I woke from a long night of sound slumber. Rare, restful, delicious. I slept in. After yoga and meditation, and putting out peanuts and birdseed for my weekend brunch visitors, I sat down with my coffee and the latest real estate search list from my realtor. It’s exciting to be house-hunting for a wee place of my own.

I look over each listing in the search list very carefully. I imagine waking up there. I imagine walking through those rooms in the dark of night after a nightmare. I consider what the floors will feel like on bare feet, and whether the layout of the kitchen is going to fuck with my head for weeks or months, remembering how confusing it was to move from #27 to #59 – with all the light switches and appointments mirror imaged, and how long it took to stop clawing at blank wall for a light switch that wasn’t there. Those details matter for quality of life. Will the windows let in the dawn? The evening light? Will the house bake in the sun unrelentingly, or offer comfort and shade? Will the winter winds chill the floor with peculiar drafts? Which details are easily changed? Which less so? What matters most? It’s an interesting meditation, to consider with such care what living in a particular space might feel like. I easily rule out some of the listings I see by doing so; if I can’t feel living there with any comfort, I am not interested. (I trust that feeling – some of my PTSD triggers are fairly mundane things or circumstances. If my senses begin to squeal in my head that a space doesn’t feel safe, and I’m only looking at a photograph, I know to move on.)

I chat a while with my Traveling Partner, sharing pictures of places, getting his thoughts. Our individual aesthetic overlaps quite a lot, and his engineering background results in a first-rate reality check on things I am less likely to notice. Helpful, and another way to share love. I am eager to find a place to call home that he will feel equally welcome in, when he is spending time with me. As a woman of 53, comfortably and contentedly living alone, I have learned that “home” is something I bring with me, something I create for myself – houses are what I’m shopping for – the container in which to put my home. šŸ˜€ Honestly, that makes the shopping much easier. At 18, and even at 35, I shopped for homes, and felt endlessly disappointed not to find one.

I finish my coffee smiling. Enjoying a few moments of conversation with my Traveling Partner before moving on with the day. I’ve some adulting to do this morning: laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. Home-making. Good skills to have, worthy practices for taking care of me. First, a hike in the mild Pacific Northwest winter. Today that’s enough.