Saturday, October 12, 2013

Home is Where the Heart Is???

When I made the decision to retire from my teaching job March of 2012, I traded the joy of inspiring the dreams of my students for realizing a few dreams of my own.  My dream of the perfect retirement took me to live in Indiana with my husband who had been there already for six months and to upgrade a 1960's house by taking down more wallpaper than I care to even think about in retrospect.  Just as I finished making that house a home, I was blessed to teach again during the fall of 2012, until the closing of the academy.  My heart was in that home because my husband and my furry babies were there.  However, when it came to moving back to the home that we had had built with our own stamp of personal choices on it, I was not heartbroken to trade in the shallow closets, original oak flooring (much of it covered by carpet), and formica countertops for walk ins, Brazilian Cherry and granite.  In spite of the upgrades, would it have been home without my husband there?  Not really, so when he was sent to the next assignment, although I balked in the beginning, I packed our left over furniture--some inherited and some purchased from an estate--chose only the clothes suitable to our destination, and drove across country.  Somewhere between Montana and the west coast,  my best friend and husband leased a home mutually agreed upon (based solely on a website view and description) in our preferred neighborhood/town.

When we arrived, we were met with these views:
Main street moving through the town center
Adjacent street dressed in fall colors

Neighborhood Starbucks--Lucky Me!

I was reminded at once of the movie Pleasantville, and, at the same time, of my friend's husband's recent post concerning intentional communities (linked for your reading pleasure  Reading John's view of an intentional community made me want to rush out and get in on the ground floor of this concept, so I hope that he will not be offended by me connecting his academically researched plan for a community to our little town designed to include a store, among other deliberately chosen features, to meet every daily need of the members of the community allowing them to rarely have to leave town center if they so choose.  We have a dry cleaner, library, Yogurtini, Jiffy Lube,  bus "depot," hotel, post office, Mexican restaurant, 3 sushi establishments, a pub--to name a few examples--and my neighbor informed me that we are getting a grocery store within a short time.  The streets are tree lined with the elementary school and childcare facility located alongside the homes, apartments and condos.  Dogs are welcome additions and are companions to their owners who frequently walk, ride bikes or jog on the sidewalked streets.  Our town is designed so that the houses back up to their own alley where the garbage is discreetly picked up, parks are dispersed throughout the community, and landscape at the front of each house is manicured for the most part by the city workers rather than home owners.  Gray, beige, yellow, clay and blue are repeated colors of houses on any given street where inhabitants look down on their side yards from second floor windows or casually from the front porches of their deep, one-storied homes called ramblers.

The house we call home is a two-story with an open living, dining and kitchen area warmed by a fireplace while three bedrooms with two baths hover above.  A garage and grassy side yard with hot tub completes our "little world." (For the sake of inquiring family members, pictures are included,)  This house has wood floors that creak with every footfall and no bathroom on the first floor, but we embrace it as our home because it pulses with the love and energy of four hearts--Roy's, Huck's, Finn's, and mine!
Our Northwest home

Living Area with my dad's recliner, couch and chair from Indiana and Canvas 1 repainted to match each home

Entryway with Mrs. Finnerty's secretary

Dining area and corner kitchen

Guest room with my Uncle Bob's cedar bedroom set and my great grandmother's quilt

Master bedroom with Canvas 2 painted to match its new home

Kings of the Side Yard