One of the first things I noticed about our fixer from the perspective of a new mother, was the stairs. Staircases can be a source of concern to any mother with a child that is still developing walking skills, but this stairway was special. Part of the railing midway was torn down, prematurely exposing the walker to the first floor. Additionally, the railing that remained intact was spaced wide enough for our newly toddling firstborn to fit through.
The stairway peril became a situation that required scrutiny as projects piled up, and time was not available to immediately remedy the condition of the steps. Once the buildup of boxes and furniture found homes, I had to discover a method of sectioning off this hazard. I tried various arrangements, but the most effective was positioning our daughter’s play yard over the opening. The wheels allowed us to move it as we needed to ascend to the second level.
Almost a year after we purchased our fixer, time allowed my husband to begin tackling the stairs. He wanted to build a new base to allow more vertically developed individuals to avoid harm to their cranium on the sloped ceiling. The venture commenced while my daughter and I were on a trip visiting family. We were able to come home to a partially constructed stairway. Eventually, the project was finished, and even painted. It was a sturdy work of art. The railing at the landing was crafted to be demountable for easier move-in/move-out capability.
It never goes away. That urge to change every detail to your imagining; conjuring plans for a room. Our current home has mostly been updated to the previous owner’s vision. Still, I feel the need to repaint; to tear out all the pretty landscaping and grow edible things. Maybe I am not made for move-in ready. I have to create; to shape something that reflects my imagination in a practical way. That is why I love photography and gardening.
My husband is equally driven by creativity, even more so when it comes to a house. He is the real genius behind designing and seeing building projects to completion. With his training in architecture and our passion for making things both functional and lovely, we have a hard time sitting still. I am not sure what the future holds, but we are striving to make decisions and progress that will one day allow us to encounter another venture, whether that be another fixer, or building something from the foundation up. We desire not just a house, but a sustainable homestead that will keep us busy creating and doing what we love.
I have slowly been updating details and adding more photos to the life in a fixer series. I really wish I had taken more pictures of the home the day we moved out, but we were already quite behind schedule and the lighting was not favorable. Regardless, I am sorting through the photographs and adding them as I can. Each detail recalls a memory of those special times, as well as the hardships that became a part of our journey.
It has been a roller coaster ride of emotions and plans over the past few weeks. We have been entertaining and accepting offers on our first house, only to have them fall through. We are convicted and tested; our goals and ideas changed. Still we have held on. Trusting.
Sunday we leaped. We drove the two hours to our former home and sealed a deal – for now. Then we went mushroom hunting. It was a good farewell to all that we left behind, and a step forward toward our longed-for homestead in the country. Someday. Meanwhile we trust, do our part, and eat mushrooms.
“There are times in spiritual life when there is confusion, and it is no way out to say that there ought not to be confusion. It is not a question of right and wrong, but a question of God taking you by a way which in the meantime you do not understand, and it is only by going through the confusion that you will get at what God wants.” :: Oswald Chambers
It has been a busy month: moving and unpacking, adjusting to city life for this country girl at heart, dealing with a sick toddler and baby, a little traveling, trying to find some time to grow our side income to get us to our financial goals, and just the day-to-day responsibilities and modifications at our new home.
Next week I am excited to start sharing some of the recipes I have experimented with for our family (chickpeas are on the menu again!), as well as a few ideas on what to do with an abundance of that summer harvest which may be piling up for you (for me it was plums and potatoes)! I also want to finish the Life-in-a-Fixer posts with the last photos I took before we moved and reveal the plants (and trees!) I started growing at our new home!
Today, I am leaving some links to my favorite internet discoveries since my last sifted post. I hope you enjoy!
: : I found sage growing in our yard, so I will be making this as an all-purpose cleaner.
: : Since downsizing to 1,000 square feet, I have found inspiration in posts like this. Hopefully soon we can build our own tiny home, tailored for our family (there are certain benefits to marrying an architect). Less is more!
: : Love this post about focusing on beauty even in the midst of difficulty. Holding on to those moments, especially in parenting!
It has been a long (and fast) few weeks since our world changed. Brian has been working in the city while the girls and I stay on the coast and wait for the closing on our Portland home. The weekdays are often hectic and lonely as I manage things here by myself. My camera has been out of order for several weeks, causing a steady stream of Instagrams as I continue my habit of freezing a few of these moments, to remember and cherish as the days rush on.
Despite my reservations with gardening after we found out about the move, we have managed to gain a fair amount of our fruits and veg of the season from its bounty. Potatoes, salad greens, kale, radishes, cilantro, strawberries, salmonberries, and onions have all been gathered, while the carrots, blueberries, raspberries, sugar peas and garlic continue to thrive and promise a delicious harvest.
All this change was unexpected, and in the opposite direction we were anticipating (I guess that full-on farm/homestead will have to wait a bit longer), but as all the doors flew open, we decided to step through. Moving forward. Waiting and breathing.