Currently I’m sitting in my office — it’s not also a baby’s nursery, it’s not also a catch all for my kids extra stuff, it’s not either too cold or too hot, it’s just my space. There’s an exposed limestone wall, a set of solid pocket doors closing me away from the play room, barn board shelves and a big deep-set window that overlooks green grass stretching to an old stone and wood barn set against a forest of towering trees. I can hear a host of crickets chirping, a fly buzzing up against the screen at the window, hopeful of escape, and the odd car going by. Edie is blessedly napping and Steve has taken Gracie and Lily to do some errands. I’m mostly alone and it’s the first time in weeks that I have been. So much change has occurred in those weeks.
We’ve become country mice; we’ve moved to a rambling 200 year old limestone house in the country. We’re on just over 100 acres that is mostly farmland but framed by thick forests crisscrossed by trails for meandering. We have barns, not currently usable, but fun to walk through. We have more living space than furniture, a challenge we haven’t faced for many years, and we have ample counter space, a must for avid cooks and bakers. In our four bay garage Steve is finding a space for himself to finish some projects ands start new creations (and you’re going to want to see them so stay tuned). We have quiet, we’re not too far from the highway so we always have that hum in the background, but I’ve yet to hear a siren or someone yelling. We do have neighbours but they’re all tucked away and we wonder when or if we’ll meet them.
It feels surreal to be here, I don’t think I’ve quite landed. I’m a major homebody so getting this house feeling like home has been my number one priority for these two weeks. It feels like it could be home and yet I’m constantly redefining what that means, I wrote about that once before. I still feel somewhat suspended I think, the journey in getting here has been so long and so much has transpired in the process it might be some time before I stop spinning. Or maybe I’ll always be spinning, that could be my nature. I am in perpetual forward motion which is both part of my charm and a source of contention, sometimes hard to find harmony if you’re always looking outside what already is.
I had so many amazing friends walk this journey with me; a circle of women I found as fellow moms at our school, my sisters that I’ve been honoured to meet through my wellness business and my neighbours. Each of them stayed in close contact with me and allowed for me to share ad nauseam the new developments of this house hunting journey — over tea, over Prosecco, over Voxer or Marco Polo — I feel deep gratitude that I had so many sounding boards these past months. In reality it’s been a three year process; from when we sold our house to friends of ours so that we could launch this house building dream in Barriefield village which then went terribly awry and so we ended up renting our house back but then never feeling really “at home” and then struck out on an another adventure, buying and renovating a huge RV and travelling for three months, and in that time had a third baby because why not?! All that time was spent not really feeling settled and waiting in anticipation for what could be next. And so, here we are.
It came down to the wire; we found out we would for certain need to move three weeks out. We mentally had been out the door long before that but now were in the practical scramble of the details like, you know, finding somewhere to live and packing all of our stuff. We had curbed our desires of finding a spacious country home close to the city and were happy to just have anything that would fit us and was available NOW. I had (mostly) worked through all of my huge hopes and dreams of buying the perfect property and was in a place of acceptance around taking whatever came, but miracles were in store for us.
This house appeared and we viewed it August 18th. We went for it immediately but didn’t actually know it was ours until one day before we were set to move. It was a slightly intense time of having huge faith in the bigger plan, considering what our backup option would be if we were homeless (we never solidified that and luckily didn’t need to) and hitting pause on packing once in awhile to drink Prosecco with a friend. For months we had been hell bent on buying something and not renting again but alas, the universe felt differently. This limestone farmhouse ticks off nearly every box we had, like ever, except that it’s a rental. But perhaps that doesn’t matter in the end. It’s a lovely home to be in for now and to turn the page and start what’s coming next. I guess it’s a helpful reminder that the universe is really listening, always. How many times did I scroll Realtor with the keyword ‘limestone’? I’m in awe at the wonder of it all really, getting that little nudge of ‘maybe this will all work out better than I imagined’ and trying not to burst the bubble.
In leaving our home on Frontenac it both felt stressful and peaceful; the terms weren’t quite our own as it wasn’t our house to sell but it also helped us leap to the next branch because we simply had to. We had outgrown that house so long before and like a crab that is outgrowing it’s shell, we were expanding rapidly, waiting for the molting to begin. It was uncomfortable but necessary. When more is required of us, we will be able to become more. Now we have the expansive space we can unfurl and grow into our next phase of life.
What is this phase? It feels mostly uncertain so far. Since I last wrote my middle girl Lily has turned six! She has her first wiggly tooth, she has been feted numerous times as is our family custom and she is now embarking on her first year of grade school. Except that we are keeping our kids home. Another huge and uncomfortable process, deciding to take another few months (or more?) at home before rejoining society. In the span of time it took us to figure out our move, the world was still in a global pandemic and though I’ve taken a pause on sharing my thoughts on that, I still feel the same – that we are being put into a holding pattern for some yet unknown agenda that has entirely nothing to do with our health. I’m sure I’ll revisit that in a blog with y’all soon. But its meant that school would mean our daughters would be negotiating things I wouldn’t ever have dreamed of them needing to and we’re not ready to face that. Because we believe it’s unnecessary and likely detrimental in myriad ways. And yet I also feel like kids can and need to face adversity, figure out how they can still be solid in themselves when they’re immersed in an environment set up against thriving. Then I also feel like they are so young and this time of uncertainty makes me want to hold them closer, for now. It’s a uniquely personal decision that is challenging no matter where you land and I offer blessings and grace to all going through it, no matter their path.
Ideally a little farmhouse school would pop up immediately in our locale so the girls could just meander down the road with a lunch basket in hand, sun bonnets shading their faces, to get in some socialization and learning each day while Steve starts churning out his beautiful furniture pieces and I make huge and delicious meals each day, recounting it all in story books loved by millions…but wait, I’m confusing my life with Little House on the Prairie again, dammit!!