Warm a House with Windows and Wool

Since many of you live far away, or were busy, or missed the invitation I sent two days in advance, I thought I’d throw a little e-housewarming party to follow the in-person party we had yesterday.

Meet the little house we’re calling our new home. It seems like it needs a name; any ideas? It lies on a slope, with both front and back yards full of boulders and flowers, with nary a blade of grass in sight. When we first came to visit, the front was full of blooming columbines, with a row of snapdragons in the front. I was in love. I keep being surprised by the new perennials that pop up to greet us; the columbines have turned into little seed pods now, but the purple cone flowers and day lilies have started to make a tentative entrance.

From our front room and front porch, we can just see the Ambridge bridge peeking between our neighbors’ houses.

Once you walk inside, there’s a room that we’re pretentiously calling the “great room.” Most of the time, we’ll keep it divided into living room and dining room areas, but for big parties (like last night) we can shift things around. We have a fireplace, so we can use all that blasted wood that we carted here from the old place, and we traded in one of our enormous coffee tables for a set of wee nesting tables for which I have an unreasonable love.

It took Jared over a week to notice that the fireplace tools have duck heads on them. They are sort of cute, in a creepy/quirky kind of way.

The kitchen is cute, if a little small for all the kitchen crap we’ve managed to acquire over the years, but I think that’s for the best. I’ve put all the things that weren’t high-priority enough to live upstairs, and sent them to the basement to live on one of two shelves: the easy-access-for-upstairs-use shelf, and the “probation” shelf. If you are in need of a decorative plate, or an extra mug, or a collection of port glasses, or votive holders, or… well. You should come down and shop the probation shelf.

Jared’s office and Roommate C’s room are downstairs, in addition to the full bathroom. I am tempted to show you the bathrooms (I absolutely took pictures of the bathrooms to show you) but I realized that might just be a little too keen.

So from here, I’ll take you upstairs. One of Mom Osborn’s latest quilts hangs on the banister; I long to hang it from that big patch of wall going up the stairs if I get around to something so orderly as that.

The bedroom is standard fare. We took the big headboard off our bed so it would fit in the bed-nook, and I’m using the set-in dresser instead of my own dresser. Between these two big missing pieces of dark wood, our bedroom feels more minimalist than it ever has. There’s like, space in the middle of the room.  I could really get used to this. I’m thinking rug thoughts.

And then, separated by a doorless doorway hung with a curtain, is my pride and joy. The spot I hope to get a little time in most days, if I can swing it, and that I have grandiose dreams of keeping clean enough to want to spend lots of time in there. (Like most of the house.) I will show you around in a little more detail.

The western window, which you see upon entering, is framed by a bookshelf on the left, the cedar chest underneath, and my clothes closet on the right, guarded by Doris. The bookshelf holds knitting and spinning magazines on the bottom; knitting, spinning, and dyeing books above that; and on the top are works in progress and things in the immediate queue. In the middle is all the probationary yarn, out to stare at me, demanding of me to decide whether I love it enough to use it. If you ask very nicely when you come to visit, I will most likely give you anything you want off these two shelves. The rest of the stash, fiber and yarn, fits into the cedar chest and the set-in drawers on the left. We won’t talk about the fleece closet down the hall.

Facing the window is the futon, also known as my blocking board. The coffee table is the closest thing I could ever want for a desk, and the challenge for me and coffee tables is always keeping them from becoming nests of crud. The conveniently placed trash can should help. I’m hoping to trade in this coffee table for one with a more usable lip, so I can leave my swift and ball winder set up on it, and possibly even use it to hold the knitting machine when I use that this summer.

Turn to the north and there’s another little nook, with Jared’s clothes closet on the right out of frame. In the corner is the little drawer thing that I finally went through, giving away or throwing away the things I never use, and economizing the space to put my knitting and spinning tools in it. A mug on top holds little things I need access to, like scissors, measuring tapes, a baggie of stitch markers, and a needle gauge. If I manage to succeed in putting things away with any regularity, at least now I’ll know where one of all of these things is. Blondie is living here too, as you see, though I doubt that’s where I’ll normally sit to use her. She may even live downstairs if I ever manage to succeed in my newfound idea of acquiring a floor loom I MEAN A YOGA MAT REALLY I DO NOT WEAVE NO SIR. ehem.

But enough of these pictures of furniture and windows. What is a house for, if it doesn’t have people in it?

Last night, a whole crowd of lovely people came over for our house blessing. I’d never heard of such a thing until we moved here, and hadn’t had one until our previous move. After that, having a house blessing party made perfect sense. Then, it’s not just a rehearsal of “hey, look our new arrangement of stuff, during the only moment that it will be completely clean!” It’s more like “Celebrate this gift of a cool place to live with us, and pray for our time here to be awesome for us and for you and our whole community and everyone God touches through us!” So if you don’t mind, please pray that.

Several people commented while there that the house seemed like a really good fit. I couldn’t agree more; it’s almost weird how good a fit it is. With room to expand. It’s been so lovely that I almost don’t feel as if I’m living here – I feel like a guest in someone else’s house that they’ve prepared for me. Which is, of course, true – that’s what it’s like to be renting from people you know and trust and who took very good care of their home – but that’s also what stewardship is, of anything. From a healthy body to a decent job to a talent. I’m not always the most appreciative person. But sitting here on on the porch in a little patch of sunshine, with a clear view of the bridge on a cool, breezy day in early June… it’s awfully hard not to be. Rainy, miserable, cold depths of winter give me the strength to press through to the end, but days like this make me believe that that end will be good.

2 thoughts on “Warm a House with Windows and Wool

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s