Monday, September 9, 2013

Home, Sweat, and Tears

I knew I had found our home the moment I drove up the driveway almost 15 years ago. It was during the month of May and the backyard was lush and green, dotted with a few colorful perennials. When we walked in and saw the hardwood floors and original woodwork throughout the house, we were sold. We may also have been drunk.

It is a small house, and it is a wrinkled, old house, yet it has been our home ever since. We've made some improvements (God, you should have seen the flower wallpaper everywhere and the kitchen equipped with a rusted sink, a ten inch counter, and peeling, brown linoleum) and we have planted our favorite trees and shrubs and native plants throughout the property. We've buried three cats here, and have raised two daughters and a few butterflies. We've grown vegetables, herbs, and have recently added a couple of fruit trees because we just can't stop planting stuff. We have cared for this house and have tended special care to its land. But in real life, it has become way too small for this family of six (including our two cats).

We have been looking around for a new place to plant our roots and found the most magical, heavenly house across town. A 100-year-old farmhouse that has been completely renovated in a hip, artfarmish kind of way. Complete with a massive kitchen and finished basement, a mud room and the most beautiful bathroom sink you could even imagine, if you had the imagination of the most imaginative person who ever lived. I'm not even exaggerating. We walked into that house and felt like we were home. The house sits on an acre and a half and already has a vegetable garden, including grape vines. I KNOW!  It's the veritable wine country of Maplecrest.

We were ready to move on with our lives, leave our tiny house, and move into this new world, which consisted of more than one bathroom and ample closet space. But after a few days of sobriety, we decided we didn't want to move up north. We have grown so close to everything around us in the southwest part of town, including, most of all, Eagle Marsh and the Towpath trail. Can we sacrifice location for a mud room? Can we give up our eagles, our monarch butterflies, our salamanders, for perfect hardwood floors and an extra bathroom and a half? Who will take care of Fiona's owl? Who will keep an eye on the baby swallowtails we grew from tiny eggs?

I was thinking about this conundrum on my run this morning when a million birds suddenly appeared and darkened the sky above me, swooping and dancing in perfect unison as they miraculously do.  When I stopped to watch them, a red-tailed hawk soared close above and dove down into the yellow field of helianthus and I swear to you that I started to tear up, struck by the beauty and perfection of that moment on the trail, on our trail. It felt purposeful. Epiphanic.

And it's OK to run and cry because my tears got mixed in with the sweat pouring from my face so the biker I met along the way didn't even notice.

 A few photos from the Monarch Festival at Eagle Marsh:

How do we say goodbye to that? We can't.

A few more photos from the weekend:
This girl.

I had some powder leftover from Color Me Rad
She is the personification of rad.
Cyd likes to pick flowers from our pots of annuals and line them up on the deck. The house we almost bought didn't even have a deck. What the hell were we even THINKING? 

This one has major attitude, but I love her still.

Sammie is the perfect cat.

Triple Downward Dog


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