When my man and I decided that we would be moving from the lush green, culturally hoppin', atmospherically superior (oh, cool moisture in the air, how I miss you) Seattle Washington area to the dry, rugged, culturally streamlined and breathtakingly mountainous Utah of my youth (oh, mountains, how I had missed you!), I developed a new hobby (cough-OBSESSION-cough).

But first: A word about these mountains of mine. You know, while we're on the subject. Thanks to Johnny-boy Denver, most people think that the Rocky Mountains belong to Colorado. But as you can see by the handy map below, the Rockies do not discriminate. Most of Utah is covered by the range's mountain goodness. Even Canada gets a piece of the action.

And now, back to our original program. Ah, yes. My obsession. I mean, my obsession besides mountains.

I developed a fondness for virtual house hunting. I was in Washington. My home to be was in Utah. I couldn't exactly take the tour. But my still newlywed little heart refused patience. The prospect of a new home - an open kitchen, a yard in which to plant a vegetable garden, my own laundry room, a nursery to decorate, a place for Bill to paint - left simply too much to the imagination. I wanted to dip both hands into the grain barrel.

So: I spent hours each day on the internet looking up quaint little cottages, modern urban dwellings, brand new, centuries old, stucco and brick, bay windows, porches, bonus rooms, basements! I wasn't just shopping for a new house - I was shopping for new experiences! Promises! A way of life!

A smaller place with a green and yellow kitchen, nooks, crannies, and antique stair rail had me in my 50's housedress and heels, in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the layered chocolate and bordeaux cake (for after supper, no snitching!) just as Bill walks through the door to sweep me into a loving embrace after his long day at work. He inquires after the children, who are brushed and bathed and reading books together in the parlor. Our sweet neighbor Mrs. Munson sees us through the curtained kitchen window while out on her early evening walk with Pickles and stops to say hello and admire my blooming of poppies and my enviable cake decorating skills. I promise to bring her over a piece, later.

A clean-lined, minimalistic place with stainless steel appliances, wood flooring and cool shaded walls had me sitting yoga-pose on my oversized white rug in the middle of the floor, reading Emily Dickinson while the smell of the stir fry I made using the vegetables I had picked up at the local farmer's market that morning wafts in from the kitchen. Bill walks through our big red door, kicks off his shoes, attacks me with kisses just as the children come bounding down the floating stairs to greet him.

The possibilities for houses were as endless as the dreams they induced.

Then, of course, reality set in and we decided that rather than go into extreme debt and have an unrealistic mortgage, we would make room for Practicality. We bought a townhome - with no yard, no garage, and no real storage - in a community of townhomes in a town we didn't expect to live in.

And we have not regretted one minute of it.

Admittedly, when I see brand-spankin' new homes (with garages, yards, storage, and neighbors that are separated by entire sections of grass) that, thanks to our economy, are selling for less than what we paid for our little end-unit, I get a little forlorn. The dreaming starts to come back...I picture Wyatt and the Moeb playing in the back yard in the treehouse that their daddy built (how about it, babe?). I picture me putting my laundry up to dry in the fresh air of my own yard. I picture putting slices of tomato that I grew myself on Bill's lunch sandwich, made on bread I baked myself. With jam I jarred myself. With peanut butter that I ground myself. Okay, too far.

And I begin to think, "if only..."

But then I think of everything that would have had to happen - or not happen - for that 'if only' to take place, and I remember that we know that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

In THIS ward.
In THIS neighborhood.
With THIS job.
With THESE new friends.

In THIS home.

We're going to look back, 10 years from now when we're in our nice-sized home with stone and stucco exterior and a partial wrap-around porch and a massive yard to romp in and a little place for a garden and a basement with room enough for an entertainment room (because we don't want our TV in our Family room - he is NOT a member of our family), an office for Stepper and a studio for Bill - oh, and an exercise room, because WHY NOT? The house that has the spare guest room big enough for any and all visitors who are always welcome, with the french doors that lead to the back patio, equipped with BBQ, and the back yard that is FULL of grass and trees arranged in just the right way...yeah. When we live there, we are going to look back to these years in our first little townhome with our first little mortgage and our first little kids, and we will weep for the sweetness of the memories found here.

I can wait.


Lizzie said...

There's no place like home...

Jeff and Ari said...

How on earth do you do that with words?! I LOVED this post. You expressed some of my thoughts beautifully ... and a thousand times more eloquently! We are personally so glad you moved in ... it wouldn't be the same without you.

William C. McCrery said...

I love your write. Plus I had to comment because the word verification this time is "wootio," and let's be Frank, how often do you find an excuse to type that?