Here I am at 11 o'clock at night, when I usually would be just rarin' to go, and truly, since we've moved here, this is waaaaaayyy past my bedtime. I'm so tired at 7pm, I barely hang on until 8:30. We've been pouring our days into school, and our evenings into our kids and our home. It is good work, but it is the most tiring work I think I've probably ever done. I've never had to completely tear out and re-do an entire house before.
Our home is being lovingly taken care of.
We have had to put a special primer on each and every wall (and nook and cranny) in this home, because the previous owners smoked in here for 20 some years, and let me tell you...that was not a pretty thing. But the bones are good, so the paint (in Swiss Coffee and Sandstone Cove) are covering a multitude of mishaps.
I've often wondered about that saying, "well, it's got good bones, so it'll fix up." I really know what it means now. This home has been a real home. It was built in the 40s or 50s, and has been lived in ever since. I've thought about the floors under the carpets. I've thought about the original bathtub. I've thought about my barn. I've thought about the chicken coop. I've been thinking so much about the kitchen, and the front room (IS there a real open-hearth behind all this earthstove bricking?). I've thought about the giant lilacs in the side-yard and the lovingly placed rocks here and there.
I've found out that there was an original farmhouse built sometime in the 20s, and that the flat lava rocks near my front door was the original hearth of the home. Each bit tells me that this place has good bones.
I'm so IN THE MOMENT these days, that I can't seem to capture them in words before they flit away like our little mourning dove...early when the sun is still a watery peach, she is on her front stoop looking over the land for something wonderful to fill her cold little tummy. I've seen her sitting on her nest of eggs one moment (still as a statue, unblinking) and the next with little brown speckled chicks under her wings the next (they are still as statues, too, unblinking), and I got to wondering - what a wonderful big nest, I will have to find out if she uses it year after year and only gives it a nice downy covering each season because it has "nice bones".
I've been wondering about the old man who passed away in our home. When I wandered around the place before it was ours, I felt his presence so strongly that I took a step back from his wood shop when I opened the door, feeling that I'd barged into a room that was occupied by someone un-expecting of company. I felt his presence when I went to the moving sale the weekend that our wonderful old lady was hosting - he wasn't happy with the prices, or the change. The first moment we had the home to ourselves, I wandered here and there in the place saying, "Hello Sir, I'm Katie. We own this home now. You've done a wonderful job, and now it is ours. Your things are not here anymore. I know it might be upsetting, but this is our house and you really can't hang around. Please know that we'll make this place a home, just as you have done. Thank you!" I am sure he left, because I can wander the strangeness of the night through my new home without a backward glance. I am not afraid of the darkness here. The sky is so open and possible and forgiving, there is no need to fear.
There is such a sense of purpose and enjoyed responsibility here that I will try, someday, to put into more eloquence for you. But it really comes down to trotting home with key in hand, ready and excited to open my front door and get the kids to feed the kitties and check the chickens, turn on the sprinklers and set down my things. Check the new roses and creeping thyme and see if the wasps are still building. I take a moment to admire my beautiful kitchen and wonder what to start on next. I love taking a shower in the hard, hot water at the end of the day. I love how voices are strange around corners here, echoing down the long hallway making me joyfully confused about where the children are...some voices are no ones at all and that makes me wonder as well, but not afraid. I am no longer afraid of things I don't understand, or that I can not make sense of right away. Who WOULDN'T want to come back to this piece of land? I'm sure I'll haunt it someday, too...just to visit.
Tonight the sky is dark with clouds full of night time rain. Our farm kitties have found some building or another to curl up in (oh joy and happiness for them) until the sun rises and they run to the back glass door asking to just come in for a moment to "only smell" the sausage. They are all kissed and petted and thrown back out, and in moments one or another of them has a mousie for brekky...good kitties.
My chickens aren't exactly happy yet, they skit and skatter at even a spark of noise, but I think it might be because they are moulting, and that is never pleasant for them. They stick together all the time, and do not go scratching as much as I'd like. There are no eggs yet...sigh...I do not like to break down and buy the thin white store eggs with the annoyingly bland colored yolks.
I love the little surprises I find, like the grape hyacinth hidden under a very thorny flowering bush, a bent and rusted hay fork, the newspaper page from 1971 in the floorboards, the climbing rose on the side of the house and the really thorough way the dishwasher works.
I'm not sure what energy I used to finally sit down and write something, and though I know it seems random, my mind is so full of these mundane earthly things right now that I needed to deposit them somewhere. And now...goodnight.