I took Paul McCartney’s advice and got a home in the heart of the country. It’s been good for the blood pressure, even though most of my life is still in boxes. This is the sort of place where a thing is done in good time if it’s done well. More haste, less speed, I guess. Actually, not even so much haste. Just the haste of the rolling of the seasons. But most often I just sit here on my porch, or in the swing under the willow by the stream, take a walk, look at stars, notice the moon phases, and stare at the goats who live across the stream in front.
Getting here was trying. Molly, my dog of 13 years, died a few weeks before the move. The previous owners had left the house abandoned for three years, and the place and land was full of their stuff and suffering from neglect. Also, my cat ran away the first day. I spent a week and a half walking around, clinking a fork to a can, shouting “WET FOOOOOD!” But one day he just turned up hungry and miserable looking, ready for snuggles, a clean litter box and wet food. Guess he just needed his Mountain Lion merit badge.
Of course, when the first day I’d be alone rolled around, I was the loneliest girl ever. But that afternoon Stan came home with a new friend, which he held up like John Cusack with a boom box. But, even better, it was a 3 month old Border Collie pup with freckles on her white nose. We called her Abbey Road. And she was just the friend I needed. Border Collies really want to learn! She looks to me constantly for a cue as to what she should do. So, when on my first day alone with her, she learned “sit” it was “challenge accepted” for us both!
It did take some time to bargain with my love for Molly and for Abbey. But I like to think that Molly’s independent, no-nonsense, terrier spirit haunts me like Obi-wan Kenobi’s Force ghost. Maybe showing up sometimes to deliver exposition to Abbey, or to warn me of encroaching “booshit.” Molly was a great one for hunting down and destroying that. And Abbey is my little go-go Padawan. Always eager to stomp through the trees on the hill behind the house, chase the frogs in the pond, herd frisbees, and bark at the goats, of course. She’s also the biggest love-bug. And I’ve had to defend her from multiple kidnapping attempts when we go to Lowe’s, PetSmart and even from visiting friends and family!
Mr. Kitter-kat wasn’t exactly pleased to come home to “Dog 2.0,” but now they’re great friends, and play and cuddle. He has several channels of bird feeders to watch. Wet food. And he can go out on the kitchen porch whenever he wants to dream of his days as a fearsome hunter alone in the woods. He’s a happy man.
Anyhow, after going without hot water for the first few days (which gave new meaning to “icey cold spring water”), and two weeks of having public sewer pipes laid down what can only be called “the lane,” things finally started coming into focus. Stuff is getting done. I can putter. Actually, I put in some major back and elbow grease! More importantly, I can breathe again. From locked up in an apartment surrounded by noisy people, on a busy street around the corner from a firehouse, while mourning my dog. To long walks, starry skies, noticing how many species of woodpeckers there are, playing with Abbey, and, of course, staring at goats. Cars are so rare on the road up the hill, I watch them go by.
Sure, the house is old, and nothing is straight, but it’s sturdy and good old — like the Parthenon! A few more years and the forest would have overgrown the place. It feels like a happy house to have people to love it again. And each season has a charm and rhythm of its own. Soon, we’ll move from fire rings outside, to the wood-stove inside. And we’ll all gather before it, and say “let it snow.” More importantly, I have a space of my very own where I have many places to sit with my laptop and write. I am home.
Now, I just need the big green door-shaped sign with Gandalf’s mark, so travelling wizards, dwarves and fair folk know to stop for tea or adventures!
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