Of course, new starts sometimes start roughly. When we moved three weeks ago, it was in the middle of a stretch of cold, very rainy weather that turned the grounds around the new house into a quagmire. The flooring wasn't complete, so we stacked our boxes of stuff in the garage (thank the spirits the house has one!). What the movers didn't move, we moved, working into the night, dashing through the cold rain from our cars on the street, around the dumpster in the driveway, to get stuff into the garage. Then, exhausted, we spent our first night there sleeping on a mattress on the floor and warmed by space heaters (the gas heat was not turned on) with the prospect of a cold shower in the morning (the house's old water heater didn't work).
Our sons had been helping but, once the moving was done they returned to their comfortable, off-campus apartment in Oxford.
But things improved over the next weeks. I bought a new water heater and when the gas company approved its installation they turned on the heat. The flooring was finished, along with the painting, and our new appliances were installed, and we began to unbox and clear out the garage. The dumpster was removed so we could park in our driveway. Our construction company even threw in some extensive gardening work that will add much beauty to the grounds, especially in the back yard where we'll have a view of a bed of lillies from the covered deck.
All this kept me so occupied that I haven't made a journal entry or done much else online. Now, we have Internet access and my computer is setup again, so I should be back into writing full swing pretty soon. One of my goals is to get the next issue of the Dentville Stories Newsletter published sometime in February. (So if you aren't a subscriber, please sign-up for it now on the NEWSLETTER page of this website, or text "RAYSWRITES" to 22828 to subscribe from your smart phone. The subscription is FREE and you'll also receive a coupon code for a FREE download from Smashwords of my short story, Davis and the Goth).
So we are in our new house now. Its rehab, driven by Donna's impeccable color schemes and accents, is nearly complete and will bring the house to a great level of comfort for us. Buying a house these days is trying at best. In getting successfully through the process, which included much repair work, we were helped by some super people. In a later journal entry I'll thank them and give you the links to their company websites, along with some comments on the house-buying process. Right now, I just want to think about what we've done and where it's brought us.
Donna and I have bought three houses before this one. The first was a barely livable "starter home," the second was a fixer-upper on an acre lot that we never really fixed up, and the third was a McMansion that was all style-with-no-substance. I expect this one to be much better than any of those.
In The Lord of the Rings, Mr. Tolkien described Rivendell, the home of Elrond the elf king, as:
"...a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness."
That's what a house should be--a physcial place that complements the nonphysical needs of its occupants. If constructed so as to meet their energetic ebbs and flows with colors and spaces and esthetics that promote tranquility and stimulate passions, it can aspire to Mr. Tolkien's ideal. Then kindred souls can gather in it's hospitable spaces and plan great expeditions over brandy and cigars, or just share company over tea and cookies. It can be a place where families build a loving homebase and launch new lives.
Donna and I have tried to build such a homebase over the years. We learned from the little rental house we just left--that a small, warm, comfortable space can be more satisfying than a lot of square footage and tall ceilings. I believe we'll have that with this house. It'll be a place we can retreat to after our daily trials, where we can commune with family, cook meals, and entertain friends. It'll be a place where I can write.
It'll be a perfect house.
[The picture is Peter Jackson's version of Rivendell from his Lord of the Rings movies.]