At the end of our second full day in the new old farmhouse.
The boy is running in circles around the gas furnace in the kitchen, the cat is sleeping on our bed, hubby curled up on the couch. The moon shines bright and stoic outside my window, the pasture awash in blue.
The house is still in chaos from the move, but it is cosy and warm, despite the building wind outside the door. It will blow tonight, and if we are lucky, rain. There are plenty of boxes yet to unpack but the dishes are done; a minor miracle.
Our first couple of days have been surreal.
Sunday morning I woke up to find the fields and trees steaming as the morning sun appeared over the top of our back woods. It was quiet. So quiet.
We walked the property over coffee and listened all morning to the distant sound of shotguns. It was strange and new to me and I liked it.
There are so many birds – birds everywhere I look. Birds I can’t name. Birds I haven’t seen before. There were of course the usual suspects, robins and the like, but in numbers I never see in town. Every new call brought my son’s hand to his ear : listen.
Six o’clock on Sunday, just as we sat down to dinner, our neighbour revved up his back hoe, roaring and screeching and grinding through the entire dinner hour and then some. Welcome to the neighbourhood?
There is next to no cell service. I keep telling my friends and family – it’s not really in the country . . . and then things like this happen. There I am, wandering around the farm with my phone in the air like a crazy person, a city girl, a fish out of water.
But amid the mayhem I had a moment today, standing at the kitchen door, surveying the fields.
Here I am, still a month shy of my 31st birthday, and I am standing in the kitchen of my dream home. We have been so lucky. Lucky to have bought a home in Vancouver at only 26 years old, with next to no money and a mortgage out the wazoo . . . Luckier still to have seen housing prices in our neighbourhood climb, even luckier to have finally sold as the bottom falls out of the market. So lucky to have stumbled upon the farm . . . Even with The Summer of Murphy’s Law, we have had more good luck than bad.
Like the poem said : No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should . . .
My husband in the field, my son kicking rocks in the drive, the cat thinking he’s died and gone to heaven. We will raise our babies here, and if fate sees fit, we’ll help raise their babies here too.
I couldn’t ask for more.
I look around and I can’t believe this place is ours. Little more than five years ago I was living alone in an old one bedroom apartment near the beach. I blink, and here I am. A family, a farm, a home.
The house is grubby, really grubby. The paint peels and flakes, the windows are heavy with fly droppings and carcasses. I’m certain there are 10 years worth of cobwebs in every nook and cranny. Even the ceiling needs vacuuming.
The trees in the orchard show signs of ill-informed pruning and are wrapped tight in moss. Hazelnuts and quinces struggle for light and air under a heavy burden of blackberries. The front orchard is a minefield of mole hills.
I keep saying I love this place despite of all these things . . . But really, I think maybe I love this place because of all of these things. I just want to wrap this place up in my arms, love it back to life.
There will be so much hard work, but it will be good work. Work in the fresh air, work that puts dirt under my finger nails, work that might finally banish the baby-weight. Work that will bear fruit, literally. Work that will turn this house into a home.
It already feels like home. Scrubbing and scrubbing for two days straight, drinking beers in the October sun on the patio, the first roast chicken in the oven, filling the house with the smell of home.