In Which We Dwell

We moved into our new house last week. After two weeks of scraping vinyl off floors, peeling wall paper, painting, packing and cleaning we are home, though not completely settled. We have years of projects ahead. The house will keep us occupied with projects to fix, improve and refresh for years to come. The yard is a generous double lot, a mostly blank canvas to plant with vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, herbs. I’ll be biding my time this summer and dreaming up a plan for lots of gardens, a food forest and, hopefully, a pizza oven to start building next year.

We’re discovering the small treats that our little patch of land is already offering. Wild strawberries, a couple of apple trees dangling their growing fruit, blackberries and raspberries tucked along the edge of the woods. There are patches of soft moss and a tree just right for a four year old to climb. Our new location is far more suburban than where we lived before but we can walk or bike to the beach, river, and marsh and are not too many miles from Portland which was our home for many years.

The previous owner lived here for most of her life and raised her children in this cozy little house. Although we have many plans to make it feel like our own, I have been thinking about how our lives are so much more temporary than the sturdy structures in which we dwell. For better or worse they will outlive us and it reminds me that we are just passing through and only have so much time to make the places and lives we encounter a little better than they were before. As I shake my head at some of the things we’ve found in the house, the decisions that someone else made, the things they cared for or neglected, I think about the younger woman who might move in here when I am gone and whether she will shake her head at the things I have left behind.

This is the house where Eowyn will learn to walk, where Amos will learn to read, where they will grow and dream and someday cook dinner or breakfast for me. This is the house where I will fill the freezer and cupboards with food that we grew ourselves. Right now it is all possibilities and the beginning of a dream fulfilled.

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