A new farmhouse becomes a home….gradually. I’ve moved around in my life. A lot. I was born in Texas, but when I was two we moved to Maryland. I spent most of my growing up years in Maryland, with a brief and inexplicable year in second grade in Alabama. Then high school in California. College–back to Texas. Then from there–Idaho, South Carolina, and back to Texas again. Then back to the Carolinas–this time, North Carolina. And within those places, I often lived more than one place, a year here, a year there. I’m used to setting up housekeeping and starting over. Sometimes it takes a while for a place to “feel” like home.
Almost three years ago now, I moved to West Virginia, to the 100-year-old farmhouse. I’d never lived in West Virginia before, but I’d spent a lot of time here as a child, and later, bringing my own children here to visit my family’s old stomping grounds. West Virginia felt like home right away. Maybe all along. And this house feels like home already. I never want to move again.
I love everything about this house, and this farm. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and I love working in this kitchen.
It’s a light, airy kitchen, not too big, not too small, just right.
I love bringing in fresh vegetables from the garden and cutting them up here and cooking them. I made chicken fajitas this weekend with the last of the lettuce and some of our peppers.
My kitchen is always busy. I spend more time here than anywhere else in the house.
It’s open to the living room and dining room, which keeps it from feeling as small as it is, and keeps me from feeling isolated with all the time I spend in here. I can cook and watch TV and look out all the windows.
The kitchen window looks out onto the smaller back porch. It’s a totally different view from the big front porch with its sweeping view of hills and trees. The back porch looks onto a steep hillside. We have an old grill out there and we cook out a lot. I’m planning to replace this old rusty contraption next year with a fancy stainless steel model.
I’m just kidding. I have an active fantasy life.
I was taking pictures when this girl said, “Why don’t you take a picture of the person you are hurting?”
She was referring to her deep and abiding anguish as she waited for dinner to be served.
Or maybe this was what she was really waiting for in pain.
Guess what we were doing after dinner?
The teenagers are always first into the kitchen when food is ready. Actually, they’re usually there before it’s ready. Asking when it’s going to be ready. Telling me about their pain.
About sixty seconds after this picture was taken, Coco….
…..despite a moment of begging for a second chance…..
….had to be escorted from the porch for the protection of everyone’s plates.
The pyros came out at dark. 15 played with Coke boxes…..
…..while 17 and his girlfriend conducted some kind of ritual burning of a box of papers.
I suspect this had something to do with old boyfriend/girlfriend notes or some such thing. They don’t always give me all the juicy details.
But it was very romantic.
Then they got over themselves and stuffed their faces with s’mores.
The cat slept through everything.
Me, I don’t want to sleep through anything.
Becoming home is a process. This new “old” farmhouse felt like home right away, but real home is made of memories. And little by little, we’re getting there.
Even if the teenagers have special, romantic secrets.
Maybe because the teenagers have special, romantic secrets.
They need memories, too.
P.S. If you live in this area–we are discussing a get-together on the forum in this thread, so come on over and help us plan!
P.P.S. I just discovered there is a short piece about my blog on the Hur Herald site today. If you aren’t from around here or don’t know, the Hur Herald, which describes itself as A Questionable Publication from West Virginia, is a popular online alternative news source in West Virginia. (Don’t be confused by the reference to Sunny Cal–the Hur Herald originates in Calhoun County, not California, thus the Sunny Cal.)