I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all the things I want to do now that I am back home with Henry. So many dreams in so many directions! I keep writing them down on post-its all over the pIace because I can’t even keep track of all the projects I want to take on. I often roll my eyes at people with their vision boards and clearly articulated goals, but the other day I found myself sketching out some of the big dreams that are bouncing around in my brain. Don’t laugh at my terrible artistic skills. Improving them is not on my current to-do list. But I do like to have this all drawn out on one page so I can glance at it every time I walk past my desk and ponder the next steps.
We went to look at the ideal country property the other day. We packed up the grandparents and the kids and headed out on Valentine’s Day to see if we had found our new homestead. The pictures had been fantastic, and they didn’t even do the house and the property justice. It was pretty beautiful, and my parents – who arrived at the open house before we did – practically had us moved in by the time we got there. The house was a big old century home with lots of opportunities for bed and breakfast configurations. It also had a workshop/garage for honey processing, and a small barn to house alpacas and chickens. There was enough land for all the things we’d like to do and it was really close to town. It seemed perfect, but we just weren’t feeling it. I am pretty project oriented, so I can always see the potential and see how we could make anything work. But I still have to FEEL it. Russ wasn’t feeling it at all, and he is usually content to just go along, but this time he had a long list of concerns. The biggest concern was the price. We both thought it was overpriced and we weren’t willing to go into that much debt and then still have to do a lot of work on the property before we could be using it effectively. That said, if we’d been FEELING it, we would have thrown caution to the wind and sold whatever we needed to in order to make it our own. That’s how you know it wasn’t right for us. We were using the price as a reason not to get it, and we don’t usually roll that way!
This got me thinking about what we really look for in a home, and how tricky it is for two people to find something that works when we all have different ideas about what makes a home. I have always been a nester. I can make any space beautiful and warm. I am one of those people who will bloom where they are planted, as long as I have light. I loved the light in this old house we looked at, but it still wasn’t enough to sell me on it. And I’m not quite sure why. Russ was uncharacteristically critical of the house and property. When we got past the surface reasons, he was able to put his finger on the real heart of the matter for him. He needs the house to be NESTLED. Our friend Chad absolutely understood this concept, whereas I needed to be talked through it. Russ explains it, in true scientist form, as wanting a property that is in no way conducive to monoculture. The physiology of the land should be such that a combine couldn’t work it. He wants hills and valleys, a stream or a pond and a winding lane. He does not want a rectangular plot of land on the side of the highway that is surrounded by farmers’ fields. He needs our home to be nestled in landscape features that make it impossible to grow crops but perfect for people who want to feel connected to and protected by their land. Nestled. Who knew?!
This search is going to take longer than I thought, but I’d rather hold out for the best fit. Finding a home is a lot like finding a mate. It doesn’t matter if it meets all your criteria, or even if your parents think it’s perfect for you. If you just aren’t feeling it, you are going to find all the things that are wrong with it. And when you do finally find your match, you overlook all the obstacles and it is full-steam ahead! And so the search continues….
Kari Raymer Bishop
Lover of Jesus, cheeses and tropical breezes... seeking balance in life, even as I embrace new challenges and chase new dreams. I am wife, mother, daughter and friend, as well as teacher, entrepreneur, activist, writer, beekeeper and hostess. Come along on the journey through my long-awaited midlife crisis!