The old ambulance barn stands tall and strong, on guard, ready to house chickens in the small space on the south side and an art space/recording studio/guesthouse/whatever else we dream up in the main area whose white-washed doors make me feel hope.
The antlers near the barn’s top will stay because apparently if you’re a man, they make you feel like a man.
I’ve stopped looking at pictures of barns on pinterest.com because all the ones I love involve painting the barn red and hanging twinkly lights and having patio furniture and oak dining tables and dinner parties and fancy things that I’ve been told don’t belong in this sort of rustic structure, this barn that literally used to house our town’s ambulance back when the hospital was across the street (the old hospital was long ago turned into an apartment building that right now has Halloween decorations – and an American flag – flanking its entrance), this barn that high school kids each year visit for a backdrop to their senior pictures.
So OK, the barn is the rock star’s. And I’m OK with that.
Across from the barn a ways are the apple trees. I can see these from my office window, too, and they fill me with such a strong spirit of fall, of home, of everything good that I love them already. On our first visit to the house, to see if we might like it enough to make it our home, the kids – as if drawn like magic – found the apple trees on their own. They picked the yellow-green fruit and they came in to show us their find, sweet nectar dripping down the little girl’s chin, her pockets full of more juicy orbs.
I’ve already promised the kids baked apples. The only thing better would be if Grandma were here to make them, like she did for me as a little girl. Eating that sweet dessert in our Wisconsin living room is one of my favorite memories.
Outside my window, I can see the spot where my husband will build a fire pit and a pathway leading up to it. I can see where he wants to build us a garden, where he wants to grow food for our sustenance, where we might add on to the house in the next year or two, where we plan to put a swing set, maybe even a trampoline (shh…). I can see kids walk past the alley behind our house in the center of this small town. I can see the someday fence the rock star wants to build for privacy. I can see our kids playing. I can see a someday dog (well, maybe).
I see my family, in a home of our own.
Inside, we have lots of plans. Ripping up carpet and refinishing hardwood floors. Laying slate in the kitchen. New countertops, a new sink, more functional cabinets, new hardware in the bathroom. Paint. Lots of paint.
But we are here. We are happy.
Is this a forever home? the kids have asked. Maybe, my husband and I say. We hope so, we answer. We’ll at least be here a long time, we figure.
And that’s something, isn’t it? To find a home – a house and a community – where you can really, truly envision living for a long time.