I’ve been in Missoula for the past couple of weeks packing up our little house, sprucing it up so the next owner will walk through the door and fall in love. I want that with all of my heart, for the next owner to feel that glorious sense of home every time she walks through the garden gate. And, damn, does this sweet house deserve it!
In its 102 years, it’s been loved and abused and loved again. I want desperately for that love to continue. Is it strange to feel such a responsibility to a house? Erik and I fought so hard to resurrect it from dereliction and there were times, many times!, when I thought, nope, can’t do it. But we did. Through bathroom remodels, kitchen remodels, whole yard overhaul, decorative woodwork paint-stripping (the worst!), re-siding, wood floor refinishing and on and on…and on. We kept at it. And then one day, BAM!, it was everything I hoped it would be the first time I stepped inside.
So, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, to say I’m sad about the closing of this chapter does not begin to describe the ache I feel at the thought of never walking through that front door again. Never running my hand over the newel post at the top of the stairs, never curling up on the couch with a good book and watching the sun spill through the tall, tall windows. I question this move daily…hourly. Especially when I walk through the garden…
And, yet, what I’m moving to is something many people wish for: leaving the crazy of city for the quiet of the mountains. Right now, we’re straddling two worlds; one foot in the city and one foot in the mountains. I am continually being drawn back to Missoula for numerous reasons and many involve this pretty, little house. My friends are here, my interests are here, my community is here. It’s been a real struggle for me to fall in love with cabin life and the little community we’ve settled in. Will it change, become easier, once I let go of my life here and embrace life there?
I don’t think I will ever be able to drive past my little turquoise Victorian house and not feel my heart twinge just a bit. I have done my best to find a person who I believe will love it as much as we have. I am soaking up every minute detail, every scent, the feel of each room. I am spending as much time in the garden as I can, smelling each rose, gazing at the lively dance of summer flowers in the evening breeze, breathing in the scent of lavender that lines the path.
And then I will finish packing up my life (and heart) and make space for the new person to fill this space with light. And I will close this chapter, like it or not. And I will do my best to make peace with the cabin in the woods. I will try to develop a sense of community among the tall, tall trees. And I will see if I can create, once again, that glorious, wonderous sense of home. Wish me luck!