This is not our new house. It’s my mom’s new space. This past week we were helping her and my brother work on finishing tasks as well as moving some of her big items, making the whole process much more real for all involved. It’s a gorgeous space, perfect for her!
A big part of this task was also helping sort through her basement, with lots of our stuff down there. Here are some of the types of things I found: an entire bag full of little love notes from me to my mom, with early, invented spelling; art work from three years of art school; a Mon Chi Chi wearing a tiny little Brownie uniform; an original Cabbage Patch Kid (handmade, not plastic); a baby dress I once wore; lots of mouse poop and chewed up insulation; report cards; papers with comments and grades from teachers; letters from my Swedish penpal, Kristina; maps and guidebooks from my travel in early 20s; a postcard written in Russian, which I once knew how to read; postcards that used to be on my wall in middle school; real film photographs, with negatives; awards from camp; math word problems about Vikings from 4th grade…
~one of my three technical drawings from Drawing II~
There was a metric BOATLOAD of paper associated with my growing up and teenage years. BOXES (really!) of notes written during class, surveys written for and answered by friends, a whole series of notes written during the Latin Certamen competition between six people, co-written stories set in various time periods that filled notebooks (notebooks!), letters between me and my bestie from high school (during the summers and after high school). There is no digital record of any of this. Hours and hours of longhand writing.
One of my favorite notebooks had this painful Latin translation which I am fairly certain could be retranslated quite easily because of how close it sounds to the original Latin:
Judging this location not at all suitable for disembarking, he waited while thither the remaining ships were being brought together for the hour at anchor.
Meanwhile, the legions of military tribunes were called together and he had known both from which came Volusenus, both from which he was willing to make shown.
In addition to the Latin translation, dated 3/16 (year unspecified), there were some notes about Harry Truman and WWII, my geometry homework (unfinished), my bestie’s geometry homework (different assignment, also unfinished), a section of one of our co-written stories, and a note contributed by us both about our upcoming weekend plans. I kept flipping through,
imagining I would find some rhyme or reason, some organizational schema. Nope. Just random.
~hello 4361: our new house!~
I got OK grades and was a pretty good student, excellent at playing the school game. But imagine if I had actually had school as my primary focus?! Staggering! A lot of it was painful to read, mostly because it was looking back at a time of insecurity and extreme awkwardness. Most of it got ditched into the recycling pile and a few select items were burned ceremonially. It made me think about my students. Newsflash: high school is not their (or any teenager’s) primary focus!
~front door: you are standing in our kitchen looking into our mudroom~
I feel sad for these young whippersnappers that they do not have any sort of physical record they will ever sift through. They won’t encounter these painful, previous, unformed versions of themselves. Scrolling through texts from 25 years ago would be arduous to say the least, if the text platforms we are using today will even last into the future that far. Doubtful. So there they will be some day in the future, just the already-polished versions of their adult selves. Boooooooring.
We got to meet our house yesterday. WE GOT TO MEET OUR HOUSE YESTERDAY!
I was trying to think of an analogy, suitable for the occasion. Kind of like seeing a first picture of your baby on an ultrasound maybe? But not quite because we were actually able to stand INSIDE of the parts of it! A visit with the dog you will adopt? I mean, we conceived of this house, thought so much about how we use our space, what we want from this house, the feeling we wanted to have inside of the house, we tried lots of things and came up with the design (Jake, mostly), and yesterday we visited the factory at Epoch Homes and got to meet #4361, its factory name.
~looking into our “away” room, right off the kitchen/entry~
We toured the factory with Jordan, who was awesome. I spotted our house on the factory floor first! There were all of these stations and we could stand inside of our downstairs (in two parts) and feel the space for the first time. Amazing! And in a few short weeks, #4361 will be here in its new, forever home in Hope.
~looking into the “away” room from the outside~
You may notice the trim has the same rounded corners as my mom’s new house. Kind of a family tradition.
Do you like Jonas’s look?