Saturday, June 27, 2009

Settling In - Finally!


We have moved a lot and it has never taken me such a long time - ever - to settle into a new home as it has to settle here. The things that happened as we moved completely threw me. I’ve blogged about this before but basically, within a six month period both our 18 year old cats died, my godmother died, my husband took a new job, we moved 150 miles (living between two properties for a few months as well), and then worst of all, both my parents died within six weeks of each other. I was utterly devastated. As a result, even eighteen months later, I really did not feel like we were anywhere near settled.

Added to this was an ongoing battle to try to unpack (seriously, I still had boxes even a couple weeks ago), sort through everything and make the house feel like our own. I had a wonderful cleaning lady where we lived before, and could not find anyone here, so frankly was struggling to keep our extremely large five bedroom, three and a half bathroom house tidy and clean. Every time I took a step forward it felt like I took one back. Things went missing with great regularity and it felt like I was constantly trying to locate them in the vortex.

Factor into this the most stressful school year of our son’s life with exams, an incredibly busy job for my husband, trying to finish my book and fit in all the wonderful things we get the opportunity to do. Suddenly organising the house just seemed like the icing on top of a very haphazardly held together cake. I was managing, but barely, hardly getting to know my local area and feeling like somehow I was a stranger in my own home.

But isn’t it wonderful how suddenly things just come together? We had wonderful friends round for a visit Thursday and Friday and when I was preparing for the dinner I had planned on Thursday, I suddenly felt like I “fit”. I found myself in our local village, buying meat at the butcher, cheese at the cheese shop and vegetables in the greengrocer - being recognised and greeted as a good customer and someone they liked to see. Dinner came together beautifully, the weather was gorgeous and we all had a brilliant time. We sat outside drinking wine late into the evening, watching little bats chase each other through the night sky and looking up at the stars.

Also on Thursday, a local cleaner popped a leaflet through our door. I decided to contact her, and she came for an interview on Friday. She sounds like she is exactly the person I need to help me out and she starts next Wednesday. She also does ironing. Hallelujah!

The quote for the work I have wanted to have done in our garden (see “The Perils of Garden Design”) arrived on Friday, and it was just right, so I’ve sent off the work order and hopefully by the middle of August our garden should be ready for me to plant up. The plan is exactly what i wanted with landscaped beds all round and I’m even going to be able to have a kitchen garden with raised beds outside the back door. As for my husband, he is delighted as they are going to clear an area and lay a concrete base for the shed he wants, tucked in away beside our detached double garage. He even bought a new gas barbeque in anticipation of how nice the garden will be.

When we sat down to dinner last night, I felt so happy and relaxed it was just amazing. Okay, I’ve still got an ironing monster and a completely messy study, but our home is taking shape and I feel like I really live here now, instead of kind of just passing through. I’m making progress with my writing and something seems to have clicked.

What a difference a couple of days makes!

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