Our path to this house was a long one. I know I've shared that with you here before. It was many years in the making - the getting to here - with a lot of bumps along the way. So many times in those years, we were asked the same question: why don't you just build? I don't know how we knew, but we knew that wasn't in the cards for us. That building from scratch was not what we were looking for, that it was not what we were capable of at that point in our lives, at least. I have such admiration for those who can do it, honestly. Those who can find just the right piece of land, who can identify the trees and the water they need, who work their tails off, and go on and up from there. I am inspired by these friends of ours - mystified even. But it is not us. I need a starting place at which I can work from. From there? I am convinced I can make anything work. Truly. But I need a place to start.
This process, of 'building on' to our old farmhouse has been a reminder of all of that. That I do love old things. That I need a place to start from. That from-the-scratch-beginnings are a stretch beyond our comfort zone, to be certain. Balancing economy/taste/ecology is a tricky thing that sometimes feels impossible. This particular new space has had the added confusion of being in my house, but not quite for me. And so there's that. What do I want? What does she want? What does the budget demand? Whatever shall we do? (She, for the sake of clarity, has been nothing but wonderful. All these games and questions exist nowhere but in my own head).
Ah, but all of that is thankfully behind us, and now we are here. Here, at last, at the place of completion. And simultaneously, at the place of beginning. The place where we say goodbye to the lovely workers with whom we have shared our house these past few months (just before my children attach "Uncle" as a prefix to their names, for love and frequency of them). The place where my children turn over this empty room in which they have played endless games and practiced their grand jetes over and over and over on the newly finished smooth floors (honestly, this empty room has kept my children so peacefully entertained for days, I've hardly seen them). Where I have fussed over every.knob.and.switch for months. Where we have made sacrifces and compromises as a couple, as a family of seven, as a family bigger than that. Where we have wondered and anticipated - greatly - what comes next.
Now we are in the place where generations meet. Where old and young (and middle aged - I guess that's us) learn to live together. And I find myself at a loss for words. I do not know what comes next. I have great hope, I have some worries. But then, I turn the corner and find a thing like this. And I know, with every ounce of my being, that everything will be okay. For her. For them. For us. This, I know, is family. And we are all home, together now.
And so, let me steal the words right out of the mouth of my babes today...
Welcome Home Gram.