**This is an older post. I've been having some computer/internet difficulties but they seem to be worked out now. Hopefully it stays that way. In any case, here is a post from a few weeks back**
Coming back to this house was difficult, for sure. We reeeeaaaallly did not want to live downtown again. We didn't want to get rid of our animals. We didn't want to get rid of our freedom. We didn't want neighbors. We didn't want kids living next door who scream the f*bomb day and night. This is in so many, many ways NOT our ideal pocket of the world.
But. Here we are.
When we came back here it was February and we got to work right away improving the inside. Painting the concrete floors of the back part of the house, rearranging the rooms in our minds to better suit our family this time around. Ripping up carpet and putting in a painted plank floor, painting walls, decorating... all these things we did while it was still cold and gross outside. When spring finally came I had serious visions of what I wanted the outside of the house to look like. To sum it up: PLANTS EVERYWHERE.
The last time we lived here I really wanted window boxes to plant geraniums in. I thought that would looks so sweet. Cottage-like. Then we moved to New Richmond and I thought, “you know, the only thing that would make the exterior of this house better is window boxes filled with geraniums.” Then, at the cabin: “Martin, the outside is just made of wood, you could easily nail window boxes up to the windowsills and I would plant geraniums in them....” are you seeing the pattern here?
This time, I didn't even have to beg. (Martin is all about keeping me happy here. I think he's afraid I'll run away, especially now that I'm in such better shape from walking everyplace!) I have window boxes on almost all my windows (only the kitchen one still needs to be built.) And they are all filled with thriving red impatiens which I pretend are geraniums. (not true... one box is filled with geraniums, but they don't get enough light, which I suspected would be the case, but I had to try anyway.)
These window boxes make me happy. These and the roses Martin and the girls gave me for Mother's Day, and the dream of a picket fence and gate at the top of the driveway, all make me feel like this house is closer to meeting it's Cuteness Potential. It's kind of in a difficult spot—obviously, the neighborhood stinks in a lot of ways—our house is situated between an extremely cute and full of charm house and a dumpy, nothing-special-about-it, practically-falling-down rental, which looks a lot like ours, except we have green trim and are shorter. (Our whole house is short—oddly short. The ceilings are so low, which is goofy, but when you realize that the entire house is shorter than all the rest on the street, it's kind of comical. Like it was made just for us. Heart.) The rest of the houses all down the street are no better than the one next to us. They all are falling into disrepair. In fact, most of them look pretty awful. In the event that we end up spending the rest of our lives here in this house (likely,) the fact that our home looks somewhat taken care of, and cutefied, makes my heart feel a little more at peace with our situation.
I'm always on the lookout for other houses. Not just country houses (I'm hopelessly obsessed with my nightly internet homestead searches) but places in town too. Bigger lots, old homes that are more charming than ours, in cute, historic neighborhoods. Original woodwork, door, hinges, little garages or carriage houses outside... But whenever I do start wandering on a Zillow search, I always end up looking around at my own shabby little house and thinking maybe it really isn't so bad.
This past week my brother and his family have been visiting from Virginia. We had a little birthday gathering for Elka one night and the weather was nice. All the fifteen grandkids played outside and we had the patio lights and the house was hot and stuffy and full of food, and my sister-in-law snapped a picture late in the evening of my brother and me playing guitars on the patio, and I thought, “there's definitely a thin line between trashy and boho, and I think just maybe we have managed to make it onto the boho side.” And then, (even if it isn't true,) I convinced myself that we had.