Even if I’d had the time, I wouldn’t have been able to put words to the months that have passed since I last posted here. So much has changed, and I don’t know where to begin again.
I have a new home state, a new job, a new house, and, oh yeah, a new baby, so finding time to write should probably fall somewhere on the list behind the other things I rarely get to do— bathe, wear things that don’t smell vaguely of rotten milk, eat something other than trail mix— and yet, here I am.
And now, she naps. And now, I write.
I unwrapped a few pieces of furniture last night. As I peeled the tape and moving blankets off of my coffee table— you know, the one with the glass top and the cubbies full of old books, glitter birds, and other useless things— I remembered how, when I bought it— and, rather insensibly, wrestled it out of the back of my car on my own— I knew that it wasn’t really for that house. It was always for a future house. I lived with it in Madison, always knowing that it would move on (and so would I). I lived with it in Colorado, though it never quite fit. And neither did I.
I was struck last night, though, by the sense that it was meant for this house. That we were meant for this house. I can’t describe my affection for this mid-century marvel—
a white brick and vinyl ranch with technicolor carpeting, a time-capsule kitchen, and a pair of yellow bathroom sinks which, in their white-topped vanity, resemble an diner plate of sunny side up eggs—
It’s everything I never really wanted. I’m a Victorianist. I long for clapboard siding, curving stairs, and garret windows. Glass panes that have poured themselves slowly downward across a century or two. Gabled ceilings and squat doorways meant for curiously smaller men and women (stooped and starved and squeezed). Forgotten attics. Grimy coal chutes. Sitting rooms and servant’s quarters.
But somehow, this house just feels right (even though so much of it is just plain wrong). We have a lot to do, but for once, I feel no rush to make it right. We have time. And we have wallpaper. So much wallpaper.
I feel like I can breathe. I love the trees here, the wild turkeys in the fields, the profound depth of the wild woods that border our lot, the fawn and doe that have made their home in our backyard. The way that the nights are turning cold, the glow of the lights from the bedroom windows that I see when I walk the dogs under the magnolia tree at night.
We’re home now. The little things can wait.