Saturday, December 06, 2008


This week I smiled at something. After six months, my house and I are becoming better, calmer friends.

Maybe you've read between my lines here. Perhaps you have surmised that we, my old farmhouse and I, have had our uncomfortable moments. For yes, we've peered askance at each other on afternoons and pondered if --truly--we were meant for each other after all.

All the money we have poured into her! Too many days I've written too many checks to too many workers who spent too much time updating this place. And too many days I just wanted those guys to go away so I could pull weeds in my garden or dream in our meadow without being watched. Yet winter and snow and cold has halted all that and the peace! The quiet soothes and tells me all will be ok. Now.

And I'm not even mentioning Tom's buying all these tractors (he has three--I hadn't told you yet), nor my turning corners and discovering him--ack!-- up on a ladder (he's the last person who should be up on one) or lifting the heavy things his doctor says not to.

And being a typical first-born, I can get a tad obsessive about being organized and so, move me into an old farmhouse with few luxuries like drawers and hooks and shelves and then add the truth that we got too ruthless while packing and gave away too many dressers and desks and then add our hundred poorly marked boxes-- and well, my sanity has tip-toed to various brinks. Especially distressing? My books--dearest treasures of all--were inside boxes, outside of boxes, upstairs in piles on the floor and downstairs in cupboards, in hutches under dishes and stacked inside the grandfather clock. But now, thankfully, I have my little blue library at the top of the stairs and a couple extra dressers, too, both from yard sales.

And give me an electric cooking stove when I've always used gas (except in our temporary apartment before we moved here) and I can become cranky when reaching for the wrong dial (over and over) for the wrong burner or burning things or taking forever to heat them up. After nearly a year of cooking on electric stoves I am finally getting used to it, though, alas, this morning I did burn my French toast. sigh

All summer we stored our take-to-the-curb trash cans out in the barn and I'd been attempting not to dread crawling through snowdrifts just to empty the trash all this upcoming winter. But hooray! An amazing idea popped into my head: why not keep our trash cans in the basement, instead? I'd stay dry when emptying the trash and only five steps lead up out of there so I can easily pull the cans up on trash day and take them to the curb (often it's only one trash can anyway). So far so good... so far, so better than good, actually.

And this house's heater--egads! Finally--finally!--the heater has stopped turning itself on when it gets cold. Not when we were cold, nor the house, but the heater. Beyond annoying, that was. And its indecipherable instruction booklet, one written obviously by a nuclear physicist, was no help.

Oh, it takes time to form a new relationship, even one with an old house. Or perhaps especially one with an old house, Time is required to discover a new rhythm--one to swing and dance with. And here I'd thought I moved to the beat of my own drummer... that I moved at a more serene pace... that I was different than the rest of the 'instant everything' world.

So I guess, really, I should thank this old house for humbling me... for sticking the flashing neon Impatient Person sign before my eyes... and for being patient with me while we're still learning to not only co-exist, but thrive. Together.


***

Sunday morning--outside our kitchen window. Seventeen degrees F. Ah, more early winter.... and he is here to stay for months.

8 comments:

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Hang in there, Debra! I'm glad you are finding the peace in the winter season. I think it is what we are meant to find, and modern life just doesn't help that happen! This will be your first Christmas in your new home! How magical! And I hope at least your books are getting into an order that pleases you. I remember thinking when you blogged about leaving the house I had met you in, that you seemed to be giving away a lot of things. But you can slowly get what you need back, and it really isn't bad to spare things down a bit. (Can the word spare be used that way?) Andy and I are going to Emily's for Christmas and she is expecting my third grandchild. Life is very blessed.........Have a peaceful, comforted day, weekend, Christmas season, winter, life.........

Tracy said...

I'm not all that patient myself! But I am glad to hear that you and the farmhouse are growing fond of each other. :)

Jan said...

Oh Debra, what things are in our head and dreams are not always the reality. Our old farmhouse evolved over 22 years and now it is everything I could hope for. When we moved in it needed lots of TLC. With limited funds that has taken many years..it was worth the wait. Some things I would have does early on I didn't do and now I am glad.

Pat said...

Oh that sneaky little critter called change. I find my self so impatient when my house is not in its familiar order - like right now. Trying to decorate for Christmas and filling places once occupied with something other then a Christmas tree. Now where does that 'something other' go?
We will learn and grow each day Debra, I have no doubt of that!

Jammie J. said...

Well, "they" don't say that old houses have character for nothing, eh? :)

(hugs) It's just an adjustment period, my dear, you've wanted this for so, so long. But it's a big change and changes, as we all know, can be hard. Sometimes even for awhile.... like a year! :)

Don't give up!

Judy said...

I have an imaginary farm house that exists only in my head.

It's perfect there.

My reality is much Much MUCH more complicated and messy.

I so enjoy that you tell it like it is. But, I'm not going to let that mess up my perfect farm house fantasy!

Tracy said...

Debra, I have a little something for you on my blog... :)

Jujita said...

What a beautiful picture!
Don't you love when you start to make friends with your house?