SouleMama and her family have recently bought a farm. It is a project she has been hinting about for a long time, and a sweet fulfillment of years of dreams. I can’t wait to see how the place shapes up; I can’t wait to see lots and lots of cozy winter pictures of what they get up to in the new place. And, at the same time, I’m a little sad for the passing of the Cape Cod they’ve lived in for so long. I will miss the pine floors, wood-burning stove, and leaded glass. I’m sure they will too.
Amanda made a post about becoming familiar with the new house, and it resonated with me. It is something I have done so many times in the past twelve years, during which I have lived in five dormitory rooms, two apartments, and three houses.
I find that it takes about two years to properly experience the rhythms of a house, to see it go through a season and then go through it again, and to see the similarities. In two years, I can become fond of a place.
The experience with this particular house has been odd. It was an integral part of our early relationship. Sparks was living there, and had for eight years already. He was in the process of sprucing up the interior. I would head over here on the weekends and pull off wallpaper and prime walls while he ripped up carpet and… um… took a chainsaw to unwanted furniture (heehee). Ultimately, of course, he moved in with me, and we replaced all the floors and underlayment and re-figured the kitchen and bathrooms. These days, the house doesn’t look, smell, or flow the way it used to. It is a very different place, for both of us. I can feel the dynamic of it being his house and his project these last ten years. I can feel his pride in it. At the same time, it’s radically different from the house he knew, and there are many places in which I need to exert myself more than I have. I have tended to leave pictures unhung and some simple kinds of maintenance unfinished, because subconsciously I think of it as “his” house, in which I somehow don’t have the authority or empowerment to just get things done.
I suppose this is part of the psychological adjustment to marriage. In the old house, Sparks acted very much as a guest in my home. Now, we’re working out the dynamic of real co-habitation, and I hope real habitation, for a very long number of years. I haven’t lived anywhere for more than three years since I was fifteen… that’s half my life ago. I am so looking forward to knowing this house, and to becoming really familiar with it.