Before we moved to this house, I frequently posted about how badly I wanted to live in a home of our own. I was desperate for a garden, for space to make things, for walls we could paint, or not paint, for the freedom to have pets. I would daydream about how extra special it would be to live in a home with plenty of room for guests, to invite all
of our friends over to play, to hang out. As a family we would regularly describe the things we would build, or what we could do, if we didn't have to ask permission, apologize, or compromise with a landlord.
Now, more than ever, I am so glad to be home. We are fortunate, and I know it, I feel it, daily. We painted our house the blue I love. And we can plant food, or flowers, or collect heaps of found objects, and build stuff like Viking tents and geodesic domes! We have chickens and vegetarian dogs.
We fix our leaks, and repair the roof, we could add a trapdoor, build robots on the dining table, let the cats climb the walls! We have room... we have been able to say, Yes, you can stay here. For a day, a week, some months, a year.
People like to tell me "Your house, it's big. Really big."
I turn my head and gaze at it, thinking of the people in the rooms, and dishes on the shelves, the dirty clothes, the books and projects, and shoes dropped at the doors, the spots that leak, the pantry full of food, the cats napping on the tattered chairs, and I reply, Yes, thankfully, it is big. Big enough.
Thank goodness for our big enough
house, and huzzah! for our plans to make it bigger. This year we have been married for 31 years, have blogged for 18, and lived in our Bird House for 11 years. I like this. Brand new to me, still something that catches me off guard, and makes me wonder at how marvelous it is... being a part of a community. We know our neighbors, and their neighbors, and the clerks in the shops, and the vice principal at the school, and our friend on the school board, and our children have played together with their friends since early childhood... so many connections, and safety nets, and happy revelations, and memories. I had no idea what that could be like. It's brilliant.
I don't know where I am going with this.. with my rambling reflections. These are the ideas and notions that occur to me, looking at pictures of our house, and thinking about how thankful, relieved, I am to be home, to have a home, to have plans, to be eager for more and happy with what I have, at the same time.
It's always been something of a joke that our dining table is rarely a place we can sit down for a meal. We have soldered, programmed, painted, constructed, demolished, sewn, glued, hammered, and gathered at our table, and now we are eating dinner at our dining table, because it's in the living room, and in the dining room we have moved a work table and set it up for manufacturing PPE. We are making Personal Protective Equipment to donate to healthcare workers in three states, at hospitals, and healthcare facilities, including the Navajo Nation. We are networked with friends at San Diego 3D Printing For a Cause.
It takes more space than our dining room... the work goes on in the garage, the worksop, and on our porch, and the hours are constant. 3D printing goes through the night, and hands for de-burring are always in demand. William has been indispensable... he has a lot of experience and expertise in 3D design, 3D printing, and mold making. The experience helps, but it's the determination that is making the difference, because we have faced a lot of failures, setbacks, missteps. Making face shields is, naturally, all new to us, and we are trying to develop ways of doing the work on a faster, more efficient scale. We have had entire 24 hour work days that end in disaster, and then... success, progress, PPE.
So. Yeah... now we have a dining table, like civilized families.
Home life is good. We are comfortable, and finding what we need, or making do, doing without. We feel the strength and love of our friends, and family, our community. We are happy, and we are determined to do what we can to help others be happy, safe, comfortable.
Maria has been revisiting digital art. Here is one of her Dungeons and Dragons characters, Lyra, a Tiefling.
William squeezed in some 3D printing that is purely for fun, which is a good thing to do. This little egg-sized gem is from Thingiverse.
It reminds me of old movies, The Thief of Bagdad
. For being so small, it holds a lot of wonder, and I can imagine walking through it, quarantining there with all of our friends. It's bigger than it looks, and there's a pool, gardens, wells, a spot where you can dip into the ocean, and sit on the beach. I'd sleep on a terrace and explore the caves with a lantern and a picnic lunch.
It's been raining. Winter was dry, and that was concerning, but then came spring, and lo! Almost half our annual rainfall came down in a day! This was after a week of regular rainfall. Our own town had the highest rainfall in the county, and more than one friend had a flooded home. It was too much. Think what that must mean, for me to say it was "too much rain," is saying a lot.
Our workshop was splashing, the backyard was a shallow pond. There was a river in the sky and it moved east, as our storms always do, and then it turned around and hit us again. We stopped laundry, showers, any heavy water use, because we couldn't test the septic any more than it was being tested. Alex and I covered the garden beds, to not flood our sprouts and seedlings.
Outside was a mess of water and mud, and inside we hunkered down and kept doing what had to be done... school, cooking, making protective face shields, and keeping cozy.
The next day, we saw blue sky, sunlight, and messes to clean. Poor Bambi, cooped up in the RV, that was going through its own floods and shakes, could finally come out and feel some relief. We were all counting down the last days of her isolation and thinking of Easter.
While Maria was inside, fixing dinner, her friend, Max V5 drove by. I happened to be out, having FenceTime with Leslie and Simon, and Max tossed something onto our driveway... "I'm doing "Ding Dong Ditch! That's for Maria!"
He has a bright, effusive smile. I was sorry Maria wasn't outside to see him, to laugh with him over this clever gesture. And I am sorry Max couldn't come inside and see Maria's reaction, how she was surprised, and amused and a bit confused, and asked, "But what is it?"
Even after I explained, and told her, "A Ding Dong is baked treat. It's a play on words and a kind of prank,"
she went a Googled "Ding Dong." For sure, she will never forget her first Hostess Ding Dong! She split it with her brother, Max V2. (Note: It's already a common habit, but isn't it the oddest thing to receive gifts that you immediately wash in hot soapy water?)
We are home. And we are safe, and we are making, and sharing, and getting by. We have our pets, our messes, our own paint colors, and plans. It's everything I hoped for and more, a lot more.