Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Abundance of Home

Apple Tree at the Birth Center

I lived in 3 houses growing up, the 'little white house' in town, then the brown house between two towns (~ 8 miles from each); & then back to the 'pink house' that was built after WWII, one of those square boxy houses, with a lovely wood floor, 3 bedrooms, a 'round about' hall/kitchen/dining room (kids loved to visit & run round & round & round). My parents & I were all born in Oregon, as was my dad's mom (for whom this blog is named - Minnie Vestella)

I've owned three houses - a big old fixer-upper with my Scientist non-fixer hubby; someone helping us move in stepped thru the front porch floor (fortunatly, it was close enough to the ground he wasn't hurt!) & we put a piece of plywood over the hole; a niece pushed thru the front room window (ditto) & we put plastic over it, . . . . it was a block from his scientest mom & dad's, & he had a grant with his mom. I began doing massage the next year.
When we bought it, we'd been looking for something close to his folks (dear people; his mom is 93). . . the day before a neighbor 'mentioned' it was for sale, we'd walked by & I said "I could live in the house with the sunporch!"

I lived there 5 years. When decided to leave, I moved to 'the trailer with the fairy garden' - a block from the local college, & 6 blocks from the old house! It was a single wide, 2 bedroom, & just the right size for one! The kids were teens, & just down the block from the grandparents, I left them with him & the house. I remember thinking "I could live in the trailer with the fairy garden!" . . . & being surprised it was for sale! I'd thot of renting some place - but the price was good.

4 years later I moved to the mountains, to Breitenbush & life in a worker owned co-op, with team management. What a powerful, intense, delightful place to be! In the 60s my uncle Bill worked there, & I fell in love with the land! I kept the trailer, renting to a cousin for a few months, then my kids alternated living in it - they were responsible for space rent & utilities, but it was paid off :)

I was in a shared house the first Breitenbush year, 'Stonehenge' - a former tennant had brought round stones (some very large) from the river to surround the small garden in front of the house. It had a kitchen & 1/2 bath. I enjoyed playing garden, both in front of the house, sleeping upstairs with the window open to hear the River; walking in the moonlight, hugging the cedar close to the foot bridge that's my 'welcome tree' . . . chanting, drumming, dancing, singing, teaching tai chi, doing massage, working the land, walking the land, knowing the season of the moon & the sun in my bones; stars, stars, STARS!!

Growing up in Central Oregon before the days of BRIGHT MOTION SENSOR lights, (like that my neighbors just erected! Blagh. . .) I learned the summer stars with a flashlight, little golden book, & my cousins! Winter stars were harder, but my mom showed me orion, cassiopia, the dippers, the Pleiades, . . . & we sat up to watch eclipses & sattelites pass over.

The second year I moved into 'Dream Running' one of the 'picker shacks' - 9x19', with a loft bed above a clothes rod, cedar on one wall, & floor to ceiling shelves, & shared bath about 20 feet from my door. I had a little propane stove, & one of my Reiki stu. gave me a mini fridge. I had pictured the garden it needed, & was surprised to find rocks that had defined one hidden in the grass by the front porch! I called it "Star Song." Tuille came to me there, & played her in the moonlight on full moon nights. Lovely big windows on the end wall & corner! A couple of friends from the valley visited me that first week - neither had visited the year before!

Breitenbush produces 'about 2 city households' of electricity from the 1929 LaFell generator on the river; so energy is 'free' but - precious! The heat is geothermal, with a complex system of sending river water in & out of two hot mineral water wells, then thru a loop of pipes & steam radiators, & back into the well. The drinking & cooking water comes from the river, is clorinated, then refiltered before ingestion. The 'guest cabin side' has small path lights, with green gels to tone them down, the staff generally traverses the land sans flashlights.

The third year, I moved into an 8 sided house, one of 4 that surrounded a similar building that was our shared kitchen/bath. They were built the year before, & I was the 2nd occupant. 'West Wind' was just West of the Garden, 'Star Song' had been on the east side. Both were several 'city blocks' from 'Vista,' the Healing Arts house, the kitchen, lodge, sanctuary & etc.

. . . then for a few years, I lived in a small up/down duplex at the coast, while the old sweetie owner spent a sebbatical year in Europe! I'd lived in the (low) desert, the valley, the mountains; & wanted an ocean experience. I love baths. I love hot tubs, . . . there was an electric sauna at the beach house, but teenie tiny bathrooms (one up & one down), so only showers. Sigh. But the sauna (electric) was fun. . . & I'd put on the tape & sing the Tslagi Chakra Chants while in there, & cool off under the stars.

After a summer Alaska adventure, a brief reprieve at Breitenbush. This time I lived next to 'StoneHenge' in 'Star Cabin,' a 3 person place with a star shaped window facing the front path. I'd spent a few months the year before in a yurt very close to the river, 'Avelon,' filling in for one of the resident priestesses!
At Star, my roomies had set up a chore chart system, & we hosted occasional parties! I've usually been the one who may have family, or occ friends over, & attend parties, so it was fun to play hostess!
Emily did Breema (& was one of my Reiki Stu), & taught Edgu, so we would play with those & Tai Chi. & go on walks in the old growth forest, along the everpresent, ever singing river. Ray was on the Kitchen team, made great chai tea, & saved veggi trimmings in the freezer for soup stock, making soup weekly. We had a 24 hour dish rule - wash up after yourself, within 24 hours! Wash someone else's dishes if you really want to. Do your chores every week - at one of our ~ monthly house meetings, Ray told us he wished we'd all do our chores our first AM off (midweek, as weekends were busy - we happened to have the same days off), rather than putting them off . . . sigh. But it was fun to do them all together, then go on a hike :)

