So today I went for a walk behind our house, snowshoeing. I was reminded of how many times I’ve been back there in my life.
I have walked in those potato fields, along those tracks, by the river, all my life. I have always walked the tracks, it was where I could go to think, and it was always there, I made up many characters while I was walking. I loved walking to the island, going around the potato fields.
I then started to think of all the other times I’d been back there as a kid. See, when Julia and I found our house I had simply brought her down the road where I had grown up. The small trailer I had lived in until I was 8ish was still there, as was the house next door. Which was for sale…..
I loved living in Lille when I was a kid. It was quiet (most of the time) and no one bothered you (most of the time). It’s eerie in a way to look at pictures from when I was younger and see OUR house in the background. Of course it’s different now, inside and out, but if you drive by you’ll know this is our home. The porch is now enclosed and the red trim is gone, but it’s the same house that was there when I was a kid. (that’s me and my younger sister, Lisa- someone was telling us to hold hand, this was NOT normal activity for us)
(That’s our back yard in the photo; the barn is gone as are the trees) Why my dad ever let me drive that tractor is beyond me! I was a terror on it. I never wrecked it though.
He did say, however, that I wrecked his car.
I maintain, to this day, that I had NOTHING to do with it! I was to short to reach the clutch. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. (Taken next door to, that’s right, OUR house).
So whenever I go outside, or walk across the backyard I think of all the things I used to do back there. Like mow the lawn (we actually mow my neighbor, Dean’s lawn, so I’m STILL mowing that lawn) or ride my kitty kat (we didn’t have much when we lived in Lille, but Dad always seemed to find beat up stuff and make ’em work).
Or riding in the back yard in this hopped up weird car thing that my Dad had built until I was sneezing so hard I couldn’t breathe (thank you, hayfever!)
So that day, almost 6 years ago (4 years into our relationship) we saw our house for sale. We didn’t talk about it, it was a done deal. We talked to the older couple, the Bechards that lived there and went to see the house. Yup, it was old. Yup, it was small (we don’t have kids, nor have we ever wanted any) But it was manageable, with room to expand later on where the garage was. It wasn’t perfect, but what house is? It was well in our price range (at the moment we pay less than 200 a month for our home, I won’t freak you out with the actual number). Rachel knew Julia’s family, and of course, they knew me since I had lived next door. Rachel and Roger’s granddaughter had the same birthday as I did. We went home to our apartment and in a few days we were on our way to being home owners. It was “our” house. Small, with a garden and raspberry bushes. You have no idea how giddy I was about the raspberry bushes.
Now! Owning a house isn’t easy. Sometimes it isn’t fun! Each time something happens it panics Julia, but it seems to end up for the better.
Our 2nd winter here, well, we had a whole lotta snow.
Then it melted.
We live like ½ a mile from the river. And it was in our back yard. Fun, huh?
Then the water left and brought the wall along with it.
Storm was very depressed.
Then! We had a leak. Usually that’s not a big deal, right?
That’s our ceiling, we had a leak and the ceiling came down. Yes, thrilling. This is when I nicknamed our house Matilda. I don’t know why, but at about the time I was losing my mind, and water was pouring from the ceiling, I just called her Matilda. The name stuck. This ended with us having to redo the kitchen. And here came the improvements!
Add storage, new walls, new trim.
New staircase. New bookshelf
But it’s our house, our back yard, our place to go to. It’s home.
Where Tyler played with his Tante Julia.
And whenever Rhys comes over, he heads off to the tracks – because, well, he’s my brother’s son!
It still has some of the best sunrises.
It’s home. Where we plant our roots, where we are safe, and where we love. No matter what is falling apart, how much it costs to heat (not that much!) it’s home.