie dug up of a piece and rescued from a Dairy Queen construction site. In the overgrown fenced garden, a nameless apple tree, an Italian plum, raspberries. A stand of filberts on the other side of the house. By the porch steps, a weedy bunch of native sage.
Inside, there are some wood floors. I can't remember what kind of wood--the real salmony sort. Blue formica countertops (somehow, just right) and hand-oiled wood cabinets. An enormous butcher block island bought at a junk shop in town. Vermont Castings wood stove (and two cords under a tarp by the shed, waiting for us to come and stack it). There is an office off the kitchen with a washer and drier, to be my space. I think from now on, I'll call it The Studio. Off that space, there is a bathroom with a tub. Through the kitchen in the other direction is the living room, with stove. This floor is bright and airy. Through the vestibule, past the front door (naturally, I started from the back door) and up some narrow painted stairs is a small hallway. The four bedrooms have been opened into two very large rooms. Someone has made a rather unfortunate attempt at faux finishing the floors. But that didn't deter me--au contraire! I have permission and funding to repaint them. Ra! Left is the largest room, with a vent from the living room. It will be the nursery--a proper nursery with room to dream and ample space to play unfettered by untouchable things. Right is the smaller bedroom, with a large nook that will be Matt's office. Also, the view to the creek (as seen in the previous post). Straight ahead is a bathroom with a large shower and a high-placed shower head ("We thought, 'We're doing this for us. Let's make it high!'"). There is also a small window on the landing, placed about floor height. I love that.
And all of this is ours. We hadn't anticipated moving anytime soon. We planned on squatting with my parents, hoarding some money, and luxuriating in extended family time. But I saw this posted while browsing. It lingered in my mind, and a week or so later I looked again. I emailed, asked a lot of questions, and arranged to see it in Olympia, expecting it would come to nothing. But part of me knew--Kismet! Mektoub. As Jane says in Jane of Lantern Hill, sometimes you know a place is yours the moment you see it. And I knew.
Of course, I can't omit that there was a lot of internal conflict, and marital dialog, and misgivings, and anxiety, and we nearly didn't take it. And there were lots of bothersome details in the process. But it's ours now. The lease and check are sent. So stay tuned for more of:
Coming this October....