|The view from the front porch of our Honeymoon House. |
The dark shadow on the right stretching toward the moon is our mountain.
Of course we owned no furniture when we moved in. We each came from renting fully furnished rooms and so moved in with a borrowed mini-fridge, a borrowed air mattress, and all of our still-wrapped wedding gifts... and there were lots of those. So many in fact, that we gave them the extra bedrooms.
We were in that uncertain waiting game called "short sale" both of the condo we came to know as home and of the Honeymoon House. The owner of the Honeymoon House wasn't thrilled with the idea of an empty house for however many months the bureaucracy shuffled papers. As long as we didn't mind realtors coming and going with no notice and being told to move out with little notice, the house was ours.
Six years later, it's the second verse, same as the first. Another other-wise vacant house only instead of realtors popping in and out, we're living around a remodel in process. Oh, and yes, it's bigger. We've taken the square footage of the Honeymoon House, added square footage equal to our studio condo, and transplanted the house from the bottom of the mountain to the top of a different one.
This time around we have more furniture, belongings, and children, but it is still a vastly oversized house. The central portion of the house has extraordinarily high ceilings and because we have so little in the cavernous space, SOS has made it my private concert hall, complete with balcony.
Oh, and let me tell you about that balcony.
In our studio condo (or "little house" as we now refer to it), the kids had a favorite game of running the entire length of the condo, back and forth, back and forth. Even with their tiny legs, they could make it one way in less than 15 strides. The fun of this game carries over to our big house, only the distance is considerably longer and it requires running across this balcony (aka "The Bridge"). The kids love it. The adults? Perhaps, if it weren't for those middle-of-the-night calls to come pull the blanket up from around their feet where they kicked it off. At 2:30 in the morning, the distance from the master suite to the kids' bedroom seems to be as far as one side of the Golden Gate to the other.
At least there is no toll booth.
Back and forth. Back and forth. From one extreme to another and back again.
In this vast space where we have more room than we have ever had, we are sifting through our things, downsizing in everything but the size of the house. Our goal is to wind up with only the belongings that will fit in a 6'x7'x8' shipping container and the back of a minivan. We're nearly back to that first extreme of owning no furniture, of owning nothing but our clothes and the now well-used wedding gifts.
And what waits for us on the other side of our move? A space not even three hundred square feet larger than our condo, a space we will come to fill with beds, belongings and children.
During these almost nightly concerts I watch SOS expertly work his bow across the strings of his violin. I know it represents years and years of practice. I've heard the difference between a beginning student and a world class violinist. The same back and forth of the bow brings about entirely different results.
So here's to another year of practice, another visit to the other extreme. Maybe some day packing up home and family will appear as effortless as SOS's late night Bach.