Archives for posts with tag: home is where the art is

The week began with unexpected (but welcome) contractors. It continued, yesterday, with the return of the (now expected, still welcome) contractors and the completion of the dry walling, taping, texturing, and painting. Today? Carpet, and, I think, the completion of the last bit of our moving “adventure” (which was the discovery of a leak, by way of the visible damage it had caused). Finally.

New homeowner shit. I’m not bitching – I’m delighted to have a home. I’m just counting down the days (hours, now?) until I can sigh contentedly, feel safe, settled, and at home – without huge holes in the walls, and an entirely unfinished closet, and paintings stacked everywhere in a seemingly haphazard way. lol 🙂 I’m sipping my coffee feeling grateful for this house, our home, this partnership, and my partner – and mentally listing for myself all of the many things we’ve gotten done since we moved in, just 98 days ago. 😀

…Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? I feel simultaneously that I’ve “been here a long time” (and thus, it feels unreasonable that I’m not yet wholly “moved in”) and also feel as if we just moved in “a couple weeks ago” (in which case, it totally seems reasonable to still be “sorting out some details”).

In early April, we began looking for a home of our own together, quite seriously. The search became “urgent” in an earnest “this has to get done because we’ve got to move” sort of way, in spite of the pandemic, at the end of April. By May 19th, we’d found what we were looking for, and made an offer. I’m still surprised by how quickly that went. We closed at the end of June, and began moving in. Pandemic restrictions at their most severe (up to that point), we did the move ourselves, and it took just shy of 10 days to get it all “done”, such that we were no longer moving out of anywhere, just putting finishing touches on moving in. That makes it all sound rather easy – and it was as easy as my Traveling Partner could make it, no doubt. Organized. Well-considered. Planned carefully. Executed skillfully. Still hard. Still a lot of manual labor. Some fussing. Some crying.

…There were some trying moments, that’s just real…

Since we moved in, there has been what now seems like an inevitable cascade of “small things” to handle. Squeaky doors. A hot tub leak. Quite a bit of spilled water. Cleaning. Things to assemble. Small repairs. Totally ordinary homeowner stuff. lol At first it mostly felt new, and delightfully autonomous (no call to a landlord, no delay in getting stuff done that wasn’t chosen), then it began to feel sort of “crushing”. (Strictly temporary. Change is.) We fixed things, and moved on. I feel a bit as if this last bit of contractor work really finishes the move, is what I’m saying. (Omg, so many words just to get to that idea. Sorry.)

No idea what comes next. New adventures. Everyday life. Contentment. Romance. New recipes? New neighbors.

A sunny day on the deck, a view of the forest beyond.

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

I woke ahead of the alarm this morning – and it’s a good thing I did, since I apparently forgot to set it. lol The house is quiet. My coffee is good. Things are quickly coming together around the house, too. Soon we’ll spend more time living life than moving in. 😀 Probably by the end of the weekend… That makes it how many days since we got started on the moving in…? 17 days? Sounds about right (although we did “take a couple days off” over the 4th of July holiday weekend…)…although, to put a finer point on it, several of those days were moving out days. I look at my calendar notes and think about the moving for a moment. 17 days. My Traveling Partner has done much to get us moved in comfortably… I would not be this far along if I’d moved solo (as I did with my last 3 moves).

I sip my coffee contentedly. Every morning this week, I’ve started my day a bit more moved in. A bit more order snatched back from chaos. A bit more familiar with new surroundings. I’m sleeping decently well, too (although I’m waking up around 1:30 am, most nights, for no obvious reason, then returning to bed).

…Home…

It’s a nice feeling.

I yawn. I’d so rather have slept in this morning. lol One more work shift, then the weekend. 🙂

I notice the time… I could begin again… seems a fine moment to linger over, though, and I’m not yet finished with my coffee. I decide to take some time for me, slow down a bit, and savor this quiet moment. It’s enough, just as it is.

It is the Sunday before a Monday – the Monday that I return to work, after taking time off to move, actually. I woke peculiarly early on a day I could have slept in. My Traveling Partner was also up early. We enjoyed our coffee together, listening to jazz, and discussing politics in a genial, civil way. We disagree about some things, small details mostly, and it’s rather pleasant to share, discuss, and acknowledge those differences without a shit-storm of drama or ire. Reasonable people, discussing things in a reasonable way. 🙂 Nice start to a Sunday.

