Finally a happy topic! I could have gone on and on but decided to save the rest of the story for another time.
It was on July 15, 1994 at 7am; the sky was as blue as can be and there was a light breeze, it wasn't too hot. I was at the top of the field leaning against my car and sipping a coffee while I listened to Nick, our builder, shout out last minute instructions to the shovel operator. I felt light headed with excitement.
The shovel finally raised its huge bucket into the air and then crashed into the earth, gouging a wide swath through the green grass. I could feel a burning at the back of my eyes as emotion welled up inside me. It was really going to happen. After a lifetime of wanting to live in the country, it was actually going to happen. I gulped some air and tried to dry my eyes as Nick made his way up to the car. He smiled at me and leaned next to me to watch the progress.
As I watched the shovel sculpt a place in the earth for our home, I thought back to the last year. No, I thought back several years, to when I was a little girl visiting my Aunt's farm and wanting a farm of my own. How many blown out birthday candles, and shooting stars were called upon to make this dream come true?
I had constantly bombarded Carm with real estate listings for years. Sometimes I wore him down enough to go and look, but it didn't happen all the time. I was relentless though. One spring I came across a listing for 28 acres that partially flooded in the spring. I don't remember what sort of persuasion I used, but he finally agreed to go for a drive. We rolled to a stop on a little stone bridge that crowned a roaring creek - this was no babbling brook, this was a torrent of uncontrolled energy. A double check of the map confirmed that this was the property, and that the flooding was magnificent. We drove up to the corner and turned into the field to get a better look and as we got out of the car we looked at each other with the sudden realization that we had seen this land before. A few years earlier we had driven past and been enchanted by the green valley with the creek and river. A call to the real estate agent on the old sign confirmed that it had already been sold and as the years went by and we forgot all about that verdant valley. We looked around the property a bit more, but we both knew in our hearts that this was the one so we were soon speeding towards the real estate office.
When the agent told us there was already an offer on the property we were crest fallen. She explained the process to us and let us know that IF the current offer was turned down we had a few minutes to get our offer presented. I paced a hole in the carpet that night waiting for the phone to ring. Finally it did and when Carm nodded his head at me my heart leapt and our path through life took a big turn.
Compass headings were soon taken and the home design process started. Every detail was taken into account - I knew I wanted to live in the light with lots of south facing windows, so we made that axis the longest. There were views to the east so we didn't skimp on windows there either. Having a west facing window in the great room to scoop the last rays of sun meant that we'd have light all day there. Windows were shoehorned in where ever there was space. I must have walked through the 3D computer design thousands of times before I was happy with the alignment of each door and window. In my dreams I'd imagine every light switch and power outlet. I may have driven some people crazy with my obsession with room dimensions.
My excitement rose every time I looked at the plans - my house in the country was soon to be - the thought was almost enough to make me swoon. Soon we had a contractor hired and a real estate agent working on selling our house. It must have been the hottest day that summer when Carm almost got heat stroke mowing the acre lawn for what turned out to be the final showing. I was busy in the house vacuuming and washing floors - we had 3 dogs, 2 cats and 10 parrots whose existence we had to hide. When our real estate agent dropped by later in the day with an offer in her hands we were ecstatic. The race was on - 9 weeks till we had to be out of our Limoges home, and with 10 parrots, 2 cats, and 3 dogs we needed somewhere to move to. Nick had a challenge.
A few weeks later I was leaning against my car with tears in my eyes as I watched my dream materialize.
The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. ~Maya Angelou