Months ago, I got lost thinking about the great Move In. Keeping us focused, goading us on through the long, cold winter, move in presented a light at the end of the tunnel: a perfect idyll of a time to make things pretty, and make things home.
Home-making. My most favorite of all favorite activities in the world. I couldn't wait.
Naturally, "perfect idylls" tend to look a little less perfect and idyllic up-close and personal. They're easier to preserve from the glum vantage point of a long, cold winter. Lately, Gilbertsville was puzzling me: furniture stood in place, function had returned to the kitchen and the bathroom and the bedroom, yet nothing really felt like home. Chalk it up to May: I've spent two hours outdoors for every one indoors for the past month, scampering from the house to the garden like a rat fleeing a sinking ship.
Okay, maybe not quite like that. But close. And I have a lot to show for it: a fenced garden with everything in the ground, flower beds that have more flowers in them than weeds (though still lots of weeds), two hazelnut bushes planted along the back fence, a happy chicken. But yesterday evening, stepping inside, I finally mustered the motivation to face the house with my shoulders square. I got my bearings: the withered pot of daffodils on the kitchen counter, unpacked boxes collecting around the fringes of the living room, orphaned tools and paint buckets in every room. Random hardware bits littering the windowsills. The charger for our Ryobi tool set, with its red blinking light, blinking at me from our downstairs bathroom vanity.
I listened to two episodes of This American Life, and slowly, chaos succumbed to order. The daffodils were relegated to the garage, the downstairs bathroom vanity was cleared and scrubbed out, the Ryobi charger found a new home in the basement. I even had time to pretty things up, just a little bit, in the dining room.
It's amazing what a lift in spirits can be had from replacing a tabletop screwdriver, to-do list, and cat with a runner, a framed photo, and a vase. Sigh.