Originally published May 22, 2020 on alifeofsimplejoys.com.
It feels like we just unpacked, happily discarding the last of the boxes and beginning a new life here in this beautiful neighborhood surrounded by hills and pasture. I have become accustomed to the drone of maintenance equipment each morning as they parade out onto the golf course. The dawn has awakened me with her bright glow before my alarm even has a chance to chirp and I always say it’s the best way to wake up–slowly, naturally, aware that the day has just begun and I haven’t missed the sun’s appearance on the molten edge of the distant hills. The sunrise never gets old.
After the construction of our big, beautiful raised beds, I called around to find out who would deliver dirt. After a bit of research I found a company whose dump truck wasn’t broken (that is apparently a common issue around here) and they delivered a big, beautiful pile of soil just a few hours later.
I have missed growing vegetables. Our previous home was located within the domain of an HOA that forbade such “unattractive” landscaping so, aside from the pitiful potted tomato plant on my pack patio, I had to go to the local Farmers’ Market to find fresh veggies.
Now we have eight beautiful acres. I have thought and a re-thought about where to put a garden and finally decided to build it in the backyard proper, within the fence, where Bambi and Thumper, as cute as they are, are less likely to devour our harvest. Then I had to decide what materials to use. I have visited Lowes and Home Depot many times, perusing the stone piles and wood options. I found out you never, ever use landscape timbers or railroad ties because they can be laced with chemicals such as asbestos. Not good. I seriously considered stone but it would require a lot of ground prep and, well, I am impatient.
We moved in on the first of July. Buried beneath a mountain of boxes, I frantically unpacked one after another, driven by the intense need to rid the rooms of cardboard and see the beautiful hardwoods hiding beneath the piles of packing paper.
Finally, after two weeks in this lovely place, I ascended a stepladder with a hammer and a smile to put a hole in the wall–a permanent scar that forever signifies the transplant of our lives here, in this big brick house surrounded by ponds and woods, fields and farms. A picture hung of seven smiling faces just before my oldest left the nest. Our family.
A few months ago I read Andrew Peterson’s book, Adorning the Dark. In this incredible work, Andrew describes the labor and intentionality of creativity and community. He describes his family’s decision to leave the city and move out to the country, putting down deep roots. He encourages the reader to be purposeful in settling down by saying,
“Give your house a name. Watch how it changes the way you treat it.”
Gosh, that sounded lovely. I experimented with possible names for our house, but nothing stuck. They didn’t feel authentic, and I hate the feeling of being a copycat so I ditched the idea and moved on.