In most regards, today, specifically, is a day I’ll use to “get back on track” with various routine matters of home-care and quality of life management. I’ll do some basics that generally “feel like” Sunday to me, personally. I’ll take out the trash (making a point to empty all the little waste baskets that sit conveniently in every room), and the recycling (making a point to break down any recent boxes that have arrived in the past day or two, preventing those from piling up unattractively). I’ll double-check that the pantry is well-stocked, and make a list of things that are running low or gone; I may not go to the store on a Sunday, but I like to have a list ready. Today, on this particular Sunday, I’ll also log into all my work tools, here in my new studio/office, and make sure that I have reliable connectivity, and that my tools and equipment are wholly set up and ready-to-go for what will likely be a very busy week. I’ve made little notes for myself, too, and these I’ll add to my Sunday “to do list”, too, there are various small useful errands on little notes in my notebook (we did not have connectivity for nearly two weeks, so a lot got written down on paper). One of those notes reminds me “write a blog post”, and so, of course, I do… 🙂

Most of my lists are simply practical reminders of what I’d like to get done. I carry a wee Rite in the Rain notebook, tucked in my purse, or a pocket, for convenience. 🙂

I sip my coffee, eyeing the worn rather old etched slate coaster on my desk. It’s been thoroughly cleaned since the move, but looks perpetually dirty. The worn inelegant surface hints at many years of use. The thin crack that runs across the surface suggests it has been kept for some reason beyond function or aesthetics. I smile. It reminds me of my Granny. It came from her kitchen. “Can I have this one?” I’d asked, on a visit to her home on Frenchtown Rd, many years ago (1997?). “Sure, Sweetie.” She’d replied with an indulgent smile. I didn’t expect it to be my last visit. I’m sure she didn’t either. We are mortal creatures, and our lives are finite, each moment precious. I find myself tearing up a bit, wishing sentimentally she had lived to see my Traveling Partner and I moved into our home together. She would have been so pleased for us. There’s even room for her to have visited, quite comfortably…

A souvenir of “home” – or, at least, of the places I come from.

The open window beyond my desk doesn’t have much of a “view”, and I already love the view it does have. It functions a bit as a “blank page” for writing, and has few “distractions” or features to draw my eye inadvertently. The two rather poorly pruned pear trees dangle fruit-laden branches over the new fence. I smile, even at the less-than-ideally leveled fence boards. Our neighbors replaced the falling down fence between our yards the very week we moved in. It’s clear they had not built a fence before. Funny that the quirks of this new fence provide more kind humor than irritation, for me. The neighbors are pleasant kind people, and the community is very welcoming. This new place already feels like home. In short, I like it here, and I love this house. 🙂 I expect I’ll spend many contented hours writing, and painting. (The closet in my studio is filled with stored art. I chuckle to myself at the possibility that what stops me painting, often, is more to do with having so many laying about than any lack of inspiration in the moment. LOL)

A closet full of paintings, neatly stacked by size. Some will hang, some will sell, some will linger waiting for their moment.

I finish the last sip of my now-cold coffee, and think over the day ahead. I hear my Traveling Partner call my name from somewhere else in the house; we’re still not used to having the extra bit of room that makes trying to talk to each other from different spaces sort of silly. I smile. It’s time to begin again.

Shouldn’t “embracing change” be easier than this? Is “easy” not actually “a thing”? Questions over coffee, on an overcast summer morning. My mind wanders unproductively between sips. The coffee is good, and that’s enough for this moment, right here.

I was sitting barefooted, cross-legged, in a favorite chair (the only comfortable chair in the new living room, presently… more room in the new house, same amount of furniture), on a morning so quiet I imagined I heard my Traveling Partner sigh as he woke, in another room. It’s a quiet house (so quiet!), and it seems unlikely that I actually heard the soft sound of his sigh, over my aquarium and my tinnitus. He approached a moment later, wearing his “just woke up” face. I offer to make coffee, and we share that. It is, generally speaking, a pleasant moment on a summer morning. I pretend, for the purposes of joy and love, that I’m not in the pain I’m in. I make room to be kind, and to listen, and to offer whatever support I can; he’s in pain, too. It’s been 10 days of fairly intense labor, getting moved out of the rented duplex, and into our home. For reasons of pandemic, and limiting exposure, we handled almost all of every bit of it ourselves, instead of hiring movers. I’m not sure I still think that was a great idea. lol

