Life is so far beyond our dreams. It gives us so much more than we can imagine, beauty that overcomes despair, love where it is unexpected, joy in and through the sorrow, and it has a way of obliterating our dreams even as new dreams morph and flourish.
In the process of losing so much to the flooding caused by the forest fires last year, Kris losing 50% of the funding for his job, and trying to juggle the absolutely brutal undertaking of restoring our ruined property, we were forced to put our big house on the market just 1 year after buying it. We had purchased the 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 977 closet house with the dream of having more space for our family, building Kaysee and Max a home, growing bountiful gardens and hosting people often because we finally had the space to do so. But, alas, those dreams were just that.... dreams.
We have (almost) completed three major moves in one year. We moved from our one bedroom house into our four bedroom house. 6 months later, we moved our family into the 2 bedroom A-frame to begin the restoration process. Then, we moved back into our one bedroom Octagon three months later, but without any of our original furnishings, as those remained with the big house which we were using as a short-term rental in our absence. Over the past couple of weeks, we have transitioned all or our original belongings back into the octagon. This has meant dozens of trips to Goodwill, an Estate Sale (happening tomorrow), and trailers full of stuff from the big house, to the octagon and from the octagon to Goodwill. It has been something like Musical Houses. Sounds inspiring, but is in truth mind numbing.
One day as I worked to try to orchestrate what was geometrically impossible in fitting items into one of our two closets in the octagon, I sat down on the box and started crying. Tears just came. It was unavoidable. Madigan pulled me off of my perch and said, "What is wrong, Mama?" I said, "It is unbelievably hard to move FROM a 4 bedroom, 977 closet house INTO a 1 bedroom, 2 closet house (where the closets are miniature)." He sat me down, grabbed a pen and paper and made me map out exactly what furniture was realistic and where it could go in our tiny house with round, straw bale walls. It helped immensely.
I have made tough decision after tough decision about belongings that have been treasured and loved, letting go and moving on. I took 3/4 of my clothes (that have been stored at the big house over the past 9 months during this period of upheaval and transition) to Goodwill. The kids let go of precious toys. We let go of pictures, blankets, linens, beds, furniture, a full kitchen of items, lamps, farm tools, TVs, etc. As stated before, it is truly mind-numbing. I have been mentally and physically fatigued for days on end.
Then, the kids caught COVID again, so that reduced our productivity a fair bit for more than a week by the time it cycled through us all. Then, as the last victim was finally on the rebound, Kelton caught the Norovirus, so off we went again. Luckily, we managed to ward off that one a little faster.
My shoulder has been healing remarkably well in spite of what I have put it through. I can tell it needs rest and I will try in earnest to give it that rest in the coming several weeks, to give it a chance to heal thoroughly.
As we watch one of our dreams go down with the sunset this night, we know that the sun will rise again tomorrow and that we do not know what that tomorrow will bring for us. We will take the next step, because we must and we can. We are making this little house our home once again, and we are finding profound joy again inside the warmth of it's straw-filled walls. We await the coming monsoon season and it's inevitable flooding with hope that our efforts these past months have prepared us enough to defend this beloved home. We cannot worry about tomorrow as our worry changes nothing. We have done what we can.
In these coming weeks of waiting, we will plant, explore, and pray. We will rebuild the fences that remain broken, we will help our neighbors prepare for the waters, we will even take a backpacking trip in Colorado. We will keep living and living fully, as long as this borrowed breath is ours!