If you think about it too much, it’s kinda weird to move your own family back into the house you grew up in. It’s the situation I find myself in right now as my husband assumes a new position at the PV.
I’m comfortable here, yes, but also feel it’s important to personalize the house to make sure it feels like our home to my husband and my kids. That project got underway last month with the help of a carpenter, who’s made a few improvements to the house that give it a different feel: the refinishing of the original hardwood floors, a new heater, the repurposing of a few rooms. Then there are little things we ourselves will invest in to give everything renewed energy: new curtains, new toilet seats, a few coats of paint which in reality I might not get around to applying for a few years (a barn-red wall, anyone? turquoise shelves? gray surrounding the shower? Beau’s not so sure). The exterior of the ranch house was painted this past summer — it’s dark brown now; a century’s worth of whiteness systematically disappeared under the hands of the local house-painter in July, giving the place the feel of a new establishment.
Which, I guess, is us.
Just having our own — the Blake family — furniture in my folks’ house gives the house a very different feel than it had all through my adolescence. I was a mighty happy camper two nights ago when Beau set up our log bed and we, at long last, lay down to sleep within its four strong arms.
See, Beau and I hadn’t slept in our log bed for almost two years. Yes, the bed made the move to the VX with us, but it was among the furniture that was unloaded at the house we hoped we would move into — not the house we actually moved into. (That was pre-remodel-kabash.) So the bed was in one house, we were in another, and life got to happening — we set up our Sleep Number mattress (worth every penny, by the way) on the floor, without the log frame; we had a baby and didn’t sleep a wink for 11 months; we started to discuss moving back to ranch headquarters — and we never did get around to setting up our log bed all through 2015 and into 2016.
Now here we are, another move under our collectively expanding belt, back to right where we started at ranch headquarters, unpacking all the stuff we haven’t lived with for a couple years. Including our log bed.
Our log bed is special because it was handmade by our friend Dan, who passed away this last summer, and because it was a wedding gift from Beau’s folks. It weighs three tons but it has made all our moves with us, and I have vowed that someday when our own kids marry, our wedding gift to each of them will be a king-size bed (ours is a queen, but it gets a little crowded when a baby’s on board). What gift could be more lasting and more meaningful than a bed?
Our log bed is a thing of beauty — and when you’re camping out and living with just the essentials, as we did at the VX, the things of beauty are the first to get stored away. And so in some ways it’s a relief to be here with all this tangible beauty, all the wonderful things we’ve collected throughout our marriage, surrounding me again. It’s like we’ve returned from the wilderness (and don’t get me wrong, I totally loved the wilderness) to civilization. Civilization, I’ve found, has its comforts.
When my own mom surprised me with a moving gift this time — a beautiful bedspread to match and to cover our re-bi-tri-cycled bed — well, it made the bed all the more inviting. For some reason the beautiful log bed covered with a beautiful bedspread (a bedspread is the sort of thing we’ve just never gotten around to spending money on) gives me the feeling that we’ve kinda… arrived. Like we’re (almost) (officially) grown-ups living in a real house.
Two nights in, I’ll say this: sleeping next to my husband in our log bed in the room where I slept for the first 18 years of my life under a beautiful bedspread is akin to floating on a cloud of marshmallow fluff all night long.
With sprinkles on top.
I think we’re gonna be all right, folks. I think we’re gonna be all right.
© Tami Blake
PS: First snow of the season yesterday. The dog wanted in and the baby wanted out.