We moved into my Grandma’s House a couple of days ago . . . I guess I need to truly and officially start calling it Our House :) And it is our house, so incredibly, perfectly and absolutely our house that it takes my breath away. I’ve owned a house before. I’ve also renovated a house with someone else before. I’ve also moved “out” and into my own place before. But now I know that until this moment, none of those things were true at all. At least, not true in comparison to this moment. The moment Joe and I slept in the house the first time. The moment Joe and I moved all of our stuff in. This moment feels like my very first in all of those things. In comparison the previous renovation I took part of was laughable in the face of the all encompassing fifteen months Joe and I just spent on this 100 year old home. The camaraderie and work he and I just shared (and still share) is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. “Team player” when describing my incredible man doesn’t begin to express how much of a team we had to become to get to this place finally complete and, though it is not anything I’ve ever experienced before, it has always been something I craved, needed and searched for. Yesterday we had a day of constant over cast, cold, dark and rain and then the sun came out right before it set and hit the side of our 100 year old barn. I saw it out my kitchen window and my heart just soared. Yes, this is home, this is our home.
It also doesn’t feel like I’ve ever been with anyone else but with Joe and I guess it’s true. This is my first time in an actual relationship, a real one in comparison to the others I’ve went through over the years. This is my first time being a fiance and it will be, very soon, my first time being a wife. Today my friends and family are throwing me my first ever bridle shower and, just a couple of hours before that, I’m going to be buying my home for the first time. I have owned a house before, but not like this, this is truly ours, truly mine, truly my home, truly our home. I also moved out in a way before this, but not really. No, this is the first time I’m truly moving into my own place and it feels incredible. I always imagined moments like these with horror when I was younger but then I had not yet met Joe. What’s the saying that I run into from time to time? “I wish I had met you sooner so that I could have loved you longer.” It is just so true. I find myself urging him to be CAREFUL in everything. Going to be eating marshmallows? BE CAREFUL! Playing with bunnies? BE CAREFUL!!! It just doesn’t matter what he does, now that we’ve made it I am desperate for more time even knowing that we will probably (statistically) have decades. Though I know, no matter the amount of time, I will be grateful for every single second.
Owning this home now that has sheltered so many members of my family feels like both a responsibility and an incredible joy. Mom cried at the closing and so did I, there is so much love here. She is selling the home she grew up in, the heart beat of everything here that everything spins around, like the sun in a solar system. I told her, you’re not selling the farm, we’re just going to borrow it for a few decades and she knows I will be true to it that I will protect it and take care of it with all respect. It was the handing of the baton to the younger generation and it is a big deal. But it is ours and has been since the first moment we sunk a sledge hammer in the wall in April of 2014. I have spent more alone time, more personal time with this house then I can even fathom while fixing her, making her better, opening her up so she can breathe again. And, in doing so to the house, she has done the same to me. The work has opened me up . . . sometimes it felt like it gutted me all over the floor, but most of the time it felt like I was breaking through to a place where I can breathe again (for the first time) too. I have become a better version of myself, a stronger one with less leaks, just like her. We both still have our scars and I have found that in seeing her scars as beautiful character I have come to a place now where I can regard my own (at least sometimes) as beautiful character too.
This home has taught me so much about strength and about myself. She taught me that we’re all just renting on this planet until we back flip into the next life and I thank her that she can be ours for the while that we’re here. She taught me that I too can be strong and resilient and she also taught me that Joe is the strongest person I have ever met. She taught us how to lean on each other, put up with each other, work with each other, share everything together and how to communicate and find common ground in even the darkest and most frustrating of times. She taught him how to have patience with me and I with myself. She taught me that so much in this world is just brief adornment that will not last the test of time. All of her needed replacing except her bones and her floors and her foundation. When we started on this renovation I was the same as her, gutted down to the studs and needing everything torn out and replaced. She taught me about the joy of fulfillment and the incredible happiness of seeing hard work pay off. She taught me that at some point careless fun will only get you so for until you need to get up, grow up and get to work for lasting happiness, for a life.
She taught me how to move. She made me a human being who can no longer take the elevator but must take the stairs as standing still has become an impossibility to me. She taught me how to stare my fear in the face and do it anyway, even knowing the chance of my screwing up was high, at some point you can only plan so far and must START. And that is truly what she taught me, how to start, how to work in the sometimes debilitating fear of failure.
The first night I laid there just staring at the ceiling, not knowing how to comprehend that we had finally made it. The house taught me how to put my head down, my shoulder to the plow and how to FOCUS. I had not prepared myself for moving in, I was too busy planning the building of the kitchen cabinets. And then there I was, laying in my bed beside my man, in my aunt’s old bedroom (which had not seen another human being sleeping in it for forty years) and I was totally speechless. I went down stairs and stood in her and bowed my head in thanks.