thank you all so much for all the love and happiness about our new house! it feels amazing to share this with all of you. i have to tell you, this is a wildly huge event for me. i think it’s a big event for everyone, but for me a house has always had an even larger meaning, my history of homes is a colorful one.
when i was a teeny tiny person i lived in a van with my dad and his girlfriend and a funny little cat named “bouchette”. my dad built a bed into the van behind the front seats for them and my miniature toddler bed folded out of the wall in the back where it was stored during the day with bungee cords. we drove across the country having adventures and living a sort of hippie nomad lifestyle. i remember desert lessons: how to listen for rattlesnakes and the proper way to poke at tarantulas with a stick. i remember sitting on the hot, carpeted engine of the van in between the two front seats, the seat belt stretching across my lap.
our van home and a gathering outside of it. i’m in the red shorts.
before that there was a period of time that i lived with my mother, and we had no home. i was too young to remember, but i grew up hearing stories of being homeless and a life lived on the streets. she was alone, without shelter or transportation and caring for a baby. i can’t even imagine the struggle and fear. she later got back on her feet and created a company with my stepfather that has helped non-profit organizations (homeless shelters, literacy programs, women’s abuse shelters, etc) raise over 25 million dollars. she started this company because she had $75 in her bank account and decided it was time to start giving back to the community.
before the start of the business we lived in a tiny apartment and every dollar was hard earned and spent with careful deliberation. there was a jar my mom and step dad stored change in to save up for a tv, a water bed, reeboks for my mom. it was a simple life and not easy for them, but we were happy. we lived like that for 5-6 years. after the business launched we moved into what we considered a luxury apartment that had wall to wall carpet and a chandelier in the hallway. it was on a busy street, had a music store below it. they bought a mercury cougar and we thought we had ‘made it’. we celebrated like we were the fresh prince moving to bel aire. years later our small family moved into a charming house in the suburbs and then eventually a beautiful modern house built into the cliffs in an affluent community in cape elizabeth, maine. it was truly a rags to riches story.
the view from the house built into the cliffs in cape elizabeth. it was our dream home.
when i was an adolescent / teenager my father lived on st. john in the us virgin islands and i spent a good chunk of my summers living on a sailboat anchored in a bay. i learned how little space one really needs when the weather and lifestyle are permitting. i fell in love with sailing, with the caribbean, with the slow pace of island life, with simplicity.
in my adult life i have lived in 13 apartments & homes in the span of 7 towns/cities. i lived with a weird cat lady, with strangers, with friends, with family, and eventually with my husband. i have had the world’s worst landlords and some great ones. i’ve tried to make the best of every place i called home. and now, as we’re settling into this, OUR VERY OWN HOME, i’m so incredibly filled with gratitude, both for where i am and for the path that brought me here. i have a deep appreciation for what a home is, what it means for a family, for the variety of shapes, sizes and forms they come in. i’m so aware of how fortunate we are, and how fragile these things can be. i have a small thread of anxiety that runs through me that it will all be taken away, that it’s too good to be true. lou and i are both wandering around this house in a bit of a daze, feeling just so grateful and overwhelmed. we know how lucky we are, that even though we have worked long and hard for this there are millions of people who are just as deserving and working just as long and hard (and often longer and harder) for a lot less. we’ll never lose sight of that.
the first home that lou and i shared, in san diego. it was my first “grown-up” home.
it was important for me to share this with you because i’m always very conscious of the fact that blogs can make life appear easy, beautiful, better-than. and i’m not saying that our life isn’t beautiful and wonderful, it really is. but there’s a story behind us, we’re real people with lives that aren’t perfect and never have been. i want this blog to be our story, and i want you to know us as more than just the two crazy lucky fools that we are. thanks so much for reading, for being so kind and generous with your words, we are always thankful.