As we gazed around and started to clean, we would look at each other often and say, "It's ours now. This is our house," as if by saying it again, we might wrap our mind around it. "This is my house." I said to the empty dining-room. Then, after going out, I squinted back through the screen door and imagined it clean and furnished with warm light and happy people. One day. One day soon. One day at a time.
It's not like we're new to this whole moving business. I have moved more than six times in my half-long life. And by the time spring comes and the melting and the warmth, we will have done it again. And while we clean, we dream of it. . . I see curtains fluttering in on a cool breeze and warm sun-patches checkering the floor. Old books lining newly-painted walls, familiar furniture and intoxicating aromas of home food floating from the kitchen. I imagine green creeping across the sprawling vine on the north-wall bricks, and new yellow roses in the front yard.
So far we have had our first tea in our new house, a very happy landmark. Hot black tea with milk, and peanut-butter bread, always an important event. We have also put up our first window stars, and lit candles. I have snuggled babies, and read them picture-books, fed baby-food to a red-headed boy and watched him play. My favorite people in the world are working around me, Bebo Norman is playing while we scrape wallpaper and tape baseboards. It's beginning to be home.
Out my windows you can see a white house and a brick house across the street. To the right the green awnings of small businesses, the fire-station, and further off, church towers and the pleasant blue of an old-fashioned industrial building. This town, heretofore known as 'Katie's town', is to become my town. My little 'Mitford'. That's a happy thought (especially to me, as an adamant reader of Jan Karon's).
Our own little town to learn and love, to frequent the libraries, meet the neighbors, grow accustomed to the sidewalks and parks. But especially in these first months here, we'll focus on the house; making it clean and cozy, creating a haven to return to. We aren't all moved in yet, we aren't actually living there yet. . . but soon.