Capturing Contentment in the Everyday…
The camera battery died about a week ago and I haven’t been able to find the charger ever since I rearranged the bedroom two weeks back. Oops. Of course, it would help if I did an indepth search of the area, but it’s one of those things I keep forgetting to do. Oops again.
Today I stood on the upper deck, knitting and pacing while keeping an eye on the children who were playing in the yard below. It was a balmy day again, one of those deceptive Spring like days that probably means colds and chicken soup are around the corner. Princess and Sunshine kept kicking off their shoes. Dinosaur came out in a size-too-large winter coat (that he didn’t need) only to discard it on the lawn next to the coat he brought out yesterday and forgot to bring inside. The sun was starting to set (it IS winter still, after all) and the shadows were starting to creep across the foresty area beyond our fence. Not to mislead you–we can still see the houses on the other side of that swath of trees. From late October through mid-March, at least. It occurred to me that it has been only about a year now since we first saw this house. This house that we looked at a number of times online, dismissing each time (“It’s a rancher–we want a Cape Cod right? Oh my–that 70s paneling in the basement.” “Kitchen looks nice, though.” “But it’s a rancher–we want a Cape Cod.” “Hearth looks promising.” “But the PANELING!”), until as the offer fell through on what we thought was a dream home and the realtor says: “let’s look at this one. I showed it to my daughter in December but she got a job and moved to [large city 2 hours away] instead.”
I think I fell in love with the kitchen first.
After that, the ’70s paneling could be endured. And as we know from the Basement Saga, I didn’t have to endure it for long at all.
But as this Thursday thingy has to do with Contentment, I had been musing on how it’s funny that in life you find yourself becoming content in places you’d never think you’d be. During the six years we lived in the Old Haus, we dreamed big. We planned to stay there until we could find a bit of acreage so we could indulge in backyard homesteading to our hearts’ content. We were going to have backyard chickens. Haus Meister and the boys had all but finished building a coop. I had convinced myself that raising hens from cute fluffy chick stage would help me get over the fact that their beady little eyes freak me out. We planned gardens worthy of a C.S.A. co-op.
And thus it came to pass when the time was right for us to move, there were no mini-farms, no plots of acreage within the required perimeters of our search. We wanted to be near town for Trooper’s therapy (no moving an hour away into the real farm areas, in other words) and we wanted to be near enough to Haus Meister’s work for him to still be able to come home for lunch. In our old area of town there were such properties that would have enabled us to fulfill our dreams as listed above, if they happened to be for sale. They weren’t. Figures.
Here we are, a year later. No chickens — probably ever in this neighborhood (the coop was sold on Craigslist to a successful chicken farmer and his wife who were looking for another coop to use as a nursery for their chicks. The man was a portly fellow in dungarees and a John Deere hat. I think Dinosaur took to him right away). Our yard is larger but no acreage, and I am not upset because I can still keep a reasonable track of everyone while they play. Especially if I’m up knitting in the “crow’s nest” — a nice spot, this upper deck. As for gardening? Well, the yard proved too shady for our plans and I was too pregnant, hot, and lazy to keep watering last summer. We’ll see how this year goes, particularly now that we know how little yard is in full sun!
When Haus Meister was on his most recent trip he stayed at a Bed & Breakfast that was a charming old house on a 110 acre organic farm. There were horses and chickens, cross-country skiing, and wonderful food. The host was putting up an old barn from a neighbor’s property and Haus Meister got to help him a bit with that, as well as pitching hay onto the hostess’ garden plots and other chores on his off-day, particularly as this couple was amazingly generous with his odd hours and even kept food out for him. I had to admit some of the old farming dreams resurfaced a bit as he called to tell me of the place, but only for a moment. It’s not time yet for those dreams, I’ve found. Maybe someday. Maybe we’ll retire to a little bit of acreage and spend our retirement indulging in backyard homesteading to our heart’s content.
Because right now I’m knitting and writing and canning and sewing and schooling our children in a rancher house formerly endowed with ’70s paneling. I’m on the other side of the valley from where I thought we’d live. Our life took a completely different direction from what I dreamed (although the beady eyes of full-grown chickens still freak me out a little).
And we’re content.