Tuesday, January 25, 2011

our hands are full of dirt

This is a face I'm holding onto our dreams for.

I like less. I like reused. I like old or re-purposed. I like things to be nice, but I just happen to have making-do in my genes. I've decided I'm totally sure of it.
For instance, the house I am selling. (fragment, consider revising) It is this big beautiful home
with four bedrooms, a bonus room, a kitchen nook, a long grand dining room, a giant laundry room, an even bigger pantry, 3 bathrooms, an open-air master bath shower, a room for a sauna,
a walk-in closet that may have been bigger than any bedroom I had as a child (exaggeration, consider revising), knotty pine trim (gag me with a spoon, consider revising) and
...um...something like cherry or maple honey-colored sleek looking cabinetry in the kitchen. Oh yeah, a wrap around porch and natural siding. Yup, totally beautiful and wonderful. I recognize this. I just haven't ever wanted this. That seems ungrateful, I'm totally aware, and if you knew me well enough, you'd know that if you needed a home and you asked me, YES, you can stay here, too.
I am pretty sure I was just too young and naive about the "finer" things in life, and I truly wanted whatever my beautiful husband wanted, and if he wanted this home, then I'd be happy and make it my home, too. I've tried. For, what, 12 years? Jesus. How long have we lived here? Yup, something like that.
So, for, let's say, 12 years, I've literally scraped up the ground and moved it, I've pushed and prodded at the floors, the walls, and the colors. I've threatened, more than once, to take sledge-hammers to the stupid dark blue and white tile in the stupid frickin' "master suite". I've refused to allow the "sauna" to actually be made into a "sauna" - I stored camping gear in there instead. I've put up a chicken coop and made a raccoon-proof hillbilly chicken run (which I am SO proud of cause I did it all myself :). I've tried to make one of the bathrooms off limits (it is so stupid to have three toilets to clean), and I went through a seriously MESSY CLUTTER phase where I think I had finally decided to just cover up the "beautiful house" with all my inside
feelings...which wasn't pretty.
I finally came to some kind of agreement with the house when I had a day where it occurred to me that I wasn't going to move forward from this house because I was NOT LOVING WHAT IS. Truly. I just needed to stop the spin-cycle of "I hate this big stupid useless dining room!" and thinks like that (yes, I said "thinks") and just say, "Oh my goodness. thank you for this home
that has kept us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Thank you for the opportunity to live in the quiet and the wonderful spiritual walks I've taken in the woods. Thank you for the big yard for my kids to play in. Thank you for the opportunity to learn to love something that I didn't want." I had to learn gratitude before I could move on. It has been an honest love,
I promise you that. I'll miss this big stupid house when I go, because we've learned to love each other in the best ways that we could. Being grateful covers a lot of unpolished ground.

Here is the second part of my thought...

I grew up on a farm...the better part of my life was spent in the open arms of the sky from east to west and back and again. I've lain in an open field with the wind whipping my hair, holding
onto a kite and feeling as though I could actually fall in love with earth and air all at once and go sinking into it. I understood why Sarah Plain and Tall and Skylark talked about keeping dirt from your land, and about writing your name in it. A farm is such hard work, and so satisfying that it becomes you. When you love it, it never leaves you. It is like a true and abiding love that won't ever stop whispering to you, "Remember your name is written in the dirt."
No matter where I've gone, my parent's farm has been home. I've still caught myself saying, "We could go home for the weekend." And without a bat of an eyelash my husband knew I was
talking about the farm. Or I've asked my brother, "You gonna come home for the weekend?" He has lived for years in the Gorge with his beautiful wife and baby. He knows what I mean. It is in our bones, in our blood. We loved it, we loved to hate it, we worked on it, it became ours, and we want one for ourselves now. That's it. That's the end.
When I make a list of what I want, it includes the sunrise and sunset (the SKY), land (dirt to write my name in), irrigation sprinklers (chink chink chinking all summer long), laundry snapping in the sun, chickens chook-chooking in my yard, herbs by my kitchen door that I can really cook with, beautiful fragrant flowers and useful plants, goats to bleat at me for pets and treats, kitties who catch mice in my old barn and rub on my legs while I change my own stretch of hand-line, family who come to my home and feel at home there, too.
I'm just not a fancy person. I get nervous when things are too fancy. I'm pretty sure a booger'd be hanging out my nose every time I had to visit a fancy house, or I'd walk into someone's white carpeted home with poop on my shoes. It makes me more nervous than a cat in a room full of rockers (cliche', consider revising).

I'm pretty sure this is a product of being the descendant of, on one side, people who left their own country to come to America (ballsy, courageous, no-nonsense) and, I'm certain, hill-billies. It all comes down to this: use it up, wear it out, make-do or do without. I'm more comfortable re-making a sheet into window coverings than I am in buying something new and fancy. Not to say I don't have new things, but in my living room right now, I can count four new things.
I see 12 things that were handed down, or re-made, or bought second-hand...which things do you think I love more? Yup...

Let's get to my DREAM HOME (remember what I wrote about this house we live in now? okay).Our Dream home is less than half the size of this one. There is ONE bedroom for each of us (and my children have expressed SERIOUS desire to share a bedroom for now!! sweeet), one bathroom, normal sized closets (one in each bedroom), one place to eat, one living room and one normal-sized laundry room. *sigh of relief* All of this is housed in a home that "they" say was originally built in 1901, but after all the history I've done on this place, I'm sure there was a dwelling here in the late 1800s. The bones of the house tell me so, too. The central peak shouts homestead. This home has a story, and I can't wait for it to whisper to me.
There are 10 farm acres on it, with the old barn, the chicken coop and other old shoppy-barny thing. There is a SKY and DIRT and I already see the future ghost-shapes of my shiny black Australorp chickens scratching there...
It is not anything like the house we are leaving.

Our dreams are in our hands, and our hands are full of warm earth.
This is the other face I am holding onto our dreams for.

I want to give that richness of spirit to these two bright and shiny souls my husband and I have brought into this world. It is the best I know.
I am going to give it to them.


Jacqueline said...

Oh you are so clear Katiebird!
The Universe can't help but hear you.
I can't wait to read about you getting home.

A Fine Farmhouse said...

You are so awesome.... I totally understand you, and I hope and pray that you get everything you wish for. I truly love the way you write. So honest, true, and simply Katie ! You're an inspiration.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

HELLO!! Another one of your posts that I can totally relate too. Our first house just wasn't me. And the house we live in now isn't exactly what I'd dreamed of, in fact when I first saw it, I hated it. However the property and location was perfect. I used to tell everyone that the house and I learned to get along. But in looking back at it, I think I was feeling a house that had been empty for nearly 3 years--There just no life...Now it's full of it and I wouldn't trade the house for anything! :-)