When I moved back to the valley, my son got married & moved from the trailer, so I moved back in. I planted a lovely circle herb garden, surrounded by stones brot from Breitenbush.
After a few years, I began looking at houses around town. This was a neighborhood I'd walked in, I had a friend down the block, . . . my house was the first I looked at!
But it was more than I could spend, so I looked at others, & had begun the process of buying a 'fixer upper' that reminded me of a Breitenbush house, . . . when my daugher noticed this one had come down in price! I was finding more wrong with the other; this one had a lot done in the mid 90s by the owner - sheetrock & lots of insulation, double hung windows, refinished fir floor, a half bath upstairs, foundation (it had been post & beam) . . . so really didn't need any work!

Each place has felt like home - & a lot of that feeling is related to the land, the gardens. I work with them in fits & spurts - putting more effort in some years. When we had our first family home here (we were in rentals the first 10 years - funny - I didn't mention those, did I?? Had veggie gardens at several! 4 houses & an apt!)
When we moved here, we had planted gardens for years for my in-laws, & we began our garden (lovely large lot), but my hubby stopped gardening. Looking back, I realize he went through a period of depression - later he took it up again. & laments now that he's rather between gardens.

Illahee Tsil Tsil Shanti - place of the singing stars. I have a front porch with lots of plants, have planted several areas around the house, & have some of those river rocks defining them (to the chagrin of folks that occasionally mow the grass strips!) There was already an herb garden in back, with self seeding parsley & california poppies; I've planted more lavender, a wagon train red rose from my Aunt Mattie, some fruit trees, blueberries, raspberries, seaberries, a wolf berry, currents, a bay tree, an olive, my vine & fig, . . .

My oldest grand daugther is now 8, & I've spent those years doing a lot of child care, the first year, daily; then less as she entered preschool & school - my choice, as my grandmas passed before I was born.
I am the (grand)parent volunteer at the little one's playschool - 2 mornings a month, with some 'date night' times, or movies, . . . My son lives 2 hours away, so time with his littles is less - we had Thanksgiving at their house, & brought them back with us - they are staying with their cousins at my daughters'.

This week, my daugher began looking at a house across town! For 9 months she lived with me, going thru a divorce & getting clear of debt - then bought the house behind mine 2 years ago! ,Our yards adjoin & we cut an opening in the chain link fence. The girls can come over 'any time,'
She's getting remarried, & her 2 bedroom house is tight. He IS a fixer, so has just finished a beautiful remodel of the bathroom, has put in a dishwasher, . . . .

I have mixed feelings - it is so handy to have her next door!! I don't really have community in the neighborhood - a chiropractor who lives a block away was part of our energy circle for a year or so, I have other friends sattered around town & in other areas, do things with them, but not much hostessing - is it time for that to change??
I have begun thinking more about my house, my bit of land. The gardens have been neglected the last several years. So this process of Soul coaching has given a much needed push to begin really sorting thru stuff, thinking about how I want to set up my yard & space. & have thought of - maybe, perhaps - doing something artistic consistently enough to be on the studio tour! But - I'd have to have a 'studio' . . .

There's a french door & window wall on the E of my small living room - so a nice sunny corner for that chair Denise suggests - something I'd already thought of doing! The adirondack bench needs to move from the back yard to the front porch, & the table back into the dining 'nook'.

There were tall shrubs on her side of the chain link fence, there's a wooden fence on the N, & chain link with 'slats' on S, so my yard is private, . . . we took the shrubs out, & cut the fence, so I've been thinking about what I want on my side to restore privacy, if they do move.

The altar is set up, I lit incense & candles this AM, & think I'll go play harp awhile.

Blessings, all :)


chest of drawers said...

WOW! What an amazing living history you´ve had! Thanks for sharing.

miss*R said...

you have had a truly memorable home history!!
I love summer stars - and can remember as a child being out on a blanket at night, laying down and just looking up .. the sky felt like home..probably was if you believe that I could be a Pleiadian. ha! that is a thought totally off the planet :)

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Such detailed memories. It was as if you were taking all of us on a tour of your land. :)

Genie Sea said...

What an awesome trip through your memory's lanes! I enjoyed each and very stop! Thank you so much! :)

KathrynAntyr said...

I have gypsy blood and have lived in many places. When I look back over my life my point of reference is where I was living. It sounds like you too have a similar reference point. Our homes {and gardens} and living spaces are so important - the not only provide us with shelter but are our sanctuaries. Reading through your home history I now ask myself, "What do I need from the place where I live?" "What can I do to make it more of a place that supports my creativity?" "How can I make this space more of a sanctuary."

I had intended to work on organizing my "creative room" which chaos as recently settled. Discovering you and your blog is a sign that I'm on the right track for my task today.

Happy Thanksgiving!
It is good to meet you.

Oh, soul coaching sounds interesting. I'll have to look into that.

{soul hugs}

Anonymous said...

There's a gypsy deep within me and I loved reading the history of your "homes" experiences.
I feel like I was right there with you, on a guided tour!

Dia said...

I'm so glad you all enjoyed my trip down memory lane! Robyn - yes, I do feel Pleiadian at times :)
Kathryn,hope you do check out Soul Coaching - it's just what you're doing! & I love your list of questions for yourself - I think I'll add them to my list :)
** here's to our gypsy spirits :)