See my beautiful new garden window, now installed? I can barely wait to cook in the kitchen that will come to life soon just on the other side of that window. It’s nothing but bare walls and bare floor now, but soon it will be a kitchen. My new kitchen. Someday I’ll bake birthday cakes and tuna casseroles and pumpkin pies and eggs from my very own chickens there. I’ll light candles in the window and put cookies in the oven and it will be mine.
But change is hard. I’m leaving a place that means a lot to me, this old farmhouse, even as it has become an uncomfortable place to live in many ways. We’ve stretched the limits of this one hundred-year-old home. We aren’t the first family to live here, but we are likely the last. My cousins have newer homes here on the farm and this house stands mostly as a family monument, but it won’t stand forever.
My great-aunt got married on horseback and came here the day she married. She raised her two children here, and later partly raised two of her grandchildren here. After she died, the house stood empty for ten years other than the occasional visiting relative. Now I’ve raised three children here for two years. Three BIG children in a small, old house. The rooms are too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. The four of us share one bathroom. There are few electric or phone outlets, and this old house has borne the invasion of our satellite TV and wires dragging everywhere across the floors.
When I’m tripping over yet another wire, stumbling over the piles of backpacks and shoes because there are no closets, and shivering because there was no such thing as insulation when this house was built, I’m ready for my new house.
But when I bake cookies in that kitchen where my great-aunt put on her apron every morning, I know that I am probably the last mother who will bake cookies here for her children. Then I think of how I will be the first in my new one. A new beginning for a new farmhouse.
I can smell the cookies already. I hope they’re going to be good.
*Latest in How to Do Stuff—Best Ever Gingerbread Cookies.