10 years later

10 years later

Today is everywhere rain, and the snow is lifting fog up into the sky like hands thrown up in frustration or submission: I give up trying to be winter.

I felt the rain all day like some sort of permission. Let’s not do. Let’s stay put. This is the generosity of bad weather on a day off (if you’re lucky enough to have a choice in the matter): permission to read a book, stare out the window, make mental lists without lifting a flesh-and-blood finger, let your mind wander into the foggy past.

Ten years ago today there was a blizzard. I remember this because it was during that blizzard, the first of the winter, in fact, that we were shuttling all of our worldly goods from the shipping containers on the driveway back into this house. This house that we slid down the hill.

Ten years ago this house was like an old friend who’d had minor plastic surgery. Familiar and yet… something not quite familiar.

Ten years ago, this house felt lightly perched on its new foundation. Old bones tentative about its new seat. Untethered somehow.

Ten years later, we are emphatically settled. The house has given up its polite perch on the edge of the chair and settled, groaning slightly, into a comfortable slouch. Us, too, I suppose. We’re as stuck here as I’ve ever been anywhere before. Rooted.

I have plans to see friends tonight, but everything in me is crying to stay put and listen to the rain, watch the dog’s paws twitch in his dreams, dig my roots in even further.

But it doesn’t matter how much we dig in, does it? The world spins on. These posts and beams have been this house’s bones for more than 200 years, and standing as trees for at least a hundred more. It’s watched all of Vermont history pass by. Nothing stays.

Ten years from now? H will be out in the world. I suppose we’ll be here, thinking back thirty years to the day we first peered in the windows of this endearing old wreck of a place and said, “Yes, this is home.”


  1. bluestempond says:

    What a great description! I feel it with you, although we’ve only been in our house two years. I had to go out this morning in the wet blowing snow, and now that I am home in my chair, under a blanket, with a chicken roasting in the oven, I feel blissfully content.

  2. Lisa-Marie Haugmoen says:

    Very cosy place! Sometimes old houses give you such a good feeling that you don’t want to go anywhere but sit by the fire with a cup of tea and your knitting as you watch the flickering flames and listen to the quiet.
    How old is your house? Mine was finished in 1768. The beams in the ceilings are enormous and the wood floor planks are 22 inches wide in some places. It’s called the Old Manse. I love my TV room with its fireplace and beehive oven. The feeling in my house is one of peace and healing. It’s so quiet here in the evening,in spite of being near the ocean.
    One thing with old houses is,you are never done taking care of it. I wouldn’t trade the Old Manse with any new house. It’s home.

    I wish you peace and healing and love in your new home. Happy knitting!

  3. alittletea3 says:

    Beautiful. I hope I get to put down roots like yours (I once had them).~D

  4. Melody A. says:

    your house is like all of us as we move through life and years have passed, we have settled in and want to stay , with our houses, with our loves, with ourselves and time keeps moving although we can see back behind us to the beginning.

    thank you for your lovely essay. it is heartfelt.

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