Earlier this week, in the course of conversation with an acquaintance (about the weather – a popular topic here in New England), I learned that she and her husband sleep outside during the non-winter months. Pressing a little further, I discovered that it was not the tent or lean-to scenario I was imagining (although that sounded fun too!) but a screened-in sleeper porch. Genius! As I was filing this away in my mind – apparently out-loud – with the ongoing list of good ideas for future home projects, my friend asked how much land we have and if this could someday be a possibility for us.
Yes, it could. Someday…
We had a brief discussion about our land – woods! – how long we have lived here, and how much work it will take to get things even close to our dreams, especially at the pace we move. And then she said something that surprised me; something so different from the comments – or looks – I usually receive when someone is staring at my doorless kitchen cabinets and asking how long we’ve lived here. Two years. Two years?!
… that’s not long at all. It was like warm water trickling through my entire being; like she had unlocked something hidden deep inside me. In a world where everyone around us – friends, friends of friends, coworkers, blog writers, lady at the grocery store… – moves into a house and turns it into a home overnight, with everything in it’s perfect place – walls torn down, wall hangings put up, painted, landscaped, etc.. – this woman – this woman who I marginally knew – understood. She got it. Hit the nail straight on the head.
She understood that in this world of instant gratification, Matty and I are moving – sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally – at a slower pace. We are moving at a pace where by leaving projects in their idea form for a while, we give them time to grow…time to evolve…so that in the end we are left with the fruits of our thoughts fully formed, rather than quick fixes bred from the need to “get ‘er done.”
When I was younger, I always dreamed of owning a big old house and spending years and years fixing it up, so that it grew as I grew, evolved as my family evolved. Our house is neither big nor especially old, but it definitely fits the bill of needing work – lots of it – and so far I have enjoyed the slow progress we’ve made. In the two short years that we’ve lived here, we’ve all slept in almost every room in the house, not including the kitchen and bathroom. (My friend visiting from Australia joked that our bed had been in every room of the house within his two week stay…) Things do change form here – frequently – and it’s fun to see where our ideas will lead…
This said, there are many, many times that I get frustrated with this house, and wish that some things could change…instantly. I constantly have a laundry list of things I wish we had now, not later – a new toilet and sink in the bathroom, a mudroom instead of a carport, windows that don’t trap condensation and that we don’t have to take apart in every season, more paint, a vacuum… And all the ideas of how things will be, down to the very last detail… I could go on and on.
But as I wait, doing the things that I have both the time and money for at the moment – mainly washing dishes and doing laundry – my ideas are evolving, and the more my ideas evolve, the more excited I get. And the longer I wait, the more appreciative I am for one small thing.
(I have been thinking about framing these Elsa Beskow prints for years…)
(We unanimously agreed that the right place for this frame was right above Ophelia’s bed – not a great photo as it was taken at night… right before bed… but you get the gist…)