It was 10 days trying to get the internet set up. I wrote in the mornings, anyway. 🙂

“Home”. Damn, that sounds nice. I let the sound of it roll around in my thoughts contentedly for some moments. I find it so important to savor the successes – small, large, and in between. What I am suggesting is really taking time with those successes, enjoy and appreciate them, linger over their memory, and invest more of my cognitive and emotional bandwidth in that enjoyment and awareness, than I do in fussing over what didn’t work, or worked out uncomfortably or with problematic other outcomes. That “negativity bias” can really become an emotional wound, over time, swallowing up all the joy, and all the fun. Having a home of our own is a major milestone in our life together, and for me, in my own life as an individual human being. Huge win. Definitely needful to celebrate that. 🙂

I sip my coffee and look out the window of my new studio/office space here. I see the neighbor’s new fence, two pear trees, branches laden with young fruit hanging over the fence, and the cream-colored wall of their house just beyond. I see a sliver of gray sky. The neighbors – and neighborhood – are very pleasant, and very welcoming. Every new conversation begins in a similar way, with an apologetically, charmingly awkward excuse for not shaking hands or offering a hug; the pandemic is still a thing (very much so) in America.

…I hear my Traveling Partner call to me. As he wakes, his pain is more well-managed (mine, too, it seems very human). I want to hang out… I want to write. It’s been a while. There’s much to say, much to share. I think. Maybe. I mean… you’re here, reading, I should make that worth your while, yes? 😉 Perhaps, for now, this is enough?

Perspective, or view? What matters most? What is “enough”? Where does joy come from?

I sip my coffee. Finish my writing. I begin again.

 

So this is home, is it? Here, now? Interesting that it feels so much so, so soon, so easily, so completely… Is it that way in each new place? Do I make myself at home, everywhere? It’s possible… I don’t take the bait when my restless monkey mind suggests I could dig into old journals and past blog posts looking for “truth”. The relevant truth is here, now, and it is enough. I feel at home here.

I woke well before day break. Dawn is still some time from now. The morning is dark in these wee hours, and the busy street I live on is utterly silent and without traffic so early on a Saturday morning. I woke early, rested, unable to sleep any longer. Easily handled; I got up and made coffee. 🙂

The move is over. I live here. There’s more unpacking to do. I still can’t reliably find my way around in the dark. I’m still constantly misplacing things I’ve set down “for a moment” in some convenient spot “where I can’t lose track of it”, then wandering off and forgetting where I’ve set down… my phone… my keys… that list I just made… It’ll be some time before I really know this space and where everything is “put away” in it. I have regular reminders that I am not yet entirely unpacked, and moments of anxiety about things that may be lost, or overlooked, and actually it’s just that there’s quite a lot still in boxes. An example is that I don’t unpack books until I am certain I have the shelves where I really want them – but some of the boxes of books have some little odd other thing in the top of the box, if there was a bit of space there, but I don’t easily remember that item X is in that box of books over there – for now it just “feels missing”. Getting fully moved in is a process – but it’s lovely that I already feel “at home”, nonetheless. 🙂

I notice that the pre-dawn darkness has lightened up enough to become dawn. Daybreak is here, and the sunrise will soon follow. I decide to set aside my writing, and take my coffee to the deck…

The day begins.

There is no handy view of the sunrise here, but the scent and sound of the forest so near at hand calls to mind so many mornings out in the trees, camping. The traffic hasn’t yet commenced, and all I hear are the sounds of forest life, and a breeze stirring the leaves of trees so close they seem almost within reach. I love the view from the deck. There is no grand vista here, no horizon on the horizon, no broad expanse of meadow…but there is also no busy pedestrian trail, no playground equipment, no basketball court, and no neighbors smoking cigarettes on the patio next to mine. This feels safe, and private, and comfortable. The deck gets some sun, it gets some shade – the roses are doing well here, and making a good recovery from the exposed heat of summer at the other address. I enjoy the convenience of having a water source at hand, making caring for my garden much easier. I check the yard from my deck vantage point, looking for forest creatures who may have chosen to visit, but this morning there are none. There will be other mornings. 🙂

The move is over. The rest is just housekeeping. 😀 I live here. This is home. I sip my coffee as the sky lightens, and smile. Joy feels good. Contentment feels good. Feeling welcome in my own space, and in my own life, feels very good indeed. I take time to really savor these feelings – and to welcome myself home.