Gosh! It’s been almost eight months since I’ve returned to this page to chronicle this wild and crazy adventure. What pulls me back is the impending ONE YEAR anniversary of having made the move to Camden, which will be for real on September 9th! Going back through the months in words and pictures will show the process and the progress we’ve made. As the dark days of winter and my mind edged towards the lengthening days of spring, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and what lay ahead was my new home.
The first major project was to reclaim the garish aqua painted room that had housed all of Bob’s stuff before his studio was built. Now this little two part room would function as my ‘morning room/sitting room’ and my studio once I set to dealing with the chaos that greeted me each morning when I opened the door.By this time, I had at least settled on a floor and wall paint and found it calming to run my brush up and down the walls and floor boards while listening to Sunday afternoon NPR programs. However, this mess had to then be moved back and dealt with.
Bob set up my art table and cut my old shelves to fit my new walls. But let me not understate the affect that this still existing chaos had on me. It was paralyzing! I didn’t know how to begin, to overcome the inertia I felt when I walked into that room, so I’d walk out and feel the heaviness of helplessness….not a good place for a take charge, let’s get it done girl like me!
I’d say getting this room and studio to this point was also MY turning point. A ‘room of ones own’ cannot be underestimated. Morning news does not invite me into my day. Up to this point, my choice was either that or the mess that had inhabited this now sweet space. I was happy to just sit on the floor and smell the new paint, while I watched the day awaken outside the windows. That’s news enough for me!
Pussy willows are the early March harbinger of spring. I found them in the scruffy growth along our roadside and felt thrilled at the discovery. This will be the season of surprises once the dormant earth releases its treasures. Not to be fooled by the furry buds, it’s still pretty chilly and the inside still calls us in with a little more work to do.
…a hint of the newly painted entry and hallway floor, a little window valance to welcome you in, the gift of flowers and a clay pomegranate that emits the sweetest heavenly scent, courtesy of my brother and sister in law, always the purveyors of the most lovely items!
You may have noticed that I have fallen in love with this shade of blue green. I can’t seem to find enough places to strategically put it without it seeming like overkill….I’m getting close!
The downstairs is pretty much complete. Our finger print has managed to touch most surfaces, key for me in making this place feel like mine.
It’s May! The outside is irresistible after a long cold winter….and hey! my garlic, planted last November from my Windward Farm garden crop proved that this new garden would be an ample home. It was a teary moment for me when I spotted those green shoots….a reminder that we will all endure, and life goes on and cycles are comforting assurance of all that. It’s no secret that spring is my very favorite season. Maybe being born in March has forged a kinship in me with that energy. So chores are begging for attention. The one I have been waiting to get to is painting my garden shed….guess what color I chose?
That’s just the primer…here comes the completed job….. We’re back in production and compared to the way this place looked and felt last fall, I can’t help beginning to feel a certain energy invigorating this little homestead. It’s starting to cook! And I am also feeling the relief that its size affords…it’s manageable in so many ways, without having to sacrifice the joys of living the life I have come to love…laundry drying on the line, gardens to grow, dark starry nights and morning air spiked with the scent of Penobscot Bay. This was an unexpected gift. It reminds me of my dad walking out our front door in Oceanside on a summer morning, taking a deep breath and reveling in the smell of the salt air. Anything that brings him closer to me is, as this does, is a happiness beyond words.
It felt so good to know that the favorite plantings we left behind, we could buy and grow in our new yard. Bringing home the purple Smokebush, Miss Kim lilac, the most venerable Mock Orange bush and Fire and Ice hydrangea made me feel far less homesick for the plantings we had cultivated and left back on the farm.
A bit startling to see this come up, but I have to invite my mother into these words and pictures. She will never know this new home as I do, but including her in this space is the only way I have of sharing it with her and honoring the old among all the new.
We visited with her in late June and then celebrated Ollie’s fourth birthday, the youngest member of the family the next day.
July brought lots of visitors.
Addie, Jennette, Ollie and Emma, having moved from Ithaca N.Y. to Acton MA. are only three and a half hours away. I love having them in the “New England Corridor” with the rest of the gang and it means we get to see each other more often.
In a few weeks, Alec would have his one man show at the Littlefield Gallery, in Winter Harbor, and Sara would be singing at the Strand Theater, in Rockland. Some of us are born to punctuate the air with a creative energy that must be shared with the many. These two offspring are inspiring examples of such callings.
My dear friend and college room mate, affectionately called “Shills”, made the long trip from New Haven CT. for a visit. It’s always a creative adventure with her…..I got a little jewelry making tutorial and then we headed off to the Glendarragh Farm to pick lavender.
My how she’s grown! This garden is a first year miracle! No flea beetles, cutworms, slugs…. even the weeds haven’t found her. She has provided a remarkable harvest and asked very little of her most grateful gardener. With a fraction of the work and the self inflicted angst of my former garden, this one represents much of what we had hoped for…a full and fruitful life, a simpler existence with the happy absence of the clutter that thrives in bigger spaces.
A year of life in this house has made a few clear changes apparent. Fran Lloyd Richardson has built this model from the architect’s plans. We missed a mud room and mostly some outdoor spaces…..an open porch to pull up a chair in out of the hot sun, a screen porch on which to enjoy summer dinners and evening thunderstorms. Those of you who have visited have understood the need for an upstairs bathroom redo and that wraps up the hopefully final transformation. Stay tuned to see how this all progresses.
The Windjammer Festival is the traditional Labor Day event and it wraps up the summer of our new lives.
Yup, it’s home sweet home, finally. I’m not wanting to leave you with the impression that this Pollyanna sounding epistle has me writing with my rose colored glasses on. These are hard won words. Check back to my earlier blogs and you won’t have to read between the lines to hear the voice of a deeply lost soul, wondering what in hell she had done.
I make myself remember every step I have taken during this past year and in part, that is why I have devoted three days to putting this together. A year is a span of time that seems to be just the right amount of time to heal, to adjust, to transition, to get comfortable again after a big change, whether welcomed or not. Would I have gotten through this any easier if I knew that, or remembered that? Probably not. A year is a long time to be out of your familiar groove and it’s hard work to carve out a new one. But, the hardest work is behind me, and I say “Thank you God for showing me the open window and giving me the courage to step through it.” I look back and wonder how we ever did it, and then I get all goose bumpy and look around me to make sure it really happened. And it has. It’s for real. And I say ‘Thank you”, every day, I say ” thank